Create holiday magic this winter through this easy Christmas train invitation to play. No special materials needed!
Some links on this site are affiliate links and I may earn a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you! Learn more.
This week, we read The Polar Express and Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story. Then we built a train track around our Christmas tree. As a child, I admired the model trains some people place around their trees. This year I realized that we have plenty of wooden trains and tracks, and that we could put those around the tree. I pulled out our bin of blocks and train pieces, and the kids got to work.
Creating Our Christmas Train
All four kids worked together to create a track that went all the way around our tree. They were able to use up all but a couple pieces of track! We have one small Brio train set that I was sent to review years ago. The rest of our trains and tracks come from IKEA. The Brio set is clearly superior quality, but the much more affordable IKEA sets still work pretty well.
I have our train tracks mixed in with the wooden blocks. Soon the kids were using the wooden blocks to build houses, schools, and other structures. Most of our blocks come from this Melissa and Doug block set, but there others I found at yard sales when Emma and Johnny were small.
Four-year-old Anna and seven-year-old Lily spent HOURS playing on this train track after we built it. We put it together in the morning, and they were still playing after dinner.
I see our Christmas tree as a very special toy we get to have in the house for one month of the year. Adding the track adds another layer to my children’s enjoyment of the tree.
Unlike model trains, which are set up and stay put together, I think we will see a lot of evolution on this track and its surrounding decor between now and Christmas. Especially since we will have to use at least part of the living room rug for other things between now and December 25th.
More Train Themed Learning Fun for Kids
The Polar Express was this week’s pick for the Virtual Book Club for Kids. As always, my co-hosts came up with fun train-themed learning activities to go along with this book! I also recommend Silver Packages: An Appalachian Christmas Story as an alternate picture book to go with this theme.
Train Themed Literacy Activities
- Polar Express Train Track Letter Puzzle from Adventures of Adam
- Beginning Letter Sounds Train Ride from Rainy Day Mum
- Spell My Name On a Train from Powerful Mothering
Train Themed Math Activities
- Polar Express Jingle Bell Count from JDaniel4’s Mom
- Building a Moving Polar Express Train with Preschoolers from The Educators’ Spin On It
- Geometric Shapes Train from Mama Smiles
Sensory Train Activities
- Trains & Magnets Sensory Bin from Preschool Powol Packets
- Painting with Trains from Views from a Step Stool
- Train Cake from Mama Smiles
Active Train Activities
- Train Ride Yoga from My Storytime Corner
- Train Pretend Play Fun for Kids from Toddler Approved
THE 2016-17 VIRTUAL BOOK CLUB FOR KIDS
Click on the image above to see all of the themes, books, and activities for this year’s 2016-17 Virtual Book Club for Kids! I am updating the page as new posts go live.
Do you know of another fun train themed learning activity we should try? How about another book we need to read? Let me know in the comments. You can also share photos on my Facebook page, or tag me on Instagram.
MaryAnne lives is a craft loving educator, musician, photographer, and writer who lives in Silicon Valley with her husband Mike and their four children.
8 thoughts on “Create Holiday Magic with This Easy Christmas Train”
I love the Polar Express! Your train around your tree is perfect.
Excellent! Train is my favorite way to travel. Merry Christmas.
I love traveling by train, too. So many beautiful things to see, and no traffic to deal with. Also, you can get up and walk around!
I’m with you on loving the Christmas trains around the tree. I got the Lego Christmas train set this year, and thought about putting it around the tree, but all of my kids vetoed that idea opting to put it up and take it down from the dining room table.
This is simply wonderful!
I love how your tree serves as a centerpiece for play. We are looking forward to getting out our LEGO trains and LEGO sets this weekend and enjoying them over the break!
Train sets and Christmas trees just go together I think!
Oh, MaryAnne, I sure miss our trainset. We gave ours away (or garage sale-d it; can’t remember) when the kids stopped playing with it and we wanted to make room for other things like Lego. I wish I hadn’t – this would’ve been such a fun Christmas thing. I keep forgetting that as they get older, there is a part of my kids that is still very young and moved by the simplest playthings. Thanks for the shot of nostalgia and good memories!
Comments are closed.