Building wooden railways with your children is a fantastic way to not only have fun, but help them get creative and put a stop to boredom. There is nothing better on a rainy day or any other time for that matter, than getting the wooden train tracks out and getting creative! Below we have some hints and tips on how to start building the ultimate wooden railways!
Sometimes the best way to get going is by buying a starter set which comes complete with enough track and accessories to get started. Building your first railway based on the sets standard design or following the instructions will give you and your child a feel for how the parts all fit together and how the train can be run up and around the tracks. Most starter sets allow you to get a bit creative by varying the layout and making changes to certain parts, so start experimenting and see if your child enjoys creating different layouts.
Start adding extra track to your set
With so many different parts of compatible track available, you can quickly and easily start adding to your existing set without having to break the bank! Acquire some more straights and bends, these often come in mini, short, medium and large so buying a variety of these pieces will help add some flexibility to the new designs you create.
Get creative with more complex track
Following on from this you can start adding switches, splits, intersections, turntables and much more! By now you and your child can start creating more realistic setups, much like the metal model railways that older children create, but in a child friendly wooden version. With all the parts able to quickly and easily slot in and out of place your child can really get creative and work out solutions to how the track can be built. It is amazing to watch just how quickly they pick up designing the new sections of railway!
Coming up with ideas
With a box full of track to hand you can either help your child to build amazing railways or leave them to it. Once the realism of the designs kicks in and your child starts playing with the trains up and down the track, you will see that they naturally want to add stations, crossings, areas for loading the trains and even combine with other toys such as cars and figures. In fact in combination with other toys the ideas can really start flowing and soon you find that you are creating major train routes and cities throughout the living room or indeed whole house!
Use objects round the house
With the flexibility of track available and the ability to use track at different levels, maybe you can find things round the house to place the track on or around to really see what the track can do. I remember the days of building bridges balanced on VHS tapes and using pillows as underground tunnels. There were even times when I would try and run my railway up the stairs and through doorways!
Enjoy the time with your child
The main thing you can achieve through building wooden railways is the time spent with your child, watching them be creative and develop new skills at such a young age, while also having fun! Many families keep their stash of wooden train track and trains for years, often through generations and it can always be brought out from under the stairs and played with in all ages of childhood. With so many bits of track, parts and trains now available, you can cost effectively buy extra bits to add to the collection every so often. It doesn’t take long to amass enough track that all kinds of layouts can be achieved and dreamt up each and every time the train set is played with!