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Should I encourage my 20 mo 's obsession with trains?

(37 Posts)
GandalfsPointyHat Tue 09-Jul-13 11:50:52


My DS (20 mo) is absolutely obsessed with trains. We have lots of Thomas TTE trains/ tracks as Ds1 enjoyed playing with it and was given loads by friends/ family. He builds track and long trails of carriages, makes only train- related sounds, knows how to find clips of steam trains on the ipad ( if he gts his hands on it, or my phone), and will watch it endlessly. He doensn't play or is intested anything else. This has been going on for about a month. I'm not sure whether I should let him be or make the trains 'dissapear' for a few days. I'm worried that this obsession is detrimentral to everything else he should/could be doing. Any advice?


Tee2072 Tue 09-Jul-13 11:53:15

Let him be.

schobe Tue 09-Jul-13 11:53:22

Is his development going ok other than this? Eg language, social communication etc?

valiumredhead Tue 09-Jul-13 11:56:05

What tee said, leave him to play- why would you take away something he loves?confused most children go through phases where they fixate on things be it cars, trains tractors,a particular story or whatever.

valiumredhead Tue 09-Jul-13 11:56:47

What else should he be doing at 20 months, seriously?grin

PipkinsPal Tue 09-Jul-13 11:59:15

My soon to be 3 year old niece was obsessed by buses. It was a nightmare taking her out into town around the 5 o'clock mark - "Auntie, bus". "Oh yes". "Auntie, bus", "Auntie, another bus". The obsession is getting less as she gets older but it helps with speech, colours (of buses). Counting (buses). It's just normal development. I don't think all boys who are obsessed with trains turn into Roy Cropper or train spotters.

GandalfsPointyHat Tue 09-Jul-13 11:59:59

Language a bit slow, doesn't say many words, but we're a biligual family and it took DS1 longer too, he is fine now at almost 4. Very cuddly and seeks cuddles, still BF blush.

Valium, I know he loves this, but it is really obsessive! He even makes train noises in his sleep! No colouring, no shape sorting, not intested in puzzles, books, cars, nothing else but trains!!!

KatoPotato Tue 09-Jul-13 12:01:16

In my experience it does tail off, DS was exactly the same, 'Cinders and Ashes!' he'd exclaim if he came off the slide too fast, and holding hands was 'coupling up'

TTTE does help with numbers, he could tell you a Thomas plus a James made Percy etc.

AnythingNotEverything Tue 09-Jul-13 12:07:51

I think this is completely normal behaviour.

My DS slept with a postman pat can at this age. He's grown up just fine.

Trains are a great hook for other things ie colours, numbers etc

valiumredhead Tue 09-Jul-13 12:17:39

But he will be shape sorting etc while playing with his track etc. Try not to worry, he's only little.

valiumredhead Tue 09-Jul-13 12:21:00

My ds was obsessed with his umbrella and red wellies at 16 months, he even went too sleep under his umbrella and wellies and pajamas-every night for monthsgrin

He fixated on Tots TV which was around at the time and I can still tell you about every episode 12 years on as wee watched it SO many times!

bassingtonffrench Tue 09-Jul-13 12:26:18

try to use it to develop his other skills e.g. puzzles etc.

NoComet Tue 09-Jul-13 12:34:16

Yes, loads of brio and other wooden track on eBay.

Building tracks and working out if they work is great fun for DCs, but it's also fun for parents.

It's also something older DCs will get out on a rainy day especially if you buy a powered train and some points,

I've had 9/10y, both girls and boys, build complicated list outs with bridges and arial sections using the struts under the coffee table.

Also lots of real preserved steam railways, cliff and mountain railways and simply ordinary trains to explore.

Doyouthinktheysaurus Tue 09-Jul-13 12:41:07

It will pass, for the moment let him be.

Ds1 (now 10) was very similar, he loved all things Thomas. We had endless amounts of wooden track and trains. When he wasn't playing trains he'd be watching Thomas on DVD or getting me to re read stories.

I used to take him to the local train station too and we'd watch the trains go by for ages. This was in the days of slam door trains so didn't often get on them but he loved watching them go through.

Sadly, it's now passed. I remember all the lovely Thomas trains but ds1 doesn't. My favourites were Skarloey and Rheneas by the waygrin

nextphase Tue 09-Jul-13 13:11:39

Embrace it!
Point out train colours, the numbers on the engines, the clock telling them when to go.
Take him on a train (this is a massive treat in our house, they are 4 and 2).

He is shape sorting - making tracks.

Might he scribble over some pictures of Thomas / trains etc? That how we encouraged coloring - printed off picutres from the web of whatever they were obsessed with at the time.

At 20 months, we had very little lanuguage. I'd sa train related stuff is good!

valiumredhead Tue 09-Jul-13 13:20:07

Yy !

AllegraLilac Wed 10-Jul-13 23:55:43

I'd encourage it! You might have a future engineer on your hands smile

Knittingnovice Thu 11-Jul-13 13:26:57

Another one saying let him be.
DS (5) still loves Thomas and all associated stuff, DD(3) is just as fascinated by it all.

DS has already planned a day in the summer holidays when he and DD can build the train track around the house (yes we have enough brio and wooden stuff to go round our downstairs twice blush)
We also do loads of trips to steam railways and getting the train into or back from town.

Thomas is great for colours, numbers, but it does annoy DS that there are no 'easy' ie phonics books that he can read.

MrsGyllenhaal Thu 11-Jul-13 14:17:16

Ohh yes definitely let him be. At 20 moths my now lovely 5 year old DS1 was obsessed with bin lorries and bins confused . He had few words except for bin, lorry, empty, more that was about it. He was just mad on bins and his favourite day was Wednesday when the bin lorry came round!

He grew out of it. I tried to see it as a positive thing but it wasn't easy when all my friends kids were playing on the slides and swing and mine was obsessively hugging the litter bin and picking up rubbish (I did discourage this by the way as it was just unhygenic!).

DS2 is now 18 months old and has a bit of an obsession with balls at the moment. He just wants every single ball he sees in shops, at the park, on the beach etc. He just is relentless and gets quite upset when he can't have that ball, even though he has 20 bloody balls of his own!

I think little obsessions and passions at this age are very normal. DS1 has grown up to be perfectly 'normal' and extremely articulate! He is completely over the bin thing so I am leaving DS2 to enjoy his balls grin .

Judez99 Thu 11-Jul-13 23:09:32

That last posting just made me laugh out loud. My 2.10yo DS is also obsessed with all things Thomas/trains-related and has been for coming up to a year now. It's completely normal. He's also however fascinated by the dustbin lorry (although he doesn't hug bins themselves) and has recently started to get into postman pat too, so I know these obsessions don't last other MNs have said, Thomas is actually quite educational, he's learnt lots about colours, numbers etc from playing/watching/reading Thomas. His current favourite is Lukesmile

sweetkitty Thu 11-Jul-13 23:24:16

I have a Thomas obsessed 3 year old, we took him to Thomasland last week, his face was just priceless he just couldn't take it all in. Hasn't stopped talking about it since. His favourite is Diesel 10 grin

He also loves bin lorries, buses, tractors, big lorries anything with wheels really

ShadowStorm Thu 11-Jul-13 23:31:06

Have you tried using his interest in trains to get him doing other stuff?

i.e. try some colouring in sheets with pictures of trains on them, board books featuring trains to get him interested in books, puzzles that involve trains.

Prozacbear Fri 12-Jul-13 10:43:35

There is a Thomasland??? Right, booking now. Seriously.

DS (2.4) is obsessed with Thomas, and trains generally. I got him a Thomas DVD and he watches it with his nose pressed against the screen. He also loves buses, vans, trucks, dustbin lorries, tractors, airplanes (as long as they have wheels) - he doesn't go to sleep with a soft toy, he sleeps with a selection of cars, and a camper van.

It's fine, it's quite nice he has a hobby. Not one we share, but ....

KatoPotato Fri 12-Jul-13 11:09:57

Knitting we have these step into reading books

They are great!

Isoscelesnorks Fri 12-Jul-13 12:13:29

I see our shrine of Thomas museum at home as an investment in DS learning

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