Busy Little Studios
Illuminating the workings of the world for young children™

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Fun Activities!

A Quick, Easy and Fun Halloween Costume
Coloring Pages!
Busy Little Engine Videotaping Locations
Can you really make cookies with just flour, sugar and butter?
Lyrics to the songs!



A Quick, Easy and Fun Halloween Costume

In 2007, a boy named Connor told his grandfather that he wanted to be The Busy Little Engine for Halloween. Connor's grandfather Larry wrote to us asking if we knew anyone who made a Busy Little Engine costume. We have not licensed a Busy Little Engine costume, but we thought free plans for making one would be a great idea. So we asked Grampa Pig if he thought he might be able to come up with a simple, quick, inexpensive design that anyone could download for free and use. Grampa Pig loves a good challenge, and he came up with a great design that is easy and quick to make, inexpensive, sturdy, and looks great!

The materials for this costume cost less than $10 and it takes less than an hour to make!
No glue or paint is required, just cut and assemble! And the plans are FREE!

Don't be intimidated by the five-page instruction sheet - it takes longer to read it than to make the costume! We tried to explain everything as clearly as possible so you don't have to waste time trying to figure out how to get the costume to look like that!

The plans are designed to use one standard-sized sheet of black foamboard, one standard-sized sheet of red posterboard, and a few handfuls of old-fashioned brass fasteners. All these materials are readily available throughout North America at most any office supply or craft store for less than $10 total. You can easily substitute other materials you have on hand like cardboard or heavy paper if you wish.

We know a famous engine named Thomas who has a lot of fans who might also like a nice costume. These plans can be easily adapted to make Thomas. It's also very easy to adapt the plans to make an assortment of train cars (which could be useful if you have a few kids around the same age). Most craft stores have a variety of colors of foamboard so you can make a whole menagerie of train cars with the same cut-and-assemble ease!


Free Busy Little Engine Halloween costume instructions and plans thumbnail
click here for a five-page PDF
with full instructions and plans
Busy Little Engine Halloween costume pose
click here to enlarge
Busy Little Engine Halloween costume line drawing 1
click here to enlarge
Busy Little Engine Halloween costume line drawing 2
click here to enlarge
Busy Little Engine Halloween costume line drawing 3
click here to enlarge




Coloring Pages!

You can color your own Busy Little Engine! Biz doesn't have to be black and red, you can use any colors you want. There's a lot of space to draw around Biz, too. You might want to add a barn, or a city, or some animals, or crossing signs, or a tunnel, or ?

If you would like to show off your artwork to the world, just send us your drawings! Grownups can either scan the drawing and email it to us or put it in an envelope and mail it to us. If you would like to have us return the drawing after we've scanned it, just include a Self-Addressed, Stamped Envelope and we'll get it right back to you.


Busy Little Engine coloring page 1 thumbnail
click here for a full-size PDF
of this coloring page
Busy Little Engine coloring page 2 thumbnail
click here for a full-size PDF
of this coloring page




Busy Little Engine Videotaping Locations

The Busy Little Engine was filmed in Durham, North Carolina. The show also includes images from other parts of the world (including Chicago and Australia), but we pretend that it all takes place in the same area. When you're pretending you can do cool things like that!

We've mapped the Durham videotaping locations so you can see right were different parts were filmed. Click on the link below to go to a "live" Google Map where you can zoom in and view satellite photos or street maps of the locations. If you look closely enough, you might even see Biz or Pig waving!

Busy Little Engine videotaping locations on Google Maps

Click here to see a "live" Google Map of locations in Durham, North Carolina, where parts of the Busy Little Engine DVD were videotaped.



Can you really make cookies with just flour, sugar and butter?

In "The Busy Little Engine," the narrator suggests that Busy Little Engine and Pig could pretend they have a cookie factory. Since a factory needs big piles of ingredients, the narrator suggests that they take some train cars and go on an (imaginary) adventure to pick up the ingredients. They pick up flour, sugar, and butter. Can you really make cookies with just flour, sugar, and butter? Yes! Pig's grandmother makes the most delicious shortbread cookies we've ever tasted. Try them out and tell us what you think!

This recipe may be simple enough for young children to handle, but use of the oven requires supervision by a grownup.

Grandma Pig's Famous Shortbread Cookies™

3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)

1/4 cup sugar

2 cups flour

Busy Little Engine cookie recipe thumbnail
click here for a full-size
PDF of this cookie recipe


Mix the butter and sugar thoroughly in a mixing bowl. It's easiest if you take the butter out of the refrigerator and let it sit at room temperature for a little while first. After you've mixed the butter and sugar, add the flour by working it in with your hands (messy but fun!). Then, put the mixing bowl with the dough in the refrigerator and let it chill for a while so it will be easier to cut it into shapes.

Preheat the oven to 350°. While the oven is heating up, sprinkle a little flour on your work surface (a clean counter works great). You will need to put the dough on the surface to cut it into shapes and the flour will keep the dough from sticking.

Next, use a rolling pin to smoosh the dough until it is flat and is about 1/3" thick (a little thicker than an average pen or pencil). Cut the dough into fancy shapes using cookie cutters or a butter knife or even an upside-down cup or glass. Dusting the cookie cutters (or other shaping tools) with flour will help keep them from sticking to the dough.

Grandma Pig likes to make train-shaped cookies and pig-shaped cookies. A simple way to make Pig's face on a cookie is to cut out a round cookie and then draw eyes, nose, and a smile on the cookie using a toothpick or the edge of a dull knife. Small holes to represent buttons or eyes or little-bitty wheels can be easily made with the end of a straw.

Put the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake them for 20-25 minutes. Note that the tops of the cookies do not brown during baking, so don't overbake them! This recipe makes about 36 square inches of cookies (36 1" cookies, 24 1 1/2" cookies, 18 2" cookies, etc.). These are really good with a glass of milk!





Lyrics to the songs!

Busy Little Engine lyric sheet thumbnail
click here for a full-color PDF of the lyric sheet that comes with the DVD (1.2MB)


The Busy Little Engine
Words & Music by Jimmy Magoo
Words & Music © 2005 Desmond Mullen (ASCAP)


The Busy Little Engine
Wakes up in Dinkytown
Hooks up to the cars that he
     is pullin'
His happy little whistle
     makes a happy little sound
And then the Busy Little Engine
     starts a-rollin'

With a woo woo woo
And a clackity clack clack
The Busy Little Engine is
     a-comin' down the track
Me and you woo woo
Are gonna watch the wheels
     go 'round
When the Busy Little Engine
     comes to town

The Busy Little Engine
Is curious about the world
He likes using his imagination
He always learns new things
     as he's travelling around
You know he's my favorite
     mode of transportation

Chorus: With a woo woo woo...
Curiosity
Words by Desmond Mullen & Jimmy Magoo
Music by Jimmy Magoo
Words & Music © 2005 Desmond Mullen (ASCAP)


Curiosity
What could there be?
What's up ahead?
Waiting for me.
What will I learn?
What will I see?
I want to know.
Curiosity

Will we cross a bridge?
Would we see a plane?
Will there be a tunnel?
Maybe with a train?

Could there be a lake?
Will we see a boat?
Could there be a mountain?
Or a mountain goat?

Chorus: Curiosity...

Will we see a cow?
Or a fuzzy sheep?
Would they run around?
Or would they be asleep?

Could there be a goose?
Could there be a duck?
A Busy Little Engine?
Or a fire truck?

Chorus: Curiosity...
Back on the Road
Words & Music by Jimmy Magoo
Words & Music © 2005 Desmond Mullen (ASCAP)


Back on the road
Headed for my home
Back on the road
Headed for my home

We took a little ride
Across the countryside
We made a few new friends
And we're going home again

Chorus: Back on the road...

We went a long, long way
We learned a lot today
Saw what's around the bend
We'll be coming back again

Back on the road
It was fun to roam
Back on the road
Headed for my home
Back on the road
Travelling with you
Back on the road
doo doo do do do
doo doo do do do
(etc.)
 


A wooden train!  Some real trains!  A friendly pig!  Fun songs to sing!  A great story!


Send an email to info@busylittleengine.com
Or call us at 919/260-8858

Busy Little Engine and Grandma Pig's Famous Shortbread Cookies are trademarks of Squirrel Tracks / Busy Little Studios.
This website and its contents are ©2007, Squirrel Tracks / Busy Little Studios. All rights reserved.