Freight Train Math Game

My boys have been in love with Freight Train for a long time!! It was one of the first books my oldest ever checked out of the library.  We got lucky and got it in the mail through a book program our county has for kids under 6yr.  YAY, love when we get books that are already favorites we did not have in our home library, lol. We have a lot of books but I love it that way.  Super stoked that this month’s Preschool Book Club is exploring Donald Crews’ Freight Train.  It was a  little tense when my first activity bombed but not to be defeated I finally came up with a new and improved idea.  Freight Train Math Game was a big hit with my kids.  Mommy save for the day.


Freight Train Inspired Math Game for Kids




 Freight Train Math Game


Freight Train Inspired Math Game

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What we used:

Freight Train Board Book (Caldecott Collection)
Darice 106-118 40-Pack Foam Sheets, 6 by 9-Inch, Assorted
Sharpie Fine-Tip Permanent Marker, 24-Pack Assorted Colors

LEGO DUPLO My First Number Train Building Set 10558




How to play:

First take the foam rectangles and cut in half.  Then take each “card” and write the number 1-9 on the nine cards.  On the back I wrote simple subtraction problems. On the front of the card with a 1, flip it over and write 1-1=  2-1=.  I wrote 2 math problems per card.  I used rainbow craft foam to make our game cards.




Once you have your cards, have the kids or you set up the Duplo Train.  The train came with numbered blocks but this would be easy to put number stickers on plain blocks as well.  Little brother would pick one of the numbers 1-9 from the train blocks.  He then picked the matching number card.  After choosing the card he flipped it over reveling simple subtraction math problems.  We had a few extra stacks of blocks sitting to the side.  We took the extra blocks to work out the math problems.  For 2-2 we took 2 blocks and sat them with the card.  I told him what would we have left if we took those 2 blocks away.  He said we would have nothing.  Yes, I told him. Nothing, or zero.  He caught on quick.  After each card we went on to a new number and a new card solving lots of subtraction problems along the way.  This is little brothers first time at home being introduced to subtraction.  He did really well with it.

Train Math Game for Kids

This game can be modified to use with simple counting, simple addition, or even simple color match up for the younger ones in our lives.   I can see using this same setup many more times.


Check out the Preschool Book Club’s homepage with all the posts from each member!!

preschool book club


See more posts for Freight Train below:

 Homegrown Friend 

Freight Train Block Building - exploring books through play with Preschool Book Club

Mama Papa Bubba

Buggy and Buddy 

Stamp Painted Train Craft- Inspired by Freight Train by Donald Crews~

Sugar Aunts

Freight Train book snack idea for preschool! This is a cute snack for preschool, homeschool, home, or a train-themed party food.

Exploring Books Through Play 50 activities based on books about friendship, acceptance, and empathy is a great collection of idea to use along with each book.  These books share such great lessons for all of us to learn.  The fun stories make it easy to get a conversation started with kids or for the younger ones to introduce the ideas to them.  I had so much fun working on this project  with Homegrown Friends, Mama Papa Bubba, Buggy and Buddy, and Sugar Aunts.  I hope you and your kids can have just as much fun with these book inspired activities too.

Purchase on Amazon

*Exploring Books Through Play: 50 Activities Based on Books About Friendship, Acceptance and Empathy

or as an E-book

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