Buying a train set for toddlers is a good idea. Both my boys loved train sets at this age and older. However, it can be a minefield to choose one. There are dozens of different types from wooden train sets to Thomas trackmaster, from motorised sets to trains which you push along. Should you get one which they can spread out along the floor? Or maybe invest in a train table?
Discover the answers to questions with our guide to the top 10 train sets for toddlers.
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1.) Lego Duplo - My First Number Train
The lego duplo number train is the perfect size for little hands to pull along and play with. It's recommended for toddlers from 18 months.
Toddlers will love to put one of the included figures in the train driver's carriage to drive the train.
There are 10 number blocks (0 through to 9) which helps toddlers with counting. The colorful blocks are also great for teaching about colours
2.) Lego Duplo Steam Train
This is an awesome first lego duplo train set with many opportunities for interactive play.
Younger toddlers may need help putting the track together but as they get older they will be able to do it themselves. The chunky duplo pieces make it easier for little hands to build.
Little kids love to push the train. One push sets the train off around the track.
3.) Wooden Train Sets (39 Pieces)
Wooden train sets are great for older toddlers. At 2 1/2 years old my son loved his wooden train set and played with daily. He built different tracks and pushed the trains along.
The train set featured has 39 pieces and is a great starter set. It's a nice size for toddlers to begin with. However, a larger train set means you can build better and more intricate tracks so you can also check out other wooden train sets featured below.
The magnetic trains hold my son's attention and he will spend ages putting them all together in a line and pushing them around the track. It's also good to have bridges, tunnels and other accessories.
There are lots more exciting train sets aimed at toddlers that are worth checking out.
If your toddler loves Thomas and Friends they will probably love the Thomas trackmaster sets. These sets also have motorized trains which fascinate my own son but they have lots of other features too.
4.) Step 2 Deluxe Canyon Road Train and Table Set
5.) Melissa and Doug Wooden Train Set
6.) Thomas & Friends Trains & Cranes Super Tower, Motorized Train and Track Set
Standing 2.5 ft tall this is a great Thomas and friend playset.
It features characters and places from the TV show. It comes with a motorized Thomas engine, die-cast Percy engine and Harold the helicopter.
Highlights include a spinning turntable, Cranky the crane picking up and dropping cargo, and mutiple switches to send the trains whizzing down the tracks.
7.) Kidkraft Waterfall Mountain Train and Table Set
8.) Melissa and Doug Stacking Train
The Melissa and Doug stacking train is the perfect size for toddlers to play with. They can easily pull it along. The train cars can be linked together or played with separately.
The stacking blocks provide extra fun and learning. Toddlers can use them for building and stacking. They are also great for teaching colors and shapes.
Fitting the stacking blocks on the pegs helps hand and eye co-ordination. Building the stacking blocks on the train is like putting a puzzle together.
A great toy with many play opportunities.
9.) Melissa and Doug Wooden Train Cars
Magnetic trains keep toddlers occupied for hours.
They enjoy putting the trains together and then pushing them along the floor.
The Melissa and Doug set has eight wooden trains with magnetic couplings on the ends. The trains are brightly painted and include a steam engine, caboose, coal car and passenger car.
10.) Thomas & Friends Talking Thomas & Percy Train Set
The Thomas & Friends motorized train and track set is great for young kids.
The motorized Thomas and Percy engines stop to talk with each other when they meet on the track, and both have cargo cars for loading and unloading
There are interactive play opportunities. Track switches and a control panel allow little engineers to stop engines for side-by-side interactions and control which way they go.
Fun Ways to Play Train Tracks with Your Toddler
Make big tracks - The best train tracks are the biggest ones and we see how far we can stretch the train track across the floor.
Build big bridges - We try to build ramps and big bridges out of some of the pieces which is always fun for trains to go under and over. You can use wooden blocks or other toys as supports for your ramps and bridges. Although expect them to fall over now and again!
Brio Train Sets
Brio Classic Deluxe Set
It features 25 pieces with trains, wooden tracks, trees, station and a hill.
Designed for kids aged 2 plus
Brio sets a
Save Money and Buy Wooden Train Tracks in Bulk
This set featured is a great basic buy to 68 pieces of train track.
More Tips When Buying a Train Set for a Toddler
Here are some more things to look out for when buying a train set for a toddler.
How interactive is the train set - some train sets have some really interactive parts for toddlers to play with including gates to lift, cranes to work and pieces such as helicopters and airplanes to promote imaginative play. Look at the number of pieces in the train set and see what kinds of pieces there are to encourage imaginative and interactive play.
Number of track pieces - make sure that there are a good number of track pieces in the set you are buying. Many train sets will have a lot of pieces but if half of them are trees and not many of them are tracks this will limit the track configurations you can make.
Check the suggested age range of the track - some tracks are better suited to older toddlers and pre-schoolers as they may require more skill to play with the set. Having said this, sometimes the age ranges are misleading so its worth reading reviews as well to see what age children are getting the most of of the set you are buying.
Benefits of Playing with Trains and Train Sets
Believe it or not, playing with trains is not only a source of fun for toddlers and big kids, there are many educational benefits too. Here are a few:
Improves fine motor skills and hand and eye co-ordination. Using little hands to put track pieces together and pushing trains around the track increases the strength and control toddlers have in their hands. This is great for writing later on in their school life.
Develops social skills - working with another person or a team to build a train track helps build social and communication skills. It could be their first experience of working within a team.
Encourages imagination and creativity - putting together different configurations of sets, building towns around the tracks, getting the tracks to fit together in different loops can all help with creativity. Of course train sets also facilitate lots of imaginative play.
Increases vocabulary - as you build and play together with your toddler, talk to them about what you are building or what different parts of the train are called. Play while talking through scenarios. It's a great way to introduce new words and vocabulary.