A costume firefighter's hat and he's ready for adventure!

How to Make a Fire Engine for Kids

by Rosenya Faith

If your youngster dreams of becoming a real life hero -- rescuing everyone in need or riding around in the big, red truck -- then create a gigantic fire engine for your young champion to ride to the rescue in imaginative play. He'll take you on all kinds of wonderful adventures, all in the comfort of your home's playroom, and share an entire world of creativity and dreams. Invite his little friends over for a play date to see more heroism in one room than you can imagine.

Arrange the four extra large cardboard boxes and one large box into the fire engine shape. Each of the boxes should be large enough for your child to crawl through. Stack one extra large box on top of another to make the front of the truck. Place the large box next to the stacked box, an extra large box behind the large box and add the final extra large box to make the rear of the truck.

Cut off the adjoining sides of the boxes with a utility knife. You'll want your child to be able to crawl from the front of the truck to the rear, so remove any sides along the “tunnel” that interfere with his progression.

Draw a large rectangle on the side of the truck, on the second box from the rear, and then cut along three sides. Now your youngster has a door to get in and out of the truck. Draw one more door on the very back of the truck and cut along three sides. Cut out two large rectangle shapes from the front of the truck to make the fire engine's windshield.

Connect all of the boxes together using masking tape. You can use a different type of tape if you prefer, but make sure it can be painted.

Paint the entire truck red. If you're very quiet, you might be able to sneak in a little mommy time while the paint dries. Give the truck another paint job and let it dry.

Draw a ladder down the top, center of the truck and tires at the four bottom corners. Draw on headlights and any other decorative accessories you'd like. Paint each of these with tempera paint.

Cut a rectangle of cardboard from the leftover scraps; make it about 10 inches long by 8 inches wide. This will become the fire engine's flashing lights. Fold the cardboard in half lengthwise and divide each side of the fold into four sections. Paint two sections yellow and two of them white on each side.

Attach the lights to the top of the truck with a hot glue gun when the paint has dried. If you didn't get that mommy time, go grab a cup of coffee and a good book -- your kiddo's probably going to be busy on his firefighter adventures for a while.

Items you will need

  • Extra large cardboard boxes, 4
  • Large cardboard box, 1
  • Utility knife
  • Masking tape
  • Red paint
  • Non-toxic tempera paint


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About the Author

Rosenya Faith has been working with children since the age of 16 as a swimming instructor and dance instructor. For more than 14 years she has worked as a recreation and skill development leader, an early childhood educator and a teaching assistant, working in elementary schools and with special needs children between 4 and 11 years of age.

Photo Credits

  • Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images