A guestpost from a fellow wooden train passionate: snowingindoors.com
As soon as my daughter turned 4 and my son started taking in interest in any vehicle with wheels (about 22 months) I decided it was time to start investing in some wooden train track and trains.
I think wooden train sets are a wonderful toy, they look beautiful and timeless, aren’t gender specific, are really sturdy and can be used in any number of ways.
My son loves to drive the trains around the dinner table so he can see the wheels turning at his eye height. He also likes to sit inside a circular track and drive trains through a tunnel and over a bridge repeatedly while my daughter loves to build intricate tracks, with points, level crossings, stations, sheds and bridges.
I love watching the kiddos playing with the same toy in different styles. Playing together but so differently with the same toy. I can’t think of many toys that allow that.
Train sets are also great for imaginative play. My 4 year old loves to set up other toys around the train and have them all interact with each other. Sometimes watching her play is like watching Andy from Toy Story! My son’s imagination stretches to train crashes and disasters at the moment but I imagine (hope!) that will change over time.
The other reason I love our train set is because you can buy one new item and have it refresh the whole game. A new train can turn your set from an old fashioned steam train chugging through a village in England, to a bullet train zooming through Tokyo or a passenger train puffing through the Wild West, past Native American Indians and cowboys.
Train tracks are so simple to construct. My son at nearly 2 likes to get a tunnel with straight track either side and just drive his trains through and I don’t think it’ll be long until he’s as adept at track building as his sister.
My two are very good at ‘losing bits’ from games, the nice thing about wooden train track is large enough that even if it is misplaced it is quickly found again and a train is big enough to notice before you accidentally step on it barefoot!
What I’ve been most impressed with is how train tracks appeal to all ages, both kids love playing trains but so do older kids, and more adults than you may realise.
For my son’s 2nd birthday we have bought him a new set, the Wild West set by Janod. It looks gorgeous and I’m as excited to see it put together as (I hope) our son will be.
I am so glad we invested in train and track for the kids, I can see our grandchildren playing with the same set their parents did all those years ago and it still looking as good in the future as it does now.