Best Train for Kids to Make with Recyclables

This train, complete with train cars and engine, is fun and easy to make using recyclables. Kids will love painting the locomotive and choosing cargo for the train cars.

Train cars craft

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Pretend play is so much fun with a train craft. This activity is perfect for supporting kids early developmental skills such as language and cognitive.

Kids make the train cars while engaging fine motor and creative skills. After they do the craft, they create small world scene with train, train station, and train tracks.


Train craft

This train craft uses recyclables and basic craft supplies in a fun activity. Substitute items if necessary.

For example:

  • Use a long cracker box or other container in place of a tomato tray.
  • Use plastic blocks in place of wood blocks.


Train craft materials


  • 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


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.


Recycled craft train cars


4. Cut out wheels from black construction paper.

5. Link the train cars together with twist ties.


Instructions for the engine


Train locomotive craft


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 engine kids craft


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


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

Providing a variety of materials will encourage imagination and creativity.

All aboard! This train craft is ready to pull into the station.


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


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Train crafts and activities from kid-friendly bloggers


DIY Engineer Paper Plate Hat Inspired by Pete the Cat - Crafty Mama in Me

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How to Make House Blocks for the Railroad - Adventure in a Box

Subway Train Coloring Page - What Do We Do All Day

                       DIY Kids' Train Table - Mini Monets and Mommies                            



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