Train craft for preschool

I haven’t been posting as many of the home preschool crafts as I thought I would, but this one was so cute and the kids (boy/girl age 3) had so much fun with it, I just had to make time to post this one.  Enjoy!

Here is a picture of the train completed:

Getting started
Here’s what you need to make 2 trains:

*toilet paper rolls
*black marker
*yarn or fishing line
*paper punch
*colored construction paper
*plastic drinking straws (not in picture)
*glue (hot glue works best
*a few coins to weigh down the engine and caboose (optional)

I will post a picture of the original instructions on the left and tips/things I did on the right. below:

We made the train with an engine, caboose and 3 cars in the middle which worked great… so 5 rolls.

I cut the construction paper in strips 4-1/2″ wide.  One blue, one red and 3 yellow per train.  I let the kids glue the papers onto the toilet paper rolls.

I would say it would be easier to cut the yarn at LEAST 4 inches long or longer, and cut off the excess.  We cut ours about 4 inches and it would have been a little easier to tie had we cut them a little longer.

see my comment on number 3.  🙂


the length of the straw doesn’t need to be so exact… just make sure it it shorter than the length of the toilet paper roll, so it doesn’t show after it is glued inside.  the side where you punched the holes and tied the string is the bottom side of the train and so you glue (I recommend hot glue) the straw to the inside TOP of the toilet paper roll so that it sits fairly straight through the roll. 

When cutting the string that the train will run on… cut is REALLY long.  We had our trains running on a line about 17 feet which seemed to work great.


 For this part, I actually premade most of the “decorations” for the train.  It would have been a little too hard for 3 year olds to do.  (see “detail” picture below)  I used construction paper for the wheels (conveniently cut out with my Cricut, but you can do it the old fashion way too!), I used some thin cardboard to make the tops for the engine and caboose (into a square with a top and cut 2 half circles to fit onto the tube) and covered them with construction paper and drew with markers the windows. and I just coiled up a strip of black construction paper for the smoke stack.

TIP: glue on the tops of the engine/caboose before the wheels… as you can see I didn’t do that and the wheels got covered up.

We attached the line tightly and taut to 2 heavy dining chairs, so the kids could race them next to each other. 

Hope this all makes sense!  Your kids will love this one!