After cracking the code yesterday, Finn (aged 4) set up his own Thomas Land tray. This was all his idea and independent work.


  • Thomas trains
  • Whiteboard pens


Finny had the idea of mixing up the trains and tenders. He then invented new names, which were a combination of the two.

The first tram and train to be renamed, were Toby and Percy. He spelt the start of Percy as “Pus”, but I didn’t correct any of his spellings as they were all phonetically plausible. At the end I asked him whether he normally writes from left to right, or right to left.

When I asked Finny to read ‘OTSUP’ back to me, he got the giggles. He re-wrote the name from left to right.

Next up were James and Gordon.

Finn talked me through the process of drawing his next two trains, which were Thomas and Philip.

As he was writing ‘Tom Fil’, he sounded out each letter, before writing.

Oliver and James were next.

Gordon and Edward are both blue. This was the first train that was all one colour, so he didn’t need to swap pens.

He finished up by adding one more pair of trains, Charlie and Thomas.

DfES Early Learning Goals (2017)


ELG 10 – Writing:

Children use their phonic knowledge to write words in ways which match their spoken sounds. They also write some irregular common words. They write simple sentences which can be read by themselves and others. Some words are spelt correctly and others are phonetically plausible.