The love affair with trains is in full bloom here. Entire days have been consumed with nothing but chugging choo choos and track constructions, Little Smith barely consenting to be torn away for a snack. Initially I tried to push back for some broader interests (it seems to be bordering on obsession), but hey... it's bitterly cold out there and at least the kid has a passion.
A few weeks ago a small wooden hand painted train showed up at Little Smith's preschool. He wasted no time claiming it for his own and hoarding it all morning long. I knew we'd need to make a few trains of our own. I tried to enlist his help with the painting, but this kid wanted his trains to look more legit than his little fingers could execute. He knows what he wants that one! Still, this would be a great activity to do with your child and get them to tackle the painting, if they are willing. At least he chose the colors.
It's an easy little project, simply cut a 45 degree angle on any piece of scrap wood. We used a scrap of a redwood stair baluster, 5/4 (1-1/4" square) cut down to 8" lengths. Sand the blocks thoroughly, knocking of any sharp corners. Then get going with some paint, we used basic acrylics.
If you want the details (windows and stripes) to be more precise, masking off with tape would make for some nice straight lines. James gave me a hard time for my wobbly work here. I was going for that hand worked 'primitive' thing, totally deliberate. Totally.
Little Smith is nuts for these things. I appreciate that they are so open ended that it actually does promote multiple uses, he stacks them and balances them like blocks in addition to the expected chugging (anything to move that brain away from trains for even a few minutes!). There's a pending request for an extra long commuter rail... if these wicked temperatures don't ease up, we'll have a small fleet before the thaw. Chugga Chugga Choo Choo!