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Circus Train

The circus is coming to town any time you want it to when your make your own Circus Train and animals.


Colored paper (preferably A4 or Letter sized paper)
Stickers, sequins, craft foam shapes and other
decorative materials
Craft sticks (optional)
Toilet paper tubes (optional)


. Prepare two sheets of same-sized paper for making the front and back panels of a train car.

*For convenience, you can just cut an A4 or Letter size paper in the middle to obtain two equal-sized sheets.

 2. The train car also doubles as the animal's cage, which would need bars to keep the animal contained. Take the first sheet of paper and fold it about ¾ of an inch from one short side.

 3. Continue folding the paper accordion-style (back and forth folding).

 4. Cut out the excess paper after the last fold. Inset photo shows an accordion-style fold when unfolded.

 5. While keeping the paper folded, draw a narrow rectangle on the top layer of the accordion. One long side of the rectangle should coincide with the paper's folded edge. This area marks the slots or spaces in between the bars of the train car. Carefully cut out this rectangular area.

 6. Unfold the paper to reveal the front part of the train car/cage.

 7. Assemble the train car by gluing the two sheets of paper along the bottom and sides. The top edge should not be glued to create a slot or opening for placing an animal into the train car.

*Notice that if you trim off the excess length of paper in Step 4, the front part of the train car will be shorter than the back. If you wish to, you can trim off the excess length along the sides.

 8. Cut out a pair of black paper circles for the wheels. You may cut out another pair of light-colored circles for the inner part of the wheels. Glue these at the bottom portion of the train car.

 9. Decorate the train car with whatever materials you have. Sequins, glitter glue, craft foam shapes, stickers, rhinestones, ribbons, and puffy paint, are some materials that can transform the car into a festive and glitzy circus train. Drawing or painting on patterns and designs are also great ways to jazz up the train car.

 10. When you're happy with the design of your train car, set it aside to dry.
 11. Draw and cut out a circus animal. To make sure that the animal fits into the train car, draw on paper that is roughly the same size as that of the train car. Place the animal inside the car through the opening on top.

*If you are keen on using printable animal templates, you can print out any of these animal sets:

Jungle and rainforest animals - tiger and monkey
Safari animals - lion and elephant
Circus animals

 12. Make additional cars and animals to join the circus train. This craft can be a great collaborative craft project for kids. Each child can concentrate on making an individual train car and later connect their cars into a long train. Using different colors of paper for the front and back panels of the train car can give it a nice color contrast.

 13. And of course, a train isn't complete without an engine. Follow the basic steps for making one from our Animal Train craft (see Steps 6-8).

You can make the train engine plain and basic or transform it into a flamboyant circus train by decorating it with glitter, sequins, rhinestones and stickers.

 14. Add circus characters or more circus animals to ride on the train engine if you like. You can draw them or print them out from these circus printable templates.

 15. Connect the train cars by taping or gluing craft sticks or strips of construction paper at the back of the cars.

 16.That's it, enjoy your awesome circus train! The slots on the train cars, including the train engine mean that you can remove and rearrange the animals and the circus characters.

This craft is reprinted courtesy of FirstPalette.com where you will find lots of ideas for young crafters.

Listed under:

Cut and Paste Crafts, Early Elementary Craft, Wild Animal Crafts

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Image of Circus Train


Image of FirstPalette.com

A free resource for fun and educational kids' crafts, the site features a step-by-step guide for each craft project and includes printable templates, art recipes, and environment-friendly tips for crafting.

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