Children's Public Transit Wallet Cards Resources


Children's Public Transit Wallet Card Back example

 

NOTE: Each of our cards has a scannable QR code that links directly to a special kid-friendly page here on our site.

We're still working on a few of them, but soon families from all over the world will have submitted video diaries especially for you to watch!


photo credit Simon Pielow

photo credit Simon Pielow

Let’s travel to nine international cities today!

With our Public Transit Wallet Card set, children now have their own version of transit cards from Chicago, New York, Boston, Los Angeles, London, Paris, Sydney, Tokyo and Hong Kong. Perfect for pretend play.

On this page are some activities, printables, links, books and more for your family. These activities can be completed with and without our deck of cards. They're created to inspire you to play together!

Activities

Activities for Ages 0 - 3

#1: Train Watching!

If you have a public transit system in your town, whether it be a bus, a train or public use bicycles, take a walk together to the main hub station or any station near you. Consider packing a snack together, and watching the buses or trains come and go from a safe place.

photo credit: Mitch

photo credit: Mitch

Listen to the sounds the trains make, watch the people going in and out, the announcements and the strange smells in the station (there are always weird smells!).

Watch for people helping people. Make up some little stories about the people riding the train, where they're going. See if you can guess where they've been. 

In our family's experience, train conductors and engineers have been very friendly to children and in some cases, have let us come into the driver's cabin to look at the controls! Make sure you find one taking a break though, they are frequently very busy and trying to stay on schedule

If you're in the traveling mood, ride the train instead of driving to the Children's Museum or Zoo one day... change up your commute! 

#2: Take a pretend trip together!

Don't have a public transit system next to your house? Take a pretend trip together! Line up some pillows on the floor to make seats for the passengers. Pretend you're using the card machine to get a new card to ride the train, scan your card and "walk" through the turn-style. Look on the map to see what color line you need to ride, wait for your train, and then quick! "All aboard!" Grab a seat!

#3: Train sets together

Train sets can be a magical toy for children. If you have a train set, (wooden Brio or Thomas for example) get down on the floor with your little one and make some fun new additions: add a train station, put in action figures, add luggage, be the announcer, pick up passengers... get into it together!

photo credit: Tom Page

photo credit: Tom Page

photo credit: regan76 

photo credit: regan76 

Activities for Ages 3 - 6

#1: Where to?

If you have a transit system near you, plan to take a ride together. Even if you're going downtown to get ice cream in a new place, it can be a great adventure for a young child. Go over the rules together, set expectations for staying together, and talk about staying safe in a train station. Keep it fun and simple. Go to a place you've always wanted to go together!

Chicago blue Line Train
photo credit: kaybee07

photo credit: kaybee07

Many big cities have "Busking Sites" where musicians are allowed to play to people waiting for trains. Bring coins to drop in their hats.

Some cities still offer paper maps of the transit systems, grab a few (keep one for marking the routes you've ridden) and one for hanging on the wall at home. If they don't have paper versions in the station, you can always find pdfs online to print and bring with you. 

An advanced version of this trip is available for 6 - 9 year olds below. 

#2: Scan and travel around the globe!

Each of our cards has a scannable QR code that links directly to a special kid-friendly page here on our site. Families from all over the world have submitted video diaries especially for you to watch!

You can check them out here. Learn a little about each city, its transit system and its people.  

#3: On vacation

Have you been on vacation to a big city? We did! We went to Boston together when the boys were just four years old. We decided to pull out our collection of maps and souvenirs from our family trip to Boston, Massachusetts. We went to the ocean, to Legoland Discovery Center, and more. We compared the real CharlieCard (Boston's Public Transit System Card) to the one that we made, Owen and Silas (our boys) like our version better :-) 

Looking at maps and souvenirs from a past trip can be a fun activity to do together, you can talk about the food you ate, the time you got lost, the places you went. Maybe your child remembers something you don't, she may surprise you with her memory. 

Activities for Ages 6 - 9

photo credit: Lars Plougmann

#1: Make a Map (for your city)

If your city doesn't have a formal transit system, draw one together! Start out by finding a map of your city (or drawing one from scratch) and then with a few different colors (for different lines) draw train routes to important places, airports to museums, parks to lakes, islands to downtown. As the adult, try drawing one to places you think are important and compare it to your child's. It may surprise you to discover what your child draws! 

#1: Where to? (Advanced)

In this version of "Where to?" Let your child decide where you'll go! 

Obviously, make sure the location is safe. But be adventurous together! Perhaps you'll head to a new museum, the beach, a park? Some museums have free days for locals, so check with your destination to find out what is the best time to come.

Some cities still offer paper maps of the transit systems, grab a few (keep one for marking the routes you've ridden) and one for hanging on the wall at home too. If they don't have paper versions in the station, you can always find pdfs online to print and bring with you. 

Find out which stations you'll stop at, what direction you'll go. Keep it light, roll with the "punches". Because there could be some punches!

 

Printables

Coming soon!

 

Videos

Videos for ages 6 and up

 

Buster Keaton's The General

Buster Keaton's "The General" on YouTube
(start at 48:00 for the best action)
A classic silent film that is set during the civil war. "Train engineer Johnnie Gray has two great loves - his fiancee Annabelle Lee and his locomotive 'The General'. When Union spies steal Johnnie's beloved train along with Annabelle, he sets out in pursuit straight through enemy lines.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ilPk-SCHv30

 

 

Videos for ages 9 and up

{Extreme Engineering} Build it Bigger

{Extreme Engineering} Build It Bigger
Rebuilding New York City's Subway
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bz7nGGZHavk

 

 

 

 

 

 

Learn all about the antiquated "technology" that runs the New York City Subway, and about Communications Based Transit Control (CBTC), the future of the rails.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=3&v=Mjx3S3UjmnA

Meet the People Who Retrieve the Stuff You Drop On the Tracks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UczC5SMdw3k

AND MORE! http://thekidshouldseethis.com/tagged/public-transportation

 

Books

Don't have a Public Transit deck yet? Grab one from our store here.

Thank you for stopping by! Happy trails!