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Talk to me about wooden railways

(20 Posts)
Kinect Sat 02-Nov-13 12:17:00

What age did your children play with wooden railways til?

What bits are essential to make the tracks fit / work?

Did they move onto different train systems?

DD had the figure of 8 track from Ikea, then we got her a big box of track pieces off ebay. Since then we've got a few of the bigger, more interesting pieces - she loves these and often plays with them with her other toys, rather than with trains on the track.

I have always struggled to make interesting circuits and get them to join up. I look at interesting track pictures and think, 'how did they manage that?'. I invariably end up with a large rounded oblong, with a 'feature' on each straight. DD is now trying to create tracks herself & I'm lost at how to help her.

We've got her a few Brio bits cheap for Xmas, but I think it needs more track bits to make it work. Don't know which bits or want to spend a fortune if she's nearing the end of her wooden train tracks playing life.

All suggestions & ideas welcome smile

DameDeepRedBetty Sat 02-Nov-13 12:21:01

We had a mixture of real Brio and cheapo Asda bits which were popular until about age 6/7. DNephew is still using a lot of it now (aged 7).

Very occasionally I'd acquire bits at carboots which turned out not to fit with the others, but at that price, not the end of the world.

exexpat Sat 02-Nov-13 12:21:21

How old is she? DS was a train obsessive, and played with his Brio (and Brio-compatible) stuff constantly from when he first got it (aged 2-ish) until he was at least six - huge complicated layouts, he was very good at making things balance out so that circuits joined up exactly, I think it was his very mathematical brain. He then moved on to more realistic-looking trains.

purplepippin Sat 02-Nov-13 12:32:24

Ds have just turned 7 and he still really enjoys playing with his. We have mainly got the bigjigs sets, they are fantastic much better then brio.

DaddyPigsMistress Sat 02-Nov-13 12:57:25

We are bigjigs fans here. They have a wooden road to that goes great with the railway.

Ds2 is 3 and plays with it all the time it used to belong to his brother who is 11 and it still All looks good.

Not sure when ds1 grew out of it he stopped about age 8 but he still loves building it all up for his brother

Kinect Sat 02-Nov-13 13:00:07

She'll be 4.5 this Xmas, it was the Xmas she was 2.5 she got the big box of track pieces.

Dh says it's the feature pieces that are all different sizes / makes - Melissa & Doug, Thomas, Brio that throw the tracks out confused

fuzzpig Sat 02-Nov-13 13:24:53

We've got lots of different brands and they all fit together. The best thing I got though was loads of unusual track pieces - things like diamond crossovers, curved turnouts, double curved turnouts, t junctions, stoppers/slopes that 'finish' a track, etc. Also bigjigs do an 'ascender/descender' and rising blocks so you can build longer bridges.

This all made my DCs' tracks much more interesting and they spend ages doing intricate layouts that take up the whole sodding room.

Also a magnetic crane and some 'liftable load' trains are good

roslet Sat 02-Nov-13 14:17:40

We got some Brio extension packs which have been great. Bigjigs make them too. We also bought extra long straight bits so that the track can extend from the lounge into other rooms, with stations in each. Unfortunately track pieces don't really have the wow factor as Christmas presents though!The record and play station are brilliant. My 5 year old still really enjoys all his Brio and its a toy that we will always keep fit visiting children / hopefully future grandchildren etc.

Kinect Sat 02-Nov-13 14:19:33

There's a couple of cranes, cargo warehouse and freight trains, stashed away for Xmas wink

We have some curved turnouts, not sure about the others. I need to get them all out & do an audit I think.

Having a drool over the BigJigs pieces. Are those crazy track pieces any good?

fuzzpig Sat 02-Nov-13 15:04:11

The crazy track was one of the few bits I didn't buy because I couldn't really see the point and they would test to the max my need for consistency blush but they might have more 'wow factor' on the day.

fuzzpig Sat 02-Nov-13 15:07:39

fuzzpig Sat 02-Nov-13 15:08:45

I need to do an audit too and remove a few broken pieces etc. Might get a bridge or maybe a double tunnel for Xmas.

Shop around though, I've found amazon to be quite pricey for this stuff.

fuzzpig Sat 02-Nov-13 15:10:24

lusting after this one

5madthings Sat 02-Nov-13 15:12:39

we have a mix of brio, tesco, ikea, bigjigs etc.

my boys build tracks that take up my whole living room. i can build a pretty good track as well. you do need variety, plenty of straights, curvrs, short and longer pieces and t junctions, y junctions, a turntable, buffers, bridges etc.

we have loads collected over the years since ds1(14) was a baby. dd our youngest is almost 3 and really into train track at mo so we will be getting more bigjigs for xmas. the one ascending track and the wiggly one that is flexible. some new trains as our battery operated ones are old and dont work.

tkmax often has stuff cheap. argos had some on offer the other day.

anyway my 11,8 and 5 yr old spend ages building track.

i always take photos of the really big layouts we make.

Kinect Sat 02-Nov-13 15:14:01

I just saw that Viaduct on the BigJigs page smile

fuzzpig Sat 02-Nov-13 15:14:43

The main reason my DCs have so much is because I really wanted some as a kid! Thankfully they love it and show no signs of getting bored with it any time soon, they are 4&6

5madthings Sat 02-Nov-13 15:18:43

we have all.those sets you have linked to fuzzy

i think its a timeless toy. we have a huge collection but its worth it imo. as i said my elder boys still build sets and it can be put away for grandkids or you can always sell it on.

ime bigjigs is good for price and quality.

FurdyCone Sat 02-Nov-13 15:27:20

The 'crazy track' went down a hit here. Also the risers and descenders. Hours of enjoyment every day for my 4yo DS. Bridges, tunnels, coal depots all adds to the creativity.

Bakingtins Sat 02-Nov-13 17:30:47

Mine are 7 and 3 and it still gets played with a lot. 7 yr old builds v elaborate tracks. The extension bits that have the male-male pieces and female-female pieces are v useful, plus some Y or V track splitters.
We have idea, brio and bigjigs bits, but would agree with others who said bigjigs is best value.

pudseypie Sat 02-Nov-13 17:49:06

Watching with interest and thinking of getting some bigjigs track for ds who will be just 2 at xmas or is that too young?

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