Saturday, October 8, 2011

Toothpaste box train

We made a train from boxes based on a craft project in Chirp magazine. If you enjoy this type of project, you might also like the Wheels project we did for Chirp. Here's how we made it.

This craft idea was from Chirp Magazine's Train issue.

Our materials were:

small boxes (from the recycling)
washable poster paint & brushes
toilet rolls
construction paper

About this project:

Our train builder was very young (two), so we actually spaced out the steps of this project over a few days. One day we painted boxes and another day we drew wheels. This gave us small craft activities to do over a week's worth of afternoons. Older children could do this project in one sitting, if the paint is fairly fast-drying.

Here is what we did:

First we painted our boxes. One trick that really made this this much easier (it's not in the photo) is that we opened up the seams of the bigger boxes, flattened them and painted on the reverse side. Because the insides of the box don't have any ink on them and are uncoated, they are much easier to paint on (and less frustrating) for the little ones. We put the flattened boxes aside to dry. You might prefer to keep the boxes folded as they did in the Chirp tutorial.

Next, we made wheels. We cut the toilet rolls in half and then used them to trace rough circles. Then we were ready to draw spokes in the wheels. When we were finished drawing, we cut the circles out and glued them to each end of the toilet roll pieces. We set them aside to dry.

Next, we re-assembled the boxes. We folded them back up, this time with the painted side facing out, and glued the seams shut again. We placed an elastic band around each box and left them to dry.

Then, we put the boxes and the wheels together. In the original tutorial, the boxes are glued together with popsicle sticks. We had more fun making the trains, knocking them apart and building them again in different configurations.

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