Mini Monets and Mommies: DIY Kids' Train Table

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

DIY Kids' Train Table

Need a new train table? As a preschooler, my son loved Thomas the Train. That’s an understatement. He was crazy obsessed with the blue tank engine. He actually used to force the other kids on the playground to pretend that they were Percy, James, Gordon and Toby. It was super-cute until one of the kids wanted to play something else and my 3-year-old through a fit.

Thomas Train

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He was such as Thomas fan that his grandmother (my mother) had my old bedroom painted with a Thomas mural for him. Keep in mind that my son slept over at his grandparents’ house all of three times during his preschool years. Even so, the mural was a sight to see. When I say mural I mean all four walls were filled with what seemed like life-sized scenery. Check it out:

Childrens mural
Pretty cool for a preschooler, right? But, now that he’s almost 13, not so cool. Apparently grandma thought that he would always have a Thomas the Train infatuation.  By the time that he was 5-years-old he had switched his obsession to Hot Wheels.

We had quite the train collection. With the trains came the pleas for the accompanying train table that my son just couldn’t stop playing with at the toy store. During a Saturday afternoon shopping trip grandma bought the table for him. But, if you’re like me – hesitant to invest in a store-bought train table – you can make your own. Ok, so it’s more of a play mat. But, you can put it on a table. Instead of the ready-made tracks your child can make his own. Reuse a cardboard box and set up your own course. Your child can make a straight drive, curvy track or even two racing roads.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

·        A large-sized cardboard box

·        Scissors

·        Tempera paints

·        Markers

·        Paintbrushes

·        Tissue paper

·        School glue

·        Modeling clay or Model magic
Kids' Activities

Here’s What to Do:

1.     Cut the box apart at the joints. Start at the open end and cut down along all four places where the sides come together. You’ll need to do this step for your child, especially if the cardboard is thick.

2.     Unfold the box and cut away and excess cardboard. You’ll have a straight line left.

3.     Draw the track. Have your child choose how big, curvy or straight he wants to make the track. He can make one main line track, two or more.

Kids' toys
4.     Paint the cardboard. Our child can make green grass, brown hilly areas, blue water or white snow and ice.

Train paint

Paint project
5.     Add trees and bushes. Tear apart and crumble tissue paper. Glue it to the cardboard. Your child can make all four seasons. Use green tissue for summer and spring, brown for winter and red, yellow or orange for fall.

Paint project

6.     Add modeling clay or Model magic for texture. Your child can use white clay to make snow on the ground.

Kids' trains
When your child’s done playing, fold the mat up and store it for later!

After taking Thomas for a trip around the track, read one of these train-themed books to your child:

Go, Train, Go!

King of the Railway

Are you looking for more creative kids’ crafts? Follow my Pinterest board for ideas!
Follow Mini Monets and Mommies's board Creative Kids Crafts on Pinterest.


  1. I have two cardboard boxes outside that would be perfect for this.

    1. It's a great way to reuse boxes. My garage is filled with them.

  2. Don't they all love playing with the box? This is a great inexpensive way to have fun!

    1. Thanks! The box is always more fun than what comes in it.

  3. Such a great idea, my daughter (being a little train crazy) would love this!

    1. Thanks! It's a fun one for those train-obsessed kids.

  4. That is such a great idea! Loving it! #pintorials

  5. Fun idea! Thanks for sharing via Mommy Monday

  6. What a cute idea! I love repurposing items to make children's toys. Pinning this for future reference when my daughter is a little older. Stopping by from Mommy Monday Blog hop!

    1. Thanks! My son loved trains, and those tables can get so expensive.

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