Shoe Box Train Station Pretend Play

You can easily transform a cardboard shoe box into a train station for small world play. Passengers will soon be gathering at the station to board the Playtime Express. All aboard for some fun pretend play!

Cardboard box train station DIY for kids play


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Play time with trains has always been popular with kids. A locomotive chugging down the tracks, a passenger train stopping at the station, and a train car filled with cargo are all part of the fun.

A cardboard shoe box can become a train station in a few simple steps. 

Shoe box train station

This train station is made with a box with an attached hinged lid.

It's easy to make with just a few simple steps.

Extend the fun with a homemade train track and train cars or a locomotive.


Fun train sets!

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Melissa and Doug              Thomas                              Remote control        


Supplies for the train station:

Train station craft supplies for preschoolers


  • cardboard shoe box with attached lid
  • straws or dowels
  • construction paper

Instructions for the train station:


train station awning made with box flaps

Lay the box on its side so the lid becomes the awning and the flaps become the doors.

Trim the lid to make it slightly smaller for an awning.

Make holes in the box and the lid as shown in the photo to insert the straws.

  • Make a bend in the straw at about one-third of the length of the straw. Insert the short end in the awning and the long end into the side of the station.


Train station craft with awning


Leave flaps to serve as a door that can be opened or closed, or remove completely to create a clear entrance.



Cardboard box train station craft

Cut a rectangle from white card stock for the sign and tape above the awning.

Bend the long side of the card stock and glue or tape it onto the roof so the sign stands upright.


Train station craft

Apply 'train station' with self-adhesive letters or a black marker. You could also identify the name of the town.


Cut a circle from white craft foam for the clock. Add numbers and clock hands with fine point marker.

 Glue the white circle to a slightly larger red foam circle. Glue the clock to the sign.


Train station small world play


Flags and more!

Cut flag shapes from paper or felt. Fold the short side around the extra length of straw standing up above the awning. Glue or tape in place.

Add other pieces to complete the small world scene: a bench or trees; vehicles in a parking lot; small figures as passengers waiting at the station. 

Now you are ready to play!


Cardboard box train station


Hurry and get your tickets at the station! The Playtime Express is arriving soon!


Train station cardboard box pretend play for kids


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