Easy Locomotive Kids Craft using Recyclables

A locomotive craft is easy for kids to make with recyclables and craft paint. The sights and sounds of the locomotive will soon be part of some awesome pretend play. 

Locomotive craft

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Can you hear the locomotive chugging down the track? It's all part of the fun with this homemade locomotive.

This simple painting activity is sure to be a winner with kids. And you'll love reusing throw-away items in a fun, hands-on activity.

Locomotive craft

This activity is easy to provide with recycled items including a water bottle. While we don't regularly buy water bottles, it's satisfying to reuse them in crafts and activities instead of simply throwing them out.

This painting activity can get a little messy so be sure to use coverups for clothing and table and floor surfaces.

Related: Train cars craft

Supplies for locomotive

Supplies for locomotive craft


  • rectangular cracker box
  • plastic water bottle
  • black craft paint


Instructions for locomotive

Cardboard box locomotive craft


Step 1. Cut out a section of the cracker box as shown in the photo.


Locomotive cardboard box craft


Step 2. Paint the cracker box and water bottle black.

Step 3. When the paint is dry, place the water bottle inside the box.

Locomotive kids craft using a recycled water bottle

Step 4. Cut wheels, a headlight, and windows from construction paper. Glue to the locomotive.

Step 5. Paint an empty thread spool. Glue to the top of the water bottle for a smokestack.


Your locomotive is ready to chug down the track!


Related: Extend the fun with a train track and a train station.


Train locomotive preschool craft


This locomotive activity is easy to set up with just a few materials, but provides lots of fine motor practice with cutting, gluing and painting.

You can make a simple train track with a piece of cardboard and a black marker as shown in the photo. 

We made a larger train track with black tape on a big piece of cardboard. There is lots of room around the track for a train station, passengers, and even a pond.


Related: Preschool Lesson Plans Transportation Unit (affiliate)


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