Decorating train tracks is a fun way to bring life to an old train set. We were inspired by Old Tracks, New Tricks (sent to us to review) to try out some new tricks for our tracks. We made rainbow track prints and practiced names with foil tracks. See more train track play ideas at the end, too. Affiliate links are included in the post.
Old Tracks, New Tricks by Jessica Petersen
Old Tracks, New Tricks is a delightful book that will inspire your kids to try new adventures with their trains. The story begins with Trixie, Tracky, and Tinker – train tracks who are just waiting for a chance to join a train set of their own. Things don’t go quite as they expect as the train set they join is quite boring and there are too many rules for playing. Trixie, Tracky, and Tinker convince the other tracks, and eventually the trains, to have some fun and try some new tricks. The back of the book has suggestions for how to create your own track tricks plus there are instructions for all of the track-tivities shown in the story.
Decorating Train Tracks
Rainbow Train Track Prints
Make track prints just like you would a leaf rubbing. Place a track under a sheet of paper. Rub the side of a crayon to color over the track. You will make a print of the track.
I held the paper for Lily as she colored the tracks. Six curved tracks fit perfectly on a regular piece of paper.
We talked about the colors as she used them. What is the order of a rainbow? Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple.
We did small curves, too. I like the way the larger curves turned out better. How about you?
We also tried to make a giant rainbow but it proved too difficult to hold onto the paper and keep the tracks from moving – mostly because baby brother keep pulling all of the tracks out from under the big paper. A smaller piece of paper was much more manageable for us.
We did make a fun arch print. Build a circle with the small curve pieces and the color over the top.
Foil Track Name Spelling
Lily wanted to make robots like the tracks did in the book. You simply cover a track piece in foil and color to create a robot. Lily also wanted to cover the tracks in stickers. We combined these two ideas to practice spelling her name. I helped her cover tracks in foil. Then she added the letter stickers. We talked about each letter and then practiced putting her name together.
She also had fun driving her name around on the train.
My kids (ages 7 and 3) are in love with Old Tracks, New Tricks. Every time we read it, they are inspired to create something new.
More Train Activities
- Exploring Cause and Effect with Trains – This is the perfect introduction to trains for toddlers who like to take a part the tracks. Let them explore the ramp section.
- Freight Train Counting Games – Carry freight around the track while practicing skip counting, one to one correspondence, sequencing, and more.
- Train Set Letter Play – Practice letter recognition, letter sounds, or word families by driving the letters around the train track.
- See all of our train activities here.
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