My son was a big fan of Thomas & Friends, and we have a large collection of the wooden railway toys. We even have a train table that someone gave us and we have enough track to fill out the table and even have some left over. But, as my kids get older, my son is less and less interested in his Thomas trains, and his sister is more and more interested. The problem has been her age. She’s two, and the traditional wooden trains are geared towards kids a bit older.
Enter the Early Engineers line from Learning Curve.
Learning Curve sent us a toy from their new line for Abby to try out and her first words when she saw it were “I want that” and so far it appears to have lived up to her expectations.
We received the Early Engineers Roundabout Station Set to review. A little about the set:
Start your child on the right track with the Early Engineers line! The Early Engineers line will captivate toddler’s imaginations and, like the classic Thomas Wooden Railway system, inspire children to create their own limitless adventure.
Roundabout Station lets little engineers pickup and deliver passengers in a fun and rewarding playset! Have Thomas stop at Maithwaite Station on his way to finish his work. After passing Maithwaite, Thomas stops at the crossing gate; make sure the tracks are clear before you lift the lever to let Thomas head off. Pick up your mail bags and pass through the station tunnel.
The Roundabout Station Set includes Tracktile, Maithwaite Station, Thomas, crossing gate, spinning cargo and two track connectors. Easily connects to the Busy Day on Sodor Set or the Rock and Roll Quarry Set…or to any Thomas Wooden Railway products.
The Early Engineers line offers young train lovers their first stop in wooden train play. Chunky vehicles, sturdy tracktiles, and simple destinations are just right for little hands. And, since Early Engineers is compatible with any Thomas Wooden Railway products, the journey continues as your toddler grows.
There were so many positive features of this toy for us. First, Abby adores Thomas, calling him “choo-choo” most of the time even though she can clearly say “Thomas The Train” – so anything Thomas is a hit around here. In addition to that, the tracks are already put together. This is a BIG DEAL for us because Abby simply does not have the ability to connect the tracks yet. Also, Thomas and all the pieces are built chunkier for little hands, making it easier for them to manipulate. The extra pieces that come with the Roundabout Set such as the crossing gate and the tree are cleverly designed to allow for younger kids to place them in the correct spots and actually get them to work correctly. Finally, because the Early Engineers line is compatible with all the Thomas Wooden Railway Products, when Abby is old enough for her brother’s trains, she can use them along with the Roundabout Station!
The only improvement I would suggest is for them to somehow find a way to eliminate the small blue pieces of track that are used to link the Early Engineer sets together. These pieces are not needed to connect to the regular Thomas Wooden Railway tracks and honestly they are going to end up lost in my house. That’s what happens to anything small she gets her hands on.
Overall this is an ideal way to introduce younger kids to the Thomas Wooden Trains, and the fact that it can be used with all the wooden trains sets is a huge bonus. You can purchase the Early Engineers sets and individual trains at ToysRUs.com and Amazon.com.
We received an Early Engineers Roundabout Station Set from Learning Curve to facilitate our review.