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!

Planning kids parties – Littlest Pet Shop

They are still over 1 1/2 months away, but I am already starting to plan birthday parties for my soon to be one year old and soon to be three year old.  I LOVE planning parties.  I often spend way too much time planning them (that’s why I am starting so early).  I just love getting into the theme and finding cute games or cute crafts to do at the party.  I think my last one… a Littlest pet shop party for Elise’s 6 birthday was my favorite (at home) so far!  I think it turned out so cute.  Here is a little snippet from it: 
We started out with a bit of lunch:  for the kids I made either PB and J or cheese sandwiches cut out into animal shapes, the adults got subway sandwiches, then there was “my” infamous fruit salad, fishy crackers, animal crackers, carrots … I think that was it.

Then, we moved on to the craft:  Littlest pet shop masks.  In the weeks before, I had spent (again way too much) time finding pictures of petshop characters online, printing them out, then cutting shapes of the individual colors, tracing and cutting them out of that foam paper stuff, putting all the pieces into ziplock bags along with a picture of what the petshop character should look like when it is done… then the kids glued the pieces onto the mask and we punched holes on the sides and put an elastic string to make it a mask.  They turned out SUPER cute and I think the kids all liked them!  They were all different and I think I made at least 15 or 16 of them.
 After the craft, we did a pull-the-string pinata (which was a dud… so we ended up just ripping it open and dumping it out.)


And cake!

Lastly, we set up a little pet shop for Elise.  She was the pet shop owner and each kid was given some play money and they all waited in line to buy a pet from the pet shop.  (their party favor)… it was so cute.  I drew a cage onto some clearish-white favor bags, so they could put their pets in their cages to take them home. 

It was so cute and fun.  I will blog soon about my plans for the next couple of parties!  🙂