Play is fundamental to the overall development of children. Without it, children miss out of their overall mental development and wind up having a ‘carry-over’ when they are grown up and are supposed to be adults.
To avoid this sad reality – and help little kids develop their full potential to its maximum, play is not only important, but it is also vital.
However, not all manner of play helps kids – (particularly toddlers) develop positively towards the angle desired. Accordingly, all toys/play activity geared simply towards engaging the child so that the parents/caregivers can do something else should be avoided.
However, there is an exception that stimulates toddlers, develops their cognitive powers, enhances their appreciation of the real world they will soon be facing and provides, importantly, immense fun and a source of steady engagement for them.
Best Train Sets for Kids: Our Top 7 Picks
The review below features the best train set for toddlers available today. If you have a toddler and wish to purchase a train set for him or her, this is your chance to make an informed choice.
Read on to learn more:
- 1. LEGO DUPLO Steam Train 10874
- 2. ToysOpoly’s 56-piece real beech wood train tracks
- 3. LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train 10875
- 4. VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset
- 5. Play22 Wooden Train Set 12 PCS
- 6. Orbrium Toys 52 Pcs Deluxe Wooden Train Set
- 7. TEMI Electronic Classic Railway Train Sets
- Why Toddlers Need Train Sets
- What to Look Out for When Buying Train Sets for Toddlers
1. LEGO DUPLO Steam Train 10874
The LEGO DUPLO Steam Train 10874 is very cool. Designed with a Push & Go tech which gets it moving with a single push and a lot of bright colors, LEGO has made it easier for your toddler to interact with this one.
To make the train stop, it can be picked off the track or simply held in place. There are five colored action bricks which you can help them station at different points on the track to pause and fuel, sound the horn, change direction, turn on lights, or stop the train.
This pack is a true preschooler’s classic, considering how much they can learn from playing with it. From the animal figures to the two DUPLO figures to the simple track, the whole thing spells fun all the way.
To unlock more amazing possibilities, including a remote control function and extra routines you all could enjoy, simply download the app to your mobile device. It was designed to develop fine motor and cognitive skills among children, which is why it is very easy to put together, even for a toddler.
- Easy to set up.
- Multi-colored, making it easy to interact with for kids.
- Encourages skill and language development as well as motor and cognitive skills.
- Bluetooth Remote control and action light features.
- A mobile app that comes with a couple of routines you could try out with your toddler.
- The tracks seem a little loose when put together but this isn’t necessarily too much of a problem, since your toddler will be too busy playing to notice.
2. ToysOpoly’s 56-piece real beech wood train tracks
ToysOpoly is recognized the world over for producing quality toys that are environmentally safe and affordable at the same time. The ToysOpoly’s 56-piece real beech wood train tracks were designed to provide your child hours of fun, stimulate their minds, and help them learn through play.
The track is made from premium quality beech wood with each part efficiently connecting to the other. Each pack comes with four trains, one red bridge, a car, three destinations, an instruction manual, and a free gift box.
One of the major advantages of this track is its compatibility with other brands, cutting costs considerably as you can use the one track for multiple train brands. The aim at the end of the day is to ensure that your child develops skills while playing. You’ll be shocked by how much your child’s motor and cognitive skills will improve.
While inspiring lots of fun and creativity can come at a cost, this set is affordably priced. You could easily afford to buy an extra pack as a gift for a friend or family member. All products by ToysOpoly are tested to ensure they are safe for your child and the environment. And there’s a money-back guarantee.
- Multiple tracks for one affordable price.
- Compatible with other train brands.
- Comes with female-female and male-male adapter tracks.
- There’s a cute red bridge that’s a lot of fun to play with.
- Tracks are made of premium quality and fit efficiently together.
- Easy to set up.
- Comes with a free gift box and a money-back policy.
- Tracks aren’t always precisely cut so you may need to a bit of filing. This doesn’t happen with every set, only a select few.
- The curved split tracks come with pegs. This is different from what is advertised on the pack; thank heavens the pegs are sturdy.
3. LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train 10875
The LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train 10875 is an upgrade to the LEGO DUPLO Steam Train 10874 previously mentioned. We already know that LEGO is all about producing quality and that’s really on show with this masterpiece.
This will be perfect for kids between the ages of three and five, and it’s a great way to keep them learning new skills while playing. Each set contains two cool cargo wagons, 105 pieces, two cranes, a boat, a harbor, a café, 24 track pieces, and action bricks. Just like its predecessor, it comes with a remote control app, making it easy for kids to control the train from a tablet or phone.
The Cargo Train 10875 from LEGO is quite easy to set up, you might even want to try getting the kids in on the fun. You can easily activate the lights, movement, and sound on this train since it comes with very durable batteries. There are several other features on the track to inspire creativity in your child, including a captain figure, cargo train driver, bird figure, and a shop owner.
Note that it isn’t water-resistant so the batteries and locomotive should be kept away from water. There are no small parts which may cause choking hazards so it’s safe for kids of less than a year old.
- Really attractive colors to provide a fun experience for your toddler.
- Added features to spur creativity in your child.
- More sets can be incorporated to have a really large train track.
- There is no chance of choking since pieces aren’t too small.
- The battery contacts don’t always work too well, which can be really annoying sometimes, but this is easily fixable.
- Sometimes the train canget a bit too noisy.
- Quite costly but when you consider all you are getting, it may just be worth it at the end of the day.
4. VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station PlaysetThis playset from VTech is one of the go-to smart educational toys these days. It’s so easy to set up that your kids can even build their own track.
It is designed to be every bit of interactive as it comes with special features that make this possible. From the electronic train station to the conveyor belt hill, the bridge and tunnel, and the 32 interchangeable track pieces, the fun’s unlimited.
There are 10 SmartPoint locations to interact with SmartPoint vehicles in the set, which trigger fun phrases, sound effects, and accompanying music. Included in the set are three AAA batteries to ensure that your kids have the perfect automated experience.
A major selling point is that you can connect to other animal and smart wheel pieces from VTech for maximum play. Your child can learn how to say hello in English, Spanish, German, and French. This amazing smart educational toy can even help your kids learn how to tell the time.
- Brightly colored pieces which are really attractive to toddlers.
- The pieces are soft enough not to hurt when stepped on.
- Most of the pieces are like puzzles, so they are easy to put together.
- It’s very versatile so you can come up with your own arrangements. It just adds to the fun.
- A lot of the cars don’t move without some to push them.
- The batteries don’t last and you’d have to replace them almost every day.
- Some parts of the set are too difficult for a child to manipulate.
5. Play22 Wooden Train Set 12 PCS
If you’ve ever wondered about the perfect gift for your two-year-old, then the Play22 Wooden Train Set 12 PCS is the answer. It’s a great package for both holidays and birthdays.
It has an amazing display and wooden storage, and should help your child learn both color recognition and motor skills. It’s not just all fun; efficient learning is part of the package too.
It features wooden train cars, coaches, a tender, cargo and tanker cars, shopper car, and more. The STEM Educational Train also comes with a magnet to ensure that it doesn’t fall over. Play22 Wooden Train Set 12 PCS has been tested to ensure that satisfies all the necessary requirements.
This train set also workss with other brands so if you have any already, you can just merge them for maximum fun.
- Beautiful display.
- Teaches color identification and motor skills.
- Good quality trains and accessories.
- Simple design.
- The magnets are a great addition but don’t always work so well.
- Tracks have to be purchased separately.
- Difficult to keep on tracks.
6. Orbrium Toys 52 Pcs Deluxe Wooden Train Set
This Deluxe Wooden Train Set by Orbium Toys is really engaging for a toddler. They’ll love running the train up and down the bridge, picking up passengers, and braking at crossings.
It’s a great way to teach your child about trains and colors, and to improve their motor skills as well. There are three destinations embedded into the design and several other features to complete the 52 PCS set.
You can easily flip the village tunnel over and it becomes a wooden storage box. All the track pieces can be safely stored away here once your engineer toddler is done playing. Each piece is crafted from premium quality, durable wood, perfect for kids who like to play rough.
The Deluxe Wooden Train Set is compatible with many other brands to help you save on costs. There are five layout plans which you can try out with your kids so there’ll never be a dull moment with this one!
- The quality of the train and the tracks is top-notch.
- Several colors, which is great for learning color recognition.
- Compatible with many other brands.
- Different layout plans, which makes it versatile.
- Durable and really affordable.
- Easy to assemble.
- Meets safety requirements.
- The road crossing piece could be improved.
- Some of the track pieces don’t fit well enough. They still require a bit of filing after you get it home.
7. TEMI Electronic Classic Railway Train Sets
If you want a really practical train set for your child, then get the TEMI Electronic Classic Railway Train Sets. It comes with several accessories that make the play experience educative and lots of fun at the same time.
The set is really easy to assemble. It’s really exciting that you can come up with your own rail track design. It’s not at all rigid; it all depends on how creative you can be and what you want to achieve. The train comes with an LED light and realistic sounds. To get some real smoke, simply add around three drops of cooking oil to the smokestack.
It requires four AA batteries to work electronically which are not included but there are several amazing accessories that come with the set to make up for this.
The train and rail track pieces are made from quality materials. As we all know, TEMI is known for its quality. Additionally, the set will have passed through several safety tests to ensure that it is safe enough for your children. It is, however, advised that children under three shouldn’t play with it, in order to avoid choking hazards.
- Easy to assemble.
- Decent length, versatile rail track.
- The train goes at a decent speed.
- Really affordable and made from high quality materials.
- Real steam and LED lights.
- Realistic sounds.
- Not suitable for kids under the of age three.
- Batteries not included.
- The train doesn’t always stay on the track so well so it might need to be held in place sometimes.
Why Toddlers Need Train Sets
Train sets are not the manner of everyday ‘toy’ a child is gifted on his/her first birthday. It is thus not particularly common and as with all things that are rare, it is easy to wonder why it is important for toddlers to have such sets or why they even need it in the first place.
Here are the most important reasons why we sincerely hold that EVERY toddler needs a train set as a toy during the critical years of childhood.
A train set helps develop general cognitive ability in a toddler. From the interactions he/she has with the various objects and figurines on the set, the kid’s learning, problem-solving ability and general attention to detail are both tested and enhanced as a direct consequence of the interaction.
General intelligence is also greatly improved by the use of train sets for kids. This is achieved by the tasks that the set ensures and the efforts needed to achieve or ‘push’ those tasks if play on the set is to be achieved.
A train set also introduces a kid to the reality of the real world. In play thus, the toddler is introduced to the fact that society is segmented and actually works on the (very important) principle of division of labor. For kids who are not privileged to have such an important toy, those who have will always have a head start over them.
The introduction of a train set to a toddler’s life is also linked to direct success at school. This is so because, kids who play with a traditional train set are very eager to ‘grow up’ and ‘live like adults’. Since they can only achieve their dreams by putting effort in school and graduating with flying colors, they usually develop an added interest in their studies; efforts that normally translate to (often huge) academic success.
Finally, a train set has the unique ability to plant the rare seed of genius in a child – the seed of understanding how things are connected. This is achieved by the interconnectedness of the set and how it all works out. At a tender age thus, the child clearly understands that things are connected and will certainly start seeking for that connection even in other spheres of life. It is worth noting that it is an astute understanding of that connection that breeds what we generally understand today as ‘genius’.
What to Look Out for When Buying Train Sets for Toddlers
Before you open your wallet (or purse) and enter your credit/debit card details for a brand new train set for your toddler, it is important to understand that, there are some very important things to look out for.
- Durability: train sets for toddlers ought to be exceedingly durable if they are going to last (any reasonable amount of time), especially when it is considered that children between the ages of 1 and 4 are usually at their ‘destructive’ best.
- Ease of Assembly: it would be quite embarrassing is neither daddy nor mummy can figure out how to assemble the train set when it finally arrives. To avoid this clear embarrassment, it is smart to opt for models that can be easily assembled.
- Large play board: a train set includes various activities that take up quite some space. Accordingly, it only makes sense if the playboard is quite large and can accommodate all the play and action that is traditionally associated with the train set.
- Varying figurines: an awesome train must have varying figurines to heighten the experience of the toddler. Accordingly, models that only have a figurine or two should be avoided as they would not offer the experience level the child needs to be mentally stimulated.
- Multi-color: finally, train sets bought for kids should be multi-colored. Children love colors and the sheer number of colors a train set has is enough stimulation for many kids. As a general rule, the train set must have at least, 3 different colors.
The good thing is that, all the models referred to in this article meet the criteria set out above. Accordingly, you do not need to bother yourself with looking to see if the features we mentioned are part of the set you intend to buy.