Railway Small WorldDuring Week 1 of #26daysofaussiepicturebooks, we created some Australian animal finger puppets inspired by some amazing picture books.
This week, our picture book craft has been inspired by the heart-warming tale of “Bob the Railway Dog” by Corinne Fenton and Andrew McLean.
This book highlights the expansion of the Australian railway system and the adventurous canine who was part of it all.

Mr Day has quite the knack for finding cool things at op shops.
Not always useful or necessary, but cool.
During one recent visit, he found the fabulous suitcase pictured above.
(You may recognise it from this wedding.)

So I decided to create a Small World in a suitcase.
A Small World provides children with open-ended opportunities for imaginative play.
Such creative play also allows for vocabulary development and sensory experiences.

The beauty of creating a Small World in a suitcase is that obviously all the play pieces are contained.
This makes packing away swift and simple.
If you don’t have a spare suitcase, send your Husband to the op shop.
Just joking- you could use a long box with a lid. Same principle.

Railway Small WorldI cut two sheets of cardboard. One to fit in the base of the suitcase and the other to sit in the lid.
We examined Andrew McLean’s beautifully illustrated landscapes within “Bob the Railway Dog.”
The Little Ladybird then painted the base cardboard. Once dried, we used Mod Podge and tissue paper to add some texture.
We created a watering hole by scrunching blue tissue paper (a Kindy teacher’s #1 trick for developing finger strength!)

We used paint and tissue paper to create the sky.
These pieces of cardboard simply slotted into the base and lid of the suitcase.
I didn’t fix them into place. This means that when railways are no longer of interest, we can slide out these sheets and create a whole new Small World within the suitcase.

The train tracks are pieces of balsa wood, glued into place with Mod Podge.
I then painted the balsa wood black.

Railway Small WorldWe added in some wood off-cuts and created trees with pipe cleaners and flowers.
Buttons and felt scraps helped to create some greenery.

Railway Small WorldWe stuck a strip of double-sided tape to the side of the suitcase and decorated with flowers.
Digging through the toy box, we chose some Duplo pieces to be a part of the Small World.
The base of the train is an Ikea toy. The engine and carriage were made with toilet paper rolls, paint and tissue paper.

Railway Small World

All aboard!

Thank you to Walker Books for providing me with a copy of “Bob the Railway Dog.”
You can read more about it here.

Thank you to Spotlight who are supporting my crafty projects during #26daysofaussiepicturebooks.
All of the products used in this project were provided free of charge.
Thank you!