Best Train for Kids to Make with Recyclables

All aboard! This train craft is ready to pull into the station. The train and locomotive are fun and easy to make using recyclables, while engaging fine motor and creative skills. Kids will love painting the locomotive and choosing cargo for the train cars.

train pin 1

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Trains and planes and other modes of travel are fun for kids to explore as they learn about the world around them.

This activity promotes hands-on learning with arts and crafts, science and imaginative play.


Train craft for kids - Preschool Toolkit



  • water bottle
  • tomato tray or similar packaging
  • construction paper
  • black and red kids paints
  • small boxes such as bar soap boxes


Instructions for the train cars


Kids train craft using produce containers


1. Remove the tops of the small boxes and place them inside the tomato trays.

2. Fill the train cars with "cargo" such as marker tops, clothespins, and crayons.

3. Paint small blocks of wood with red paint for the caboose.


Train craft for kids - Preschool Toolkit


4. Cut out wheels from black construction paper.

5. Link the train cars together with twist ties.


Instructions for the locomotive




1. Paint the water bottle black. When dry, place it in the tomato tray.

2. Cut wheels from black construction paper in 3 different sizes and glue to the side of the container.

3. Paint a wood dowel or bottle cap for the smokestack.

4. Cut a rectangle from black paper for the cabin. Glue a small window onto the side. Fold the the rectangle to fit over the back of the locomotive.


Train craft for kids - Preschool Toolkit


These locomotives illustrate how creative kids can be with crafts projects. They are a fun alternative to the usual paint color we see on locomotives.

And while we love Crayola products, we did have a little trouble with the blue finger paint flaking. The black paint is Melissa and Doug, and the pink is a combination of red and white acrylic craft paints.

Related: Locomotive made with a water bottle and a cracker box.


 train engine and train cars preschool activity for pretend play



Providing a variety of materials will encourage imagination and creativity.

Who's on board with me for open-ended arts and crafts opportunities?


Find lots of crafts for preschoolers on our Crafts Board on Pinterest.

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Train crafts and activities from kid-friendly bloggers


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                       DIY Kids' Train Table - Mini Monets and Mommies                            



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