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Home > Learning Center > Wooden Toy Train

Wooden Toy Train

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There is something uncannily appealing about trains to young kids. Something that is almost unexplainable. How many children actually ride trains or see them on a regular basis. A wooden toy train is one of the most popular toy sets for children, they are found in homes and daycares around the world and are made by many different companies such as Brio, Whittle and Maxim.

These small wooden trains have wooden tracks that can be built into a wide variety of configurations including figure eights, simple loops, and complex train yards. Birch is a popular wood though many hardwoods can be used, and many manufacturers source sustainably harvested trees that spare the environment. Wooden toys have always been popular because of their durability, ability to take abuse, and long working life. They can often be repaired with a little bit of parental supervision and help. This makes them a wise, if a bit more expensive choice.

Once the track pieces are put together the trains can be placed onto the track and connected to various cars, engines and cabooses. These are typically a single solid block of wood carved to look like a train car. This makes them especially resilient to toddler abuse, the fewer the parts, the longer it will last. The only moving parts are the wheels, which are often also made of wood and securely attached. A small magnet serves as the connection between the cars and allows the train to be extended and shortened at will. Other than magnets and wood the only other materials used are a little bit of non-toxic paint and possibly some glue.

A typical wooden toy train set can entertain and challenge a child for hours. They can absorb themselves in the construction of the track, figuring out how to make new configurations with the limited number of pieces and adapt the surround area into a train yard or country side. A potted house plant becomes a grand tree that the train can travel around, and a coffee table becomes a desert mesa complete with train robbers waiting in ambush in the cracks below. A runaway train is a wonderful time on these small train sets.

A wooden toy train does not necessarily need a track, many are designed to be pulled behind a child on a string. These trains have larger wheels and secure connections between the cars so they do not come unconnected on travels through the sandbox, playroom, or back yard. They are also durably made and are often more exquisite in their carving and embellishments. Some are so nicely crafted they can serve as a center piece on mantel, but that wouldn't be any fun for junior.

You might pay a little bit more money on quality wooden construction, many of these trains are handmade by experienced craftsmen, but your child will own a piece of history that tamed the West, and still provides the transportation for an abundance of goods and people.