Animal Train

Create a train for your favorite paper animals. This is a perfect craft to make before or after a visit to the zoo. It can also be used as a fun and exciting way to introduce animal and habitat facts.
Animal train craft


  • Printable paper
  • Construction paper
  • Crayons or colored pencils
  • Glue stick
  • Scissors
  • Ruler
  • Pencil
  • Animal magazine cut-outs (optional)

Safety Tips

  • Kids 8 years and younger should use child-safe scissors.
  • Watch out for this sign Ask for an adult's help.. It means adult help is needed for the particular step.


Step 1 Animal Train 1. Draw your favorite animals or look for them in old magazines. We also have animal sets that you can print out:
Step 2 Animal Train 2. Color and cut out the animals. Skip the coloring step if you chose the colored animal sets or magazine cut-outs.
Step 3 Animal Train Ask for an adult's help.3. The train cars will basically be rectangular pouches that will allow you to slip in the animals inside. Use the largest animal to estimate the size of a train car. The car's height should at least reach above the animal's legs and the width should allow the animal to slip in and out of the car.
Step 4 Animal Train 4. Cut out the measured piece.
Step 5 Animal Train 5. Make more rectangular train cars to accommodate all your animals. You can assign 1 or 2 animals per car but take note to leave a little bit of room on one of the cars for the train engine. In this train, the engine is in the red car and the little penguin is driving.
Step 6 Animal Train 6. Cut out basic shapes from construction paper to make the parts of the train engine: 2 rectangles, 1 square, 1 triangle, and 2 circles.
Step 7 Animal Train 7. Unfold the train engine. Glue on the parts except the pair of circles.
Step 8 Animal Train 8. Fold up the train engine along the crease. Glue the pair of circles along the bottom edge to create wheels.
Step 9 Animal Train 9. Cut out more circles and glue them in pairs at the bottom edge of the rest of the train cars.
Step 10 Animal Train 10. Cut out a ½ to ¾-inch wide strip of construction paper long enough to connect all your train cars.
Step 11 Animal Train 11. Unfold the train engine again. Glue one end of the long strip just above the crease and close to the car's rear edge.
Step 12 Animal Train 12. Open up the next car and glue it along the strip, leaving about a half-inch distance from the first car.
Step 13 Animal Train 13. Glue the rest of the cars along the strip, making sure to position the strip above the crease.
Step 14 Animal Train 14. Apply glue along the sides of each train car and fold up the car along the crease. Press on the glued edges.
Step 15 Animal Train 15. Cut the excess length of paper strip at the end of the last car.
Step 16 Animal Train 16. Your train looks really good as it is but you can further decorate it if you like. You can glue on small shapes or stickers, draw designs on it, or punch out shapes like I did.
Step 17 Animal Train 17. Finally, slip in your animals inside the train cars. The great thing about having "pouched" or "slotted" cars is that most kids love to move the animals from one car to the next. You can also re-use the train or the animals for your future crafts and learning activities.
Step 18 Animal Train 18. Tape the train against the wall or create a background picture for it.

More Ideas

Animal train car with slot   Make your train a vehicle for an in-depth learning about animals. Assign one animal per car and let kids draw, cut out, or write things they learn about the animal. Slip these inside the animal's train car. You can install additional cars as kids learn about more animals. Here are some useful links to animal learning for kids:
Animal train adventure   Learn about more habitats by taking the animals for a train adventure. Make a jungle, safari or other habitat background for the train. Unload the animals from the train and find out which of them live on trees, water or behind tall grasses.