DIY Home: Train Table Redo

Train Table Redo
Have an old train table in your house that barely gets any play time? We did! So how about a redo for less than $10? Let me tell you how I did this at my house last weekend.

My son has a KidKraft train table that came with a whole set of tracks. He loved it for about a year, but recently has not played with it so much because he’d rather build his own tracks on the ground than use the pre-made set. So, I was left with this big table taking up space in his toy room for nothing. But the thing he really did like playing with was his airport sets (he has two). The airport sets are rather large, so they used to stay in the closet until requested.

Last weekend I thought about how I could create more space in my son’s toy room to leave the airport sets out (since he plays with them so much). It dawned on me that the top of the train table, while having a specific scene painted on it (see BEFORE picture), is a completely open canvas if you turn the table top over. I went to Home Depot and bought a roll of black “faux leather” contact paper for $8. I know it’s supposed to look like leather, but to me it looked like black pavement, which is exactly the backdrop I needed to create an airport.

I just took the top of the train table off, flipped it over, and covered it completely in the contact paper. Then I put the table top back on, layed down the airport runway poster that came with one of the airports, and put both airport playsets on top. It’s perfect! I think you could also use it as a race track, if you’re confident in your drawing skills (chalk would probably work). Or you could make a racetrack out of yellow Duck Tape. And the best part (besides it costing less than $10) is that it’s still totally usable as the original train table with just a simple flip of the top.

DIY Kid Craft: St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow

St Patty Day

I was trying to come up with a craft for my 4-year-old son (whose name is Patrick, coincidentally) for St. Patrick’s Day. Something that would be colorful and educational. As with most crafts I blog about, it’s easy enough for a toddler to do with minimal supervision and you may even already have all the supplies you need.

One of my favorite tricks of the trade is to use paint sample swatches from the home improvement store for crafts. The colors are beautiful and vibrant, and the paper is nice and heavyweight–great for cutting and gluing. Whenever I’m in Home Depot or Lowe’s, I pick up an assortment of these paper samples in whatever colors attract my eye.

In one of my previous blog posts (CLICK HERE TO READ), I shared my idea of always having some pre-cut 5″x7″ and 8″x10″ pieces of background paper cut and available to your kids. This way, if the create something amazing, it’s already sized for framing.

Here is your supply list:

  • Thick paper cut to 8″x10″
  • Black construction paper
  • Gold glitter glue pen
  • Paint swatch sample cards in the colors of a rainbow
  • Paper punches (I used a 1″ circle punch and 1.25″ flower punch)
  • Gluestick or glue

I cut out a pot and a leprechaun hat from black construction paper and glued them to the page first. It helped my son for me to draw the basic shape of a rainbow on the page. Then, I swiped the glue over the first arch, and he grabbed the yellow punchouts and stuck them on the paper, following the curve (great for color sorting and hand-eye coordination practice). We repeated for each color of the rainbow. He didn’t get the colors in the correct order, but that wasn’t the point–I wanted him to work on sorting colors and following directions. To make the gold coins in the pot, we used gold glitter glue sticks on top of little yellow circles cut from the paint swatch samples. Once the artwork was dry, I framed it and hung it up with my son’s other masterpieces.

Hope you and your kids enjoy this craft as much as we did!