DIY Shoe Box Train Station for Small World 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!

DIY Train Station for Kids - Preschool Toolkit

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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. 

 Supplies for train station craft - Preschool Toolkit

Supplies for the train station:
  • cardboard shoe box with attached lid
  • straws
  • construction paper

Instructions for the train station:

Train station craft - Preschool Toolkit



 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 where it meets the base of the awing to support the awning.

Train station craft - Preschool Toolkit



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.

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.


Small world play with a homemade cardboard box train station


Flags and more!

Cut flag shapes from paper or felt. Fold the edge around the extra length of straw standing up above the awning and 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 for passengers waiting at the station.


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

Now you are ready to play!

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


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