Monday, 12 March 2012

All Aboard the Playtime Train

Twenty three years ago I had my first born son Joe.  He was a typical little boy who loved trucks, planes, cars and trains.  Being my first baby, I enjoyed spoiling him by buying him all the latest toys.  Over the years dozens of plastic toys went by the wayside.  Fads and crazes came and went, but one type of toy endured.

A wooden train set that I purchased in the early nineties remained a favourite plaything across the years.  It was added to and expanded, then played with by each and every subsequent sibling that came after him, who has joined in chugging the little engines round the train tracks, stopping at stations, going under and over bridges and enjoying the odd derailment!

Wooden Train Sets are a perfect toy for little ones.  They are robust and sturdy and able to contend with the most boisterous of toddler activity.  Unlike a mechanical train set, there are no batteries or electronics to contend with.  The track fits together like a jigsaw puzzle which in itself is educational and fun.  Whether you go for a loop, a figure of eight or something even more elaborate, constructing the track helps improve motor skills and spatial awareness.  Once the track is in place, the scope for imaginative play is limitless. With accessories such as people, trees, buildings, bridges, tunnels, vehicles and stations, a whole wooden world can be created by your little ones.  A world ready to be enjoyed!

Our train set has grown over the years and is now loved by 3 year old Freddy.  The whole love of trains runs in our family.  My grandfather was a guardsman who told us stories about eating bacon and eggs cooked on a shovel over the fire in the engine's fire box.  My dad is a real steam train buff who remembers fondly waiting by the railway tracks hoping to catch a glimpse of The Mallard as a young child. It is no surprise that my children are train enthusiasts.   The love of trains is timeless!

One brand of wooden train set currently on the market is BigJigs which is available to buy from Wooden Toyshop.  They offer one of the most complete Wooden Railway Systems available.  It is compatible with other leading brands meaning that you can add their products to existing sets. Starter sets are a perfect introduction to wooden trains for young children.  Typically they include enough track for a simple loop or a figure of eight configuration and include a chunky train and carriages and include a few accessories to start a toddler's railway adventures!

The scope for imaginative role play increases with the more elaborate sets like the BigJigs Town and Country Train Set.  Introducing level crossings, switching track and elevated bridges, BigJigs give children plenty of opportunity to build their own setting, positioning the trees, buildings, vehicles and people around the track.  Whole stories can be invented and played out with the trains playing a central role in the town and country scenario.

My favourite wooden train set is the BigJigs Freight Train Set comprising of 130 pieces of railway landscaping.  It is intricate and will inspire hours of imaginative play.  The triple train shed, the crane, the freight and goods wagons allow the re-enactment of the comings and goings of a busy industrial area.

The BigJigs Wooden Train Sets and accessories are the perfect choice for introducing children to a traditional toy that will last for years to come.  Great quality, great value and great scope for imaginative play.

**This may be a featured post but the love of trains is all mine :)**


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