Play Trains is our go to blog for train inspired play activities. We were over the moon when I heard they were releasing a book – Old Tracks, New Tricks. Written by Jessica Petersen and published by The Innovation Press, the story follows a set of train tracks who are adopted into a home ruled by bossy trains. However, “with a little creativity, the three new tracks work together to prove that you really can teach old tracks — and trains! — new tricks.”
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Old Tracks, New Tricks inspires children to think outside the book, use toys in new ways and customize their own train tracks. I introduced the story to Adam at bed time and after a few pages he was already thinking of what to do with his train track. The next morning the living room floor was covered in train track. I realised we would be making our own invention very quickly.
Luckily the book comes with its own step by step guide “How To Invent Your Own Track Tricks” along with plenty of “Track-Tivities.” Adam was captivated by the Glowing Train Set – a glow in the dark train set created using glow-in-the-dark star stickers. Over the past couple of years we have created a number of Neon Paint activities and Adam loves to play in the dark. It was time to transform our wooden train track into a Neon Train Track.
Resources Needed To Make A Neon Train Track
* Train Track – we recycled our well loved Wooden Train Set
* PVA Glue
* Long Grain Rice – we used three 1KG bags
How To Make A Neon Train Track
1. Fit your wooden train track together to fit the available space. We set ours up so it would fit inside the Tuff Spot.
2. Mix Neon Paint and PVA Glue together and paint the wooden track. We decided to create a repeating pattern of green, orange and yellow neon paint. Remember to paint the edges of the track as well as inside any groves.
3. Allow the neon paint to dry before applying another coat. Our track required four coats of neon paint.
4. I had expected this to be it but Adam decided he wanted to take the neon colours one step further. He decorated all of the neon track pieces with more neon paint. He used a mixture of splatter paint, cotton buds, straws, wooden sticks and to decorate the tracks in Rainbow Creations Neon Paint.
5. Apply a coat of Mod Podge Glue and allow to dry. This will create a smooth varnish and should make the track last longer.
7. Place the Neon Train Track on a Tuff Spot or large tray. Decorate the remaining space with Neon Rice.Use a paintbrush to sweep any stray rice that ends up on the train track.
8. Add Glow-in-the-Dark Stickers to the wooden trains.
How To Play With A Neon Train Track
Adam spent all day playing with his Neon Train Track. He has a Battery Operated Train that pulled the rest of the carriages. The neon rice and the neon train track made the Tuff Spot look colourful and vibrant.
However, the Neon Train Track came to life when the lights were turned off. Watch our Neon Train Track in action:
We switched on the UV Black Light and the neon colours became bright. Unfortunately the photographs do not do the colours justice.
Old Tracks, New Tricks has certainly brought life back into Adam’s wooden train tracks. We have inherited more tracks and I can’t wait to see what Adam decides to do with them next. You certainly can teach old tracks new tricks!
Disclaimer: We received a hardback copy of Old Tracks, New Tricks to review. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Why not pop over to The Innovation Press where you can see a free preview of the first ten pages.
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