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How to Build a Toy Tractor

Updated February 21, 2017

Ideally, children's toys will provide entertainment and education at the same time. Building toy tractor from plastic bottles encourages children to think creatively and reuse common household items. Simple items that you would normally recycle can become a toy. The benefit of using recycled materials is that once the child is finished with the toy, it can be completely recycled.

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  1. Lay the milk jug on its side with the handle facing up. The handle portion of the jug will be the front of the tractor. Draw a square on each side of the tractor toward the back end or bottom of the milk jug. These will be windows for the tractor.

  2. Cut out the squares for the windows with a craft knife.

  3. Punch a hole on the bottom of the sides at the front and back of the milk jug for the wheels. Create an "X" shaped opening with a craft knife. Slide one dowel through each hole to create an axle for the wheels.

  4. Apply modelling cement to the bottom edges of the bottle caps and jar lids. Two caps or lids will form a wheel. The cap and lid openings will join together to create a solid wheel. Assemble the caps and lids respectively to form two lid-wheels for the rear of the tractor and two cap-wheels for the front. This will leave you with two lid-wheels for the trailer. Allow the cement to dry.

  5. Drill a 1/4-inch hole through the centre of each wheel. Slide the wheels made from jar lids onto the dowel at the rear of the tractor body. Slide the wheels made from juice caps onto the dowel at the front of the tractor body. Wrap masking tape around the ends of the dowel to prevent the wheels from slipping off.

  6. Cut a juice or detergent bottle in half lengthwise with a craft knife to create a wagon or trailer for the tractor. Punch an "X" shaped hole through the back sides of the trailer. Slide a dowel through to create a rear axle for the trailer. Slide the remaining wheels onto the dowel. Secure the wheels with masking tape.

  7. Cut a 2-inch tab out of the bottom of the milk jug. Pull it down and punch an "X" shaped hole in the end of the tab. Thread the wire through the tab.

  8. Drill a 1/4-inch hole through the juice bottle opening. Thread the wire through the holes in the opening and tie it off by wrapping the wire around a couple of times.

  9. Tip

    Add detail to the tractor by painting it with craft paints.


    Use caution when cutting with a craft knife. The blade is razor sharp.

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Things You'll Need

  • Plastic milk jug
  • Marker
  • Craft knife
  • Three 1/4-by-12-inch dowels
  • Eight plastic jar lids
  • Four plastic juice bottle caps
  • Modelling cement
  • 1/4-inch drill bit
  • Drill
  • Masking tape
  • Juice/detergent bottle

About the Author

Jonah Morrissey has been writing for print and online publications since 2000. He began his career as a staff reporter/photographer for a weekly newspaper in upstate New York. Morrissey specializes in topics related to home-and-garden projects, green living and small business. He graduated from Saint Michael's College, earning a B.A. in political science with a minor in journalism and mass communications.

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