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DIY Tin Can Train

Posted by Happy Active Kids on

Big boy has been under the weather all of last week so we decided to keep things simple with this week’s craft.  He did a lot of laying on the couch watching Chuggington and Thomas the tank engine so I wasn’t surprised that a train sprang to mind when we were thinking of what to make with recycled tin cans!

DIY Tin Can Train - Happy Active Kids Australia

My boys already have a couple of toy trains however they are always so proud of the toys they have crafted themselves.  This DIY tin can train has already enjoyed hours of imaginative play.

I so enjoy engaging in imaginative or pretend play with my boys, not just to spend quality time with them but to see their imagination grow.  Imagination is an important building block for learning and it is not only important in childhood, imagination is crucial for life. In a world without imagination, there would be no new discoveries, artworks or even cartoons to watch.

DIY Tin Can Train - Happy Active Kids Australia

Pretend play also encourages expressive language that would not otherwise be used by a child.  I find it a great opportunity to extend my boys’ vocabulary and language skills in a world that is their own make believe and where they have total control.  I’ve discovered that giving my shy Big boy complete control of his pretend world, his self esteem and imagination have flourished and grown.

DIY Tin Can Train - Happy Active Kids Australia

The benefits of imaginative play for young children are vast and I hope this recycled tin can train will take your little ones on many an exciting adventure!


  • 1 x tin can (we used 400g tin)
  • 1 x toilet roll
  • 4 x bottle caps
  • 1 x small cardboard box
  • Assorted plain or coloured paper


  • Cover tin can with paper and paint as desired.
  • Use Stanley knife to cut the toilet roll in half, cover with paper and paint as desired.
  • Glue the toilet roll to the tin can.
  • Cut open one side of cardboard box and insert the tin can as in picture.  Glue in place.
  • For the wheels, glue on bottle caps using hot glue gun.

DIY Tin Can Train - Happy Active Kids Australia

* This post and all associated images have been supplied by the lovely Rossa from Curious Little People.  Follow her on Instagram for more creative inspirations!

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