train set for a 2 year old? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 26 Old 06-28-2008, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Which ones are the best? I am hesitant to get one for ds as he really isn't into toys much, but i have noticed him playing w/toys lately, and we went up to the toy store today and he was in love with the thomas train set table. Of course he had no clue thomas from any other trainset, kwim? But i like the wooden ones, and would possibly be getting it used if I can find one in good shape for his birthday.

I was really wanting to get him a wagon or a tricycle, but he was not at all interested in the trike and he still may be a little young for it, i may wait til xmas for the trike.

TIA

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#2 of 26 Old 06-28-2008, 05:56 PM
 
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I really like these: http://www.woodentrain.com/Categorie...hat%20%20Could Made in the USA, all wooden, non-commercial . . . really sweet.

I built a train table for my twins when they were about 18 months old using some plans that I bought online for $10, and it turned out great! I glued down the tracks because I found that made for the most fun (it wasn't until they were about 3.5 or 4 that they got really into building their own track set ups).

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#3 of 26 Old 06-28-2008, 08:05 PM
 
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My son has the wooden Thomas train set. It is expensive to start out, getting the tracks, etc, but he loves it. And for birthdays and holidays a new train makes a great gift. I checked out the link to the trains from the pp and they are super cute, too!
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#4 of 26 Old 06-28-2008, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Yeah, I was looking at some on craigslist, I heard brio was a good quality brand I found one listed in my area for 25$ for 80 pieces, that sounds like a good price, I think i may call tomorrow too. I also heard you could mix most of the trains w/different brands too right?

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#5 of 26 Old 06-28-2008, 11:06 PM
 
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we just got his one for ds:
http://www.growingcorner.com/products/9156?pub_id=2
it's really great, it has a train, lots of other vehicles, an airport with helicopter and plane, little people, hills, a bridge... ds loves it...so much so that for a week after he got it, he would wake up at the crack of dawn begging to go down and play 'choochoo'. it's hard to see from the picture, but the red bins actually slide on a track under the table so they are great storage.

the only downsides are that we have to glue the track down as ds sometimes knocks if apart (which gets annoying fast) and that the cars sometimes 'derail' inside the tunnel and are hard to retrieve. we're contructing a little cardboard guide-wall to help keep them on track.

overall, i love this train set and so does ds (he's 20 mos, btw). it is compatible with the thomas or brio trains, but much more reasonably priced!
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#6 of 26 Old 06-28-2008, 11:16 PM
 
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Do you want something smaller to get him started with, just so you can gauge his interest at home?

I got a Melissa and Doug train on a great sale at Toys R Us for 4 bucks, normally 15 - this one:
http://www.toysrus.com/product/index...ductId=2336901

DD is 21 months and she loves to take it apart and try to put it together. And she tries to feed the pieces to the cat, for some reason. She seems to think he's not getting enough fiber -- she wants to feed him her wooden puzzle pieces and wooden blocks, too.
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#7 of 26 Old 06-29-2008, 12:08 AM
 
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We love the one from Ikea. It's around $10 for the starter set and you can add more pieces to it. It's a great set.
I also like the Whittle Shoreline brand of trains-they are family made in the USA.
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#8 of 26 Old 06-29-2008, 02:28 AM
 
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I second the recommendation for the Ikea set... I think we spent around $30 and got all sorts of trains and tracks for DD to play with. It should work with the Brio or Thomas trains if we want to get some of those when she's older.

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#9 of 26 Old 06-29-2008, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Yah the brio set i was looking at on craigslist has been sold I am liking that ikea set though, thanks for the info, that may work out for us.

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#10 of 26 Old 06-30-2008, 12:43 PM
 
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We got the geotraks. They are cool becuase they are super easy to put together. And you can keep adding components and putting it together how you like. People do amazing things with them and they are relatively unexpensive.
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#11 of 26 Old 06-30-2008, 01:28 PM
 
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my dad got dd a nice wooden set for xmas when she was 18 months and she still loves it. Its the kind of toy that really grows with kids. Heck, I still think its pretty fun.
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#12 of 26 Old 06-30-2008, 01:34 PM
 
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For my sons second birthday, he got a Brio train set. He enjoys it! - And many of the store brand train sets fit with the tracks as well if we should ever add on or someone wants to buy him extra bits - I know IKEA train set fits Brio!

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#13 of 26 Old 06-30-2008, 03:30 PM
 
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We got a BRIO train table and tons of tracks, bridges, trains, and all kinds of accessories totally free from 2 Freecyclers. We received lots of Thomas pieces including cool things like the train garage, turntable, bridges and spans, signs, and more.

If you have freecycle, I suggest putting up a request. In our case, we simply responded and lucked out. The train table is awesome and we have tons of great stuff. DS is a bit young at 17 months but he does enjoy playing with the individual pieces.

There's a glued down train set at our local B+N which he enjoys but for now he's just free playing.
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#14 of 26 Old 06-30-2008, 04:01 PM
 
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My DS is almost 31 months and has been able to ride his tricycle for about three months. So I think that would be a good idea.

I have gone back and forth on getting K a train table. I will decide yes and then decide no. He does like playing with them when he sees one, but ohmygoodness they can be expensive (Thomas). There is a brand Brio that might not be as expensive as the Thomas things. Also Imagination makes one. TRU has it and with everything, I believe it is under $150. I have also heard that some kidlets love the table and others never use it. : They prefer just setting them up on the floor. For his age a table would probably be good if you can get a great deal. Then you could resell it if/when he looses interest.

Doesn't it make you crazy when they don't play with the toys they have? I find myself lately saying a lot of "Play with your toys! That is why we bought them!" he much prefers Mommy and Daddy's things.

Oh and K has always loved his wagon. A big one would be good for you to pull him in (K is able to move his around a bit) and then a nice little one for him to use. Target has a good sized one for around $15.

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#15 of 26 Old 06-30-2008, 04:13 PM
 
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We have Brio and I highly recommend it. We started out with a small set when DS was 1. He just pushed the train down the hill. Then when he was 2 we added a bridge, tunnel, more tracks, and he could send the train along, as long as DH or I built the tracks. At 3 he could make tracks himself, or have us make really complex ones. We added the ferry boat and main train station. He is almost 4 and still plays with it. It is a toy that really grows with your child. (DD is 1.5 y and she loves it too.)

I also recommend not buying a one-configuration set, or one that can be glued down. It gets boring fast, and you miss the creativity of being able to create new and different paths.
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#16 of 26 Old 06-30-2008, 10:24 PM
 
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FYI - the IKEA set will not work with Thomas trains. The engines are too tall for the tunnels, although the tracks will work. I know this for a fact because my son had an engine with him on our trip to IKEA the other day. I'm pretty sure that means it won't work with Brio, since the Brio items I have are sized the same as my Thomas stuff.

I have all Thomas, but mine is older because I got it from my now-teenaged nephew. Before I got into it, I looked at Whittle Shoreline, but it was way too expensive for us to buy, and I find Thomas stuff all the time in free bins at garage sales or very inexpensively at thrift stores, Ebay, garage sales. I understand not wanting your child to get into labels, but for serious train fanatics, it seems like having more engines/cars is more important than having a few really nice ones. We have something ridiculous like 31 engines/cars and about a 100 pieces of track, and I haven't spent more than $50 for all of it. My son loves to make up scenes from the books or from our trips to the local historical park, so we also have collected some bridges, tunnels and destinations that help. He's REALLY into trains (it's a family affair - his Papou builds model layouts), so I've gotten good at finding deals on them, and Thomas is so darn popular that you can get it cheap or free!

Instead of gluing down the tracks, you can buy Suretrack and staple that to the board and clip the tracks in. We made our layout, marked where the clips should go, stapled them down and pressed in the tracks. When he's ready to change layouts, we pull up the tracks, and remove the stapled down clips. This way our track doesn't get damaged and can be reused.
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#17 of 26 Old 07-01-2008, 02:07 AM
 
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I have an IKEA train set. They are good for an 18 month old but I wouldn't want it to be the only train set he ever had just b/c the train cars aren't all that great. I would eventually get him some good stuff but for under $20-$30 it's a great deal to just start with and see if the kid even likes it.
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#18 of 26 Old 07-01-2008, 02:27 AM
 
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This was the set we bought for dd last winter (she was 14 months old) and she loved it. We've added to the set and she plays with it everyday. T.C. Timber is no longer in business, but it's parent company was HABA. They are Brio & Thomas compatable. All the pieces are made from non-toxic paints, hardwood maple, and made either in Germany or the U.S.

You can find deals on the internet for T.C. Timber right now because they are out of business.

http://www.kidsurplus.com/itemDetail...earch-true.asp

forgot to add, we also love Whittle trains too. They are really beautifully made.
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#19 of 26 Old 07-01-2008, 07:29 AM
 
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I just bought a second hand Thomas set for 10$. It looks like new. I don't know if he likes it yet because it's for his birthday that's coming up at the end of the month. He loves playing with it in the stores though so I'm sure it's going to be a hit.
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#20 of 26 Old 07-01-2008, 08:56 AM
 
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At 2 years old (and earlier!) our boys really got into their Brio trains. The name brand wooden trains fit together more smoothly and last longer. We got most of ours from Trains Galore; their prices and shipping are great.

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#21 of 26 Old 07-01-2008, 10:56 AM
 
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We just picked up a batch of knock-off Brio track from a thrift store and a 4 car Brio train from eBay. My son is 20 months and likes to put the track pieces together, but is often frustrated by the magnet business of the trains. In the next few months, though, I think he will like it a lot more. He's always really interested in similar train set ups when we visit older kids.

Brio is supposed to be compatable with Ikea, but I haven't checked this out.

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#22 of 26 Old 07-01-2008, 12:00 PM
 
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We got DS a starter Thomas figure-8 set when he was a little over 2yo. He loves it!
At the time, some had suggested that Brio was better because Thomas tends to be MIC, but all the Brio's that I've seen are also MIC.
Anyway, DS can name all the Thomas character names (even in a black and white coloring book... so he's not going based on color like I am!) and has favorites, etc.
This may be a good thing, or a bad thing, depending on your world-view... but before he got the train set, DS was not at all interested in the Thomas videos. Once he started playing with the trains, he got interested in the videos. Before then, he also wasn't interested in sitting still for a story more than 10 words long. After watching the videos, he started liking the Thomas story books, which have actual paragraphs on each page. He likes those stories he's seen on the video as much as those that are new to him. Now that he's familiar with the Thomas-length stories, he'll also sit still and enjoy other story books with lots of words! So, for us, the Thomas train was a gate-way to reading! Woo-hoo!

Oh - a little warning about the train sets in general, it was a light-switch-moment for us when the train set went from being beyond-frustrating to the most wonderful thing in the world! For a while, DS couldn't get the tracks to fit together or get the magnet trains to be facing the right way so that they'd stick and he'd throw some world-class fits. If that's the case, I'd keep 2-3 tracks and 2 train pieces out for your son to play with until he gets the idea. Even at nearly 3, DS doesn't do train layouts, but likes it when we do.
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#23 of 26 Old 07-01-2008, 09:08 PM
 
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cyndimo - my son was just like yours. Playing with his Thomas stuff got him interested in colors, numbers, counting, etc. and he loves the longer books because they feature his favorite characters. We also went through the magnet thing,but with Thomas, it was easy to tell him that the engines "face" forward and the cars or coaches follow because of the characters.

BTW, the Brio stuff that I have/had was MIC.

I saw this on slickdeals today and thought it was a great deal if you don't want name brand: Yukon Express 80-Piece Wooden Train Set
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#24 of 26 Old 07-01-2008, 09:18 PM
 
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DS loved the Thomas set (from a garage sale), but it now lives in the storage room in a box because he would FLIP out when the tracks got messed up or the train went off the tracks or whatever nonsense and he couldn't figure out how to fix it himself. He's a little high-strung and it totally wasn't worth the tts and subsequent confiscations when he'd lose it and start throwing the pieces in frustration. We had a little wooden set that wasn't automated or anything, but it didn't hold his interest.

I can see why a few pps mentioned gluing or fastening down the tracks- that would keep the frustration at bay for LOs until they are big enough to figure out how to place (and repair) the tracks.

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#25 of 26 Old 07-01-2008, 09:29 PM
 
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We have the Plan Toys 110 piece set and we love it. We also have some train from Whittle Shortline Railroad and they are awesome!
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#26 of 26 Old 07-01-2008, 10:27 PM
 
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Try the suretracks I linked in the previous post. They work very well even if he picks the layout up.
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