So at first glance your are going to look at this activity and think, “Whoa crazy lady. Put the hot glue gun down.” I mean even as I was doing this project with Rea I was thinking this was a little to Pinterest-y, BUT despite how crazy Pinterest mom-ish this activity is I continued to do it with Rea because she and I were using materials that most people throw away to build, and we were having a blast doing it. Teaching my daughter to build and design is something I will ALWAYS engage in.

Lil’ Explorers Focus Skills

Engineering

  • Construct models to represent their imagination and objects in the world
  • Build using a variety of materials in both conventional and unconventional ways
  • Use tools with appropriate safety and purpose
  • Engage in problem solving activities

Visual Arts

  • Use a variety of visual art materials (paint, markers, crayons, clay) with minimal adult assistance
  • Use visual arts to represent people, places, and things, using spatial awareness to coordinate the features of the representation
  • Explore the use of materials in a variety of different ways

Lil’ Creators Focus Skills

Engineering

  • Construct models to represent their imagination and objects in the world
  • Build using a variety of materials in both conventional and unconventional ways
  • Use tools with appropriate safety and purpose
  • Engage in problem solving activities

Visual Arts

  • Use a variety of visual art materials (paint, markers, crayons, clay) with minimal adult assistance
  • Use visual arts to represent people, places, and things, with accuracy and detail
  • Explore the use of materials in a variety of different ways

Required Materials

*Affiliate Link

*Scissors

*Washable Paint

*Hot Glue

*Hot Glue Gun

* Hole Punch

*Paint Brushes

*Yarn

Bottle/Pouch Caps (20)

*White Paper

Pool Noodle

Toilet Paper Rolls (6)

Step #1

Cut one toilet paper roll in half and paint all of your toilet paper rolls.

Step #2

While the toilet paper rolls dry, cut off a chunk of pool noodle and then cut that chunk in half horizontally.

Step #3

Use the pool noodle to paint train tracks on white paper. Dip the pool noodle in brown paint and drag it across the paper. Then go back and stamp the pool noodle facing the opposite direction along the lines you already created.

Step #4

Using the hole punch, punch holes directly across from each other on the toilet paper tubes.

One 3 of the tubes you will punch the 2 holes at the top and the bottom of the tube.

On 2 of the tubes, you will only punch the 2 holes at the top of the tubes (these will the the engine and the caboose).

Step #5

Use string to connect the toilet paper tubes by threading through the two holes on one end of a tube and through two holes at one end of a second tube. Tie the two ends of the string together, creating a loop and repeat this process until you have connected all of the toilet paper tubes.

Step #6

Use the hot glue gun to attach the 1/2 toilet paper tube to the front of the toilet paper train.

Then use the hot glue gun to attach 4 pouch/bottle caps (2 on each side) to each toilet paper tube.

* The hot glue gun should ONLY be used by adults! If you feel your child is ready, they can attach the items where you have placed the hot glue, but they should NOT be using a hot glue gun!*

Step #7

Drive your train along the new tracks that you painted.

Teacher Tip

As much as we enjoyed building this train together, I will say we did it in chunks instead of doing it all in one day.

One day  we painted the toilet paper tubes (then I kinda forgot about them -oops).

Another day we built the train.

And finally, a few days later we painted the tracks.

So if this activity looks a little daunting, break it up into multiple days worth of activity.

Share

Ya’ll I’m dying to see your trains! I know your Lil’ enjoyed building it with you and I cannot wait to see how creative you all got! Please share pictures of you and your Lil’ building together!