As part of our transportation unit, I read Freight Train by Donald Crews. Then each student gets to make his/her own freight train. We cut out each car to the train from white construction paper and used different materials to color each car. For example, the black steam engine we mixed black tempera paint and sand and painted it. It gives it a textured finish. I just went through my art materials and used what I had for the other cars–things like shredded paper, scraps of felt, ribbon, cellophane, etc.
After reading Freight Train by Donald Crews get boxes big enough for children to sit in from the store( about 4). Let children paint each box a different color using the book as an example. Add wheels when the paint has dried with black paint. The children will thoroughly enjoy “riding” in their train at center time and taking turns being the conductor.
Go to the dollar store and buy a couple of cheap train sets. Set the trains and tracks in your art center. Have the children dip the track in paint and make prints on paper. You can also have the children dip the trains in the paint and move them along the paper.