Before toy race cars were speeding under kitchen tables and truck collectors lined limited-edition models neatly under their beds, wooden train sets would be the things steering your child’s imagination around the house. The old-school phenomenon is still popular today, adding a nostalgic touch to new generations of toys. From toddler-friendly trains that are ready to be played with out of the box to advanced sets that require assembling, there’s a train set for every conductor.
And aside from being one of the most classic toys you can bestow upon your little one, wooden train sets are also a fantastic learning tool. Not only will kids flex their imaginative muscles as they take their train through magical forests, big cities and tranquil countrysides, but the physical act of pushing, pulling and navigating the wheels along the track will also strengthen their fine motor skills (the ability to hold, pick up and move objects). Plus, wooden train sets are traditional in the sense that they don’t require any technology to operate, and what parent isn’t in favor of screen-free play? Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite wooden train sets to get your child’s imaginative play on track.
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1. Brio My First Railway
BRIO wooden train sets are among the OGs, so you know you’re getting an authentic gem with this pick. The My First Railway set features vividly colored pieces that are sure to catch your little one’s eye, but that’s not the only attention-grabbing feature: The train also includes reversible magnets, and a rattle wagon that makes sounds as your little one pushes and plays. A rainbow bridge, guiding ramp tracks for on- and off-rail play, and wooden railway tracks make up the rest of the set, giving your engineer-in-training the props they need to create the ultimate adventure story.
2. Play22 Wooden Train Set
When it comes to entertaining toddlers, you’re most likely on the hunt for toy sets that require minimum assembly. Play22’s wooden train set is ready for passengers out of the box. It includes three different trains, all of which are well-equipped with engines, tenders, coaches, convertible coach-hopper cars, cargo cars, magnetic cargo loads, tanker cars, magnetic tanker loads, hopper cars and cabooses. It’s also a STEM toy that will help to strengthen your little one’s color recognition and fine motor skills. Plus, clean up is made simple with a beautiful, sleek wooden display box that’s sure to fit neatly on any playroom shelf.
3. Orbrium 100-Piece Triple Loop Wooden Train Set
Once your child reaches elementary school, if they’re still interested in toy trains, level them up with Obrium’s magnificent 100-piece wood train set. This adventure in a box includes everything your child needs for imaginative play: an engine, coaches, a bridge, buildings, city vehicles (police cruiser, ambulance, cars, buses), road signs, trees and figurines. The track is also completely customizable, so your conductor-in-training can create the journey they want to experience. And if your little one’s a collector, Orbrium’s wooden train set is compatible with Thomas Wooden, Chuggington, Brio Railway System and other major brands. In other words: the adventures are endless.