6 Best Toy Train Sets for Kids

Best Toy Train Sets

September 25, 2019

Best Toy Train Sets

Best Toy Train Sets
Popular for generations, these are the hottest sets any kiddo would love to add to their toy collection.Best Toy Train Sets

Train sets have long been a favorite for kids of all ages, sometimes even inspiring life-long hobbyists. But while kids are small, train sets put little ones on the right track for learning.

Toddlers experience important physical and cognitive benefits from grasping and pushing trains across the floor. Handling small objects like trains and track pieces help develop fine motor skills that play a key role in day-to-day tasks. By keeping trains on course, navigating obstacles and creating imaginative scenarios, your toddler can build their problem-solving skills and foster their creative thinking.

Start with simple kid-powered wooden trains, then gradually build out the collection. From toddlers to preschoolers and beyond, kids can work their way up to more extensive sets with tracks that can be configured in different ways. Add in motorized trains, accessories and more. A timeless toy that’s been around for centuries, even a small wooden train can provide hours of fun.

All aboard! These are our favorite train sets:

The Starter Set

BRIO has been in the toy-making business since the late 1800s, designing safe, quality toys that fuel endless imaginative play. This smaller-scale track makes for a perfect first train set for any toddler. It comes with two colorful train cars that connect magnetically, a rainbow bridge, ramps and just the right amount of tracks for little engineers to navigate. Better yet, all of the wood used in this toy is traceable and originates from responsibly managed forests. This awesome starter set grows with your kiddo—simply add BRIO’s expansion pack to build out the route. And if you saved your own childhood BRIO train sets, they’ll work just as well, too.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 18 months+
Includes 18 pieces: 1 train engine, 1 rattle train car, 4 ramps, 1 tunnel, 8 curves, 2 ascending tracks and 1 connecting track

A Solid Wood Set

The youngest train enthusiasts will be totally on board with this solid wood track. The two included train cars are also solid wood and link to each other magnetically. Kids can separate the cars to scoot them around individually, too. Parents rave about the quality and durability, since it’s not always easy to find toys that stand up to wear and tear from two-year-olds. And when your little one is ready to expand, there’s a much larger set with 130 pieces, and the two sets are compatible so you can easily add them together.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 years+
Includes Engine, coal car, bridge, 20 track pieces

Build & Stack

Build. Take apart. Repeat. Introduce your toddler to Legos and trains at the same time with this interactive set featuring colorful numbered blocks, three wagons, a cat and two DUPLO people. Aside from choo-chooing around the playroom, kids can rebuild the train into a tunnel, building, house or any structure they dream up. Keep in mind, though: unlike the other trains in this guide, this one doesn’t come with a track.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 18 months+
Includes 10 numbered bricks, 2 DUPLO people figures, 1 cat figure, 3 wagon bases and other assorted bricks

For the Thomas Fans

Has your tyke demanded a hundredth repeat of Thomas & Friends episodes? We completely understand if you’re a little burnt out on the theme song, so here’s an opportunity to turn the show off for a bit and let your little Thomas fan play with the friendly engine and his whole crew in real life! While there are more budget-friendly, smaller Thomas & Friends sets out there, the Super Station gets the gold star from parents because it can grow with your child. Small circular track, medium-sized figure eight, large two-level racing ramp…there are lots of different configurations for the tracks, so it can fit nearly any space, height or creative desire. These tracks are compatible with trains from Thomas & Friends Adventures, TrackMaster, MINIS and Wooden Railways, and the set can store over 100 engines!

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 years+
Includes 4 engines: Thomas (TrackMaster), Percy (Thomas & Friends Adventures), James (MINIS) and Harold

A High-Tech Set

Want a train set with all the bells and whistles? (Yes, really, all the bells and whistles.) Look no further than this smart, customizable track from the kids’ tech experts at VTech. It teaches letters, colors, telling time, foreign language greetings (English, Spanish, German and French), sing-along songs and train-related phrases. Even more awesome: when the train is stopped at certain locations along the track, SmartPoint sensors trigger sound effects, music and sayings. The set includes 32 interchangeable pieces, so kids can customize the track to their hearts’ content.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 12 months+
Includes 32 track pieces, 1 motorized SmartPoint train, 1 cargo car and 3 AAA batteries

The Splurge

Serious train enthusiasts will want to hunker down at this big, sturdy train table all day long. KidKraft’s Waterfall Mountain set includes 120 pieces that drive your little conductor’s creativity (and trains, of course!) around the multilevel tracks. A two-piece board sets the stage for imagination, designed with colorful grass, roads and water. It even includes detailed accessories like street signs, a helicopter, people, trees and little buildings that create a city, and your tot’s favorite trains from other sets can also join in the fun. And good news, parents: there are three storage bins included below the table for easy cleanup. Keep in mind: the table is about four feet long by three feet wide, so make sure your play area has plenty of space.

Additional Specs
Child Guidelines Ages 3 years+
Includes 120 pieces, table, 3 storage bins
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