10 Best Train Sets For Toddlers in 2020

best overall rating
  • Loads of pieces
  • Amazon’s Choice for train sets
  • Compatible with other brands
premium choice rating
  • Sturdy materials
  • Easy to build
  • Great for toddlers
great value rating
  • Colorful design
  • Compatible with other brands
  • Storage shelves included

Train sets are an excellent gift to give to toddlers. They have been enjoyed by children across a number of generations, and have excellent educational value. They can develop imaginative play skills, early understanding of construction and even numeracy skills if the child needs to count the pieces. There are many different sets available on the market currently to fit a wide variety of needs.

From wooden to plastic, and with many additional features, you are sure to find the perfect set for the toddler you are purchasing for. We suggest looking at the safety features first and then considering the developmental needs of the kid you are buying for. Looking for outdoor gifts? Try one of these amazing outdoor playsets.

We think you might like: Thomas the Train Toys.

We consulted bloggers, experts, and customer reviews to give you the top ten best train sets currently available online, as well as a quick guide to what factors you should consider before purchasing.

View the Best Train Sets for Toddler, Below.

Buyer’s Guide

When buying a train set for kids there are a few factors you should consider. The toddler you are buying for will have different requirements based on their own routines and preferences so if you are not buying for your own children we suggest speaking to the parents. Here are the main factors you should consider.

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Safety and Durability

The safeness and durability of the play set will largely depend on the materials used. For wooden sets, make sure they are sanded and that any painted pieces use child-safe wood stains. For plastic, try to get a play set that is BPA free and always make sure the plastic has been approved by federal and state regulations. Try to make sure the play set conforms to ASTM F963 and CPSIA requirements.

In terms of durability, you want a set that will be long-lasting. Wooden set toys, in general, last longer than plastic sets – so plastic train track sets are best for younger children who will likely grow out of them. Natural wood will last longer than composite wood, and customer reviews usually indicate how sturdy the pieces are.

Educational Value

Train set toys already have great educational value, but some of them have added features. For younger toddlers, it can be a great idea to get kits that include different sounds and textures to stimulate all of the child’s senses. There are also some kits that come with phonetic and numeracy skills development.

This can be in the form of decorated pieces, building structures that require counting and of course electronic sets that make sounds.

Recommended Age

Tastes can vary even between one and three-year-olds, so make sure the kit is age appropriate. Most of the plastic sets are aimed for one to two-year-olds, whilst the wooden sets are better for older toddlers. If you are buying for a very young toddler, get a kit with fewer pieces so it is easy to construct and features that make play less frustrating.

Well-weighted toddler trains and reversible magnets can make play easier. For older toddlers, you want to get starter sets that are more customizable so they encourage imaginative play.

Compatibility

Most of the wooden sets are compatible with each other. Brio trains, IKEA and Thomas wooden tracks are all compatible, and some of the smaller brands develop train track sets that are also compatible with these kits. Double-sided tracks are better as these can be flipped to make them more compatible with a variety of layouts.

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You should also make sure the toddler trains themselves are compatible with these starter sets. Plastic kits will likely not be compatible with other brands, so keep this in mind when purchasing.

Size and Storage

If you plan on keeping the play set fully built, make sure you have enough space to store and display it. If possible, try to get a small activity table to put the set on so you can move it around easier without having to take it apart. If you have less space, there are also kits that come with great storage options including reusable boxes and shelves.

Conclusion

Train sets are a timeless classic toy for keeping children entertained, and getting a high-quality play set ensures it will be used for years to come. First and foremost you should consider the safety of the deluxe set, and then afterward you will be able to find a set which will conform to the specific needs and wants of the toddler you are buying for.

The educational value of train set toys are excellent, but there are also some great extra features that can be included. Keep in mind the development needs of the toddler you are buying for to make sure you get the perfect set. We hope you find a great kit for the child you are buying for and they enjoy it for years to come!

Expert Tip

Wooden sets are a great option if you are hoping the child will be able to use the deluxe set for years. These are enjoyed not just by toddlers but by older children as well.