This week’s project is an oldie but a goodie for me (as you can tell by how well loved and worn it looks in the picture). This valentine train engine is from my very first year of teaching (a group of second graders who are now college graduates. Yikes!) and it is still my favorite container for collecting valentines in the classroom.
To make a valentine train, each child needs a shoebox. Have them bring their boxes in ahead of time so that you have plenty of time to cover them. I usually get some cheap rolls of pink, white, and red wrapping paper, although bulletin board paper works well too. Wrap the boxes without the lids. Poke through the tops of the boxes, cut the paper covering the tops, and tape the paper down on the insides of the boxes so that the boxes are open on the tops. Give kids poster board wheels to glue on the bottoms of the boxes. Then give them all kinds of Valentine’s Day supplies – doilies, stickers, hearts – to decorate their train car boxes however they wish. Write their names on the sides of the boxes. When it is time to deliver valentines, line the boxes up in the shape of a train. The teacher gets to be the engine of course! Then have kids put their valentines in their friends’ train car boxes. The will love their valentine train for sure!