Our girls had their first train experience...a miniature choo-choo through a state park close to Granddaddy and Emme's house...at Labor Day. Of all the things we did on that trip to Alabama, all the people we saw and food we ate, that was what they consistently talked about.
Coupled with their love of several train stories we had, and their delight at the sight of the train running through downtown, I decided to get them a train set for Christmas.
I researched and thought and shopped and debated, and I finally settled on a wooden train set, but without the train table.
I am so happy we went that route!
Our girls play with their train set probably four or five days a week. When it's not in play, all the train pieces fit in three plastic bins on our storage shelf. A big part of their fun is constructing new track configurations...no two are ever the same!
I love the problem-solving that's involved in the track set-up...making a loop to go under the bridge...figuring out what lengths and shapes of track are necessary to go around the depot. Usually, B will work on a track heading in one direction, and A goes in another. Then the trick is to make those tracks work together (which is often where Mommy comes in).
Not having the train table allows the girls to build a really big configuration. I've found that works really well for them to both play, too...one can sit "inside" a loop and drive her trains, and the other can work from the outside of the pattern.
Once the track is satisfactorily up and running, the girls sometimes like to set up scenes alongside the railroad. They might pull out their barn so the farm animals can wave to the train. :) Or sometimes we'll make a tunnel from blocks from the train to go through.
The train set has been a great investment (along with a small expansion set we got a few weeks ago). The play patterns are endless, and I can see it growing with them for a long time. Oh, and Mommy and Daddy enjoy it about as much as the girlies!
I'm linking up again today with Julia at Pontifications of a Twin Mom, for "Mama Loves". It doesn't always work this way, but I love having invested in great, classic toys that our girls love, too!