I don’t think that I have met anyone who hasn’t had a train set. Whether it be an electrical or manual train, wooden or plastic. Trains aren’t just for boys either, I know a fair few little girls that would be in their element with a train and tracks. Having a train track as a child is like a right of passage; like having Lego or snakes and ladders. Every toy holds a purpose and can enhance children’s development in many different ways.
How train sets aid child development
Train sets do more for children than you may think. You may think that they are just playing (if you’ve seen my Insta then you will know that I strongly advocate learning through play), but their mind is in overdrive, here’s why.
Problem solving and logistical skills – children are learning that through trial and error they are able to build a train track that can form a continuous loop. Every aspect of life involves being able to solve problems; this can be something quite easy like noticing that your shoes are on the wrong feet to solving work related problems later in life.
Fine motor skills – if you are adding more enhance and scaffold your child’s play then fine motor skills are evident. Adding small world toys, constructional materials or animals can get little hands concentrating and manipulating objects that need extra care. If you’ve never heard of fine motor skills then they are the skills that we possess in order to do every day things. For example, we; tie our shoelaces, write and draw, use a knife and fork, and handle money.
Imagination and creativity – we use our creativity and imagination every single day, imagine how boring life would be without it (see what I did there?) Children use their imagination to put the tracks together in a variety of ways, limited by their imagination only. Just like in fine motor skills, we can throw in some small world toys and it can turn into a whole afternoon of imaginative play.
Communication and vocabulary – using descriptive commentary whilst playing with your children gives them so much more understanding of the world around them, for example; they pick up a toy – you could say “you’ve just picked up the red building block, that’s the same colour as your socks”. You get where I’m going with this.
Concepts – learning future, past and present terminology, for example: the train went around the track, the train is going around the track and the train is going to go around the track. First, second and third carriages; under/over the bridge; stop/go; fast/slow; you understand what I mean.
There are so many ways children can learn through using a train track; it isn’t just limited to what I have wrote above. Mathematics, building relationships, literacy, social development are just some more areas that can be worked on whilst using a train set.
What you adapt into the play can determine what you want your child to gain development wise.
- Add in some Lego and you have constructional skills, problem solving, imaginative skills and fine motor.
- Throw some paint into the mix for making paint tracks and you gain creativity, fine and gross motor skills, imaginative and emotional development.
- Add in some signs for the tracks and you have literacy skills
The list is limitless!
The boys couldn’t wait to get into it!
The set includes 25 pieces and is a starter train set for children on the younger side. It is aimed at 18 months plus but I feel this would be a great 1st birthday present.
The set is really easy to make and has chunky pieces suitable for small hands; the train itself is battery operated and the best thing is that it only takes one AA battery. I don’t even remember the last toy that only took one battery in our house!
The tracks, bridges and train are all very durable; Leo, Mylo and Nico have all played with them and they are still in great working condition. Even though I expected the train to break after Mylo got his hands on it.
The set came with two options of how to put the track together. Instructions were very simple to follow and we got them done in no time.
I think the Brio train set has a modern twist on the old school train sets. It’s bright and catches your eyes whilst the actual track is the classic wooden style. It looks lovely on the living room floor (that’s where all the toys usually end up isn’t it). I could play with this with the boys all afternoon, structuring play around it and scaffolding the learning.
A lot of learning can come from a train set. Is it now on your to-buy list or will you be getting yours out more often now?
Our set was sent for the purpose of this post. All opinions and images are that of my own.