The boys and I had a fun weekend enjoying the most lovely weather outdoors as well as putting together a few impromptu projects, such as this tea box animal circus train. There's something really rewarding about creating something magical out of simple leftover pantry items, like these herbal tea boxes. And on Earth Day weekend, well I couldn't think of a better re-purpose project.
Basically we grabbed a few herbal tea boxes from the pantry and threw on some fun colorful duct tape. This helped reinforce the strength of the boxes/train cars as well as add pops of color and design. Duct tape is a little difficult to cut (super sticky) so I would suggest doing this alongside your Littles. We started with just three fun cars decorated in a simple, bright color scheme.
And then A had the brilliant idea of creating an additional car (he didn't feel like it was a true train with only three cars) that could carry his aquatic animals. On his own, he came up with the idea of using blue duct tape to line the inside of the 4th car to suggest water. He then picked the color and design of the car exterior himself. I helped him cut up the tape and he placed it on. For the wheels we cut the tops of the boxes into circles, covered them in tape and secured onto the box cars with colorful brads.
We then used neon pink lanyard, and by punching small holes in the ends of cars, attached the cars together. So now we had 4 cars but no engine. And Little O and A would have none of that.
So the next day we decided that an engine must be made. We put our heads together, found more fiber board from a couple of cereal boxes and constructed an engine, which just happened to make the perfect home for our elephant engineer. We added a few party hats to our little animal friends and a party animal circus train we had. (Little O was seriously into the whole animal party idea. He wanted to know why these animals were having a party on a train. So we spent some fun imaginative time coming up with different scenarios.)
The boys had so much fun with the train and spent quite a bit of time playing with it. And I have to confess, I think this might have sparked a cardboard/duct tape spree of sorts. The possibilities really are endless...