We got our first set of Brio Trains when the girls were just toddlers. Since then there has been a long love affair with trains in our house.
We’ve now got a huge selection of wooden train tracks, roads and associated accessories, and each Christmas or birthday we seem to need an even bigger box to store it all in.
Some of the Brio, Plan Toys and Thomas pieces we have are not cheap, but some are Ikea and Imaginarium pieces that are compatible and not super expensive. All in all, it has been worth all the money to get a nice big collection of trains because when they come out (and they do often) everyone (even the big kids) spend hours playing with them.
The thing about trains is that they spark imagination.
It doesn’t take long before we are off to find some animals to populate the zoo in the middle of the train track, or some cars to line up in the parking lot. Of course we need people… oh and some wooden blocks to make houses for them. Before long we have a whole city built on our lounge room floor.
Without realising it, just by playing and having fun, all three kids have been learning a heap of important skills.
They practice problem solving and maths concepts such as length, orientation and spatial awareness as they put all the tracks together, trying to join up ever more elaborate paths. Social skills such as sharing, negotiation and conflict resolution, not to mention communication skills are all being developed. Their language skills are blossoming while they take on roles and pretend to be people, trains and cars etc.
This is true open ended play and learning… and it’s wonderful to watch and be a part of. I can almost see my children’s brains growing and taking in new information before my eyes. It doesn’t even bother me that I will be stepping over and around this track for the next day or two.
Have you got some ‘Train Love’ happening in your house?
Read the comments or scroll down to add your own:
We have trains coming out of every nook too. I love them for the same reasons. Ours are all Thomas trains and tracks but when they are out everyone plays together.
Yay, my comment worked :)
Janmary, N Ireland says
We rotate the toys in our house but brought the wooden trains and track back out again last weekend. The kids are loving it all over again :)
I personally love any toys made of wood.
We too have a love affair with trains! My nearly 4 year old daughter has loved trains since she was young.
We dont have any tracks yet but she has one of those big road layout mats to play them on with her cars. :)
We have that same set, and ikea have some great parts that go with it. Might drag them out of the cupboard tommorow actually.
Miss Carly says
They are fantastic train sets. I love the wooden sets a thousand times more than the plastic one. Just like I love wooden blocks.
There is so much learning that happens during play.
Hear Mum Roar says
Yes! My three year old son and almost two year old daughter love trains.
We have a train station across the road from us, and the kids love to watch the trains go past their window.
Ooooh, Max would LOVE that train set. But with Alex just one year old, it would be a tragedy. So I’m waiting ;)
We have just begun our love affair with trains. “Toot-toot” says my 18mth old!
Train love is alive and well in our household too. We have a composite collection like yours, Ikea, Thomas and Target (no name) sets all fitting together, thankfully. My 6 y.o likes to build really long loop of track that goes around the kitchen island bench. We even link up all the trains together, making a massive freight train that has to be pulled very slowly around the big loop.