Captain Go Sidetrack Your Train

This activity allows children to contribute their own ideas, rhythms, and motions while engaging in vocal exploration.

Sing Captain Go Sidetrack Your Train while doing the following movements.

Captain go sidetrack your train (Hands pat the beat on thighs.)
Chhhh, Chhhh, Chhhh! (Bend arms at elbows, make fists. Alternate moving
arms forward and backwards-in a somewhat circular motion-to imitate the coupling  rods on train engine wheels.) Repeat. 

Number three in line’s, a-coming in on time (Hands pat the beat on thighs.)
Captain go sidetrack your train (Hands pat the beat on thighs.)
Chhhh, Chhhh, Chhhh! (Repeat arm motion.)

Ask the children: What other sounds do trains make? When a child volunteers an answer, allow that child to create the motion to go with the sound. Have the other children “practice” the sound and motion. Replace “chhh, chhh, chhh” with the new train sound. 

You will find that as children become comfortable with this song and activity, their train sounds will become more complicated. For example: chugga-chugga-honk-honk-choo-choo!