It’s time for the Tinkerlab Creative Challenge again – remember last time it was Paper Bags and we made our knights helmet well this time it’s Egg Cartons and when in the week J found the egg cartons I had been saving and started to push them around the kitchen and announced that he was a train (we have a busy railway behind our house – so trains form a big part of our lives) what we were going to make was decided.

Tinkerlab egg carton challenge toddler train and passengers

What you need to make the Choo Choo Train and Passengers

Egg Carton (ours is a 6 egg carton but a bigger carton would make a longer train)
Sticky Tape
Cardboard Tubes
Sticky Tape
Yogurt Pots
Pink Paper
Cotton Wool
Cress (Mustard/grass) seeds

How to make the Choo Choo Train and Passengers

Toddler craft station
Craft Station set up ready to create the project

So that J could get on with this project as quickly as possible I set up everything at once (we are going through a very impatient phase at the moment and the way I have found around it is during lunch to set up the afternoon activity with everything done in advance so there is no waiting for Mummy to get the next bit done). On the table I set up the egg box which I had cut in half, a pen, the paints (primary colours and white), selection of different brushes, cardboard tubes cut for the funnels, paper cut to size to make the passenger faces and sticky tape.

Yogurt pot passengers
J's faces on his yogurt pot passengers

J quickly drew faces on the pink paper – he was insistent on 2 eyes a nose and a smile – interestingly he drew each of them upside down with the eyes at the bottom and then nose and mouth at the top but I must say I’m quite proud of them as his first faces for a project. He then helped me to stick them around some yogurt pots and put in cotton wool and sprinkle some seeds over the top to grow the hair (note to everyone – if you do this do not leave these growing anywhere your toddler can get them as you will see from our pictures our passengers are all bald as he got hold of them when they had hair and pulled it all out as soon as it appeared). J then got to his favourite part painting the tubes and boxes.

Toddler painting
J painting his train inside and out

We use poster paints (Tempura paints) and the thickness of them is great to cover the boxes and hide the label which I had forgotten to remove. Once they were decorated inside and out we put them aside to dry.

toddler craft train and passengers
J's egg carton train for the Tinkerlab Challenge with yogurt pot passengers

When dry, J and I used sticky tape to attach the funnels to the train and the added some tubes for the wheels. He then stuck the new passengers into the train and we put it on display on the window sill so the trains coming past could see our model.

Here’s just a few of the blogs that will be joining in the challenge
Glittering Muffins
Inspiration Laboratories
Kitchen Counter Chronicles
Living At The Whiteheads Zoo
Make, Do & Friend
Mama Mia’s heart2heart
Messy Kids
Rainy Day Mum
Red Ted Art
Sun Hats & Wellie Boots
Teach Preschool
The Chocolate Muffin Tree
The Educators’ Spin On It
The Golden Gleam
The Imagination Tree
Toddler Approved
Reading Confetti
Kindergarten & Preschool for Parents & Teachers
The Outlaw Mom Blog
Mommy Labs
Child Central Station
Green Owl Art
Duck Duck Octopus
Train Up a Child
Growing A Jeweled Rose
Coffee Cups and Crayons
Ready. Set. Read!
Scribble Doodle and Draw
Carrots Are Orange
JDaniel4’s Mom
Quirky Momma
A Mom With A Lesson Plan
Good Long Road

Cerys Parker

Cerys is a marine biologist, environmental educator, teacher, mum, and home educator from the UK. She loves getting creative, whether it is with simple and easy crafts and ideas, activities to make learning fun, or delicious recipes that you and your kids can cook together you'll find them all shared here on Rainy Day Mum.


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  4. I love the faces! What a great idea – I totally thought you had done a boat, too, because of your drying comment. My daughter took her egg carton boat into the bath with her and I had to explain the concept of disintegration πŸ™‚ J’s craft looks like it will last longer than ours!

  5. I love this idea. I’m teaching my son letters of the alphabet so we may make our own when we get to the letter T.

  6. My son would love this! Thanks for such a great idea!

  7. What a cool, upcycled train! I adore J’s crooked faces. Aren’t those first faces the best? Thank you so much for joining the challenge, Cerys!

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