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2yo DS obsessed with his train set, normal?

(27 Posts)
YarnyStasher Thu 20-Feb-14 09:38:12

He's played with almost nothing else since Christmas. He talks about trains a lot.

This week and last he's been wanting to stay at home rather than go out because he'd rather play with his train set. I managed to get him out without a tantrum yesterday to go on a real train, buy most days there's a deal of screaming.

I've just put the train set in the cupboard for a few days because I'm fed up of the lack of living room space and a bit concerned about this obsession. We had 30 minutes of screaming from DS including him peeing on the floor and throwing his other toys around.

Does this sound normal enough for a nearly 3yo?

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 20-Feb-14 14:00:35

My DS was obsessed with his too but could usually be persuaded out. Playgroup has a train track on a table so he liked that and DGPS have the ELC Happyland one so he liked that, still does in fact.

Did you tell him before putting it away? My DC always require a great deal of prepping...

findingherfeet Thu 20-Feb-14 14:11:56

Think this seems fine, personally i'd embrace and enjoy the train obsession - go on some train journeys or just watch them somewhere (I don't care I look a bit silly my daughter loves it - ooohhh and the train signals haha)

Tempt (bribe) with train stickers etc, walk along doing choo choo noises!

It's a nice favourite toy, could be far worse! And let's be honest all sorts of things can start a tantrums at this age... Good luck

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 20-Feb-14 14:14:47

And take him to Thomasland. He'll love it smile

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 20-Feb-14 14:27:11

I have a trains obsessed DS too. It started at 2yo, and its still in full force smile

We have huge amounts of track, bridges, stations, everything you could imagine for the wooden train set. He has played with it every day since he got the basic set for his 2nd birthday.

We have sort of tried to go with it really, as he is simply obsessed. So trains have formed the basis for his learning about colours, numbers, reading, telling the time, left and right, north south east and west, simple maths etc.

The Thomas books about colours, weather etc are actually very good! I would say to embrace it. There is so much learning that he will benefit from, not just the construction and imagination and problem solving and all that which will come from putting a train track together.

Our latest buys have been the noisy fog trucks and the searchlight. I said about a year ago that we would buy no more things or the wooden train set as we had so much. And then DS decided that he would save his pocket money and birthday money to buy these fog trucks and searchlight. What can you do? smile

HappyAsEyeAm Thu 20-Feb-14 14:27:33

And Thomasland is brilliant!

JiltedJohnsJulie Thu 20-Feb-14 14:31:47

It is brilliant isn't it and you can take them for £20smile

YarnyStasher Thu 20-Feb-14 14:31:50

I did ask him if it was okay before I put the train set away and he was completely fine with it until it was all in the tub then he howled.

I've promised he can have it back on Saturday - baby steps!

We went on a train yesterday and we went to Thomas land last summer. Best theme park ever. We had a blast. Santa brought him the 100 piece Tesco set for Christmas which has been added to the track he had before along with an extra bridge and a station. It really is huge. He will watch YouTube videos of real trains too.
So I'm probably not helping the situation! He's got his cars out just now and we'll concentrate on those for a few days smile

Bettercallsaul1 Thu 20-Feb-14 16:24:24

I think it's wonderful that your two-year-old is so interested in something so constructive, OP! Presumably, he spends quite a lot of time, playing with it peacefully by himself? As others have said, it is an excellent toy for creative play and can is very educational.

I wouldn't worry at all about this being an "obsession" in a bad sense - it's just a source of huge interest and enoyment to him. Lots of little boys are really interested in one thing at this age - my son was obsessed with fire engines and every game revolved round putting out fires in some way or other! I tried to build on this central interest by reading lots of different books to him involving fire engines - fiction and non-fiction - and he lapped these up. I also bought large, floor-sized jigsaw puzzles of fire engines, which he enjoyed. He had the Playmobil fire engine set which he played with for hours on end and a sit-on fire engine and fireman's hat to do the job himself!

I really think you're lucky to have a child who's capable of this degree of concentration on an activity - so many two-year-olds haven't developed anything like that attention span!

TamerB Thu 20-Feb-14 16:32:12

Mine was like it with trains, his brother was obsessed with fire engines. They grow out of it.

pinkypie79 Thu 20-Feb-14 17:30:04

Obsession with a particular toy could be a sign he's gifted. I remember reading that obsessive interest goes hand in hand with high intelligence.

In any case it's better than 'mummy I'm bored' needing a new toy every 3 minutes! DS, also nearly 3o, likes his trains but not as passionately as yours it seems!

YarnyStasher Thu 20-Feb-14 19:48:44

Thank you, lovely MNers smile

I really appreciate all your reassurance.

Bettercallsaul1 Thu 20-Feb-14 19:53:45

I think your son sounds lovely, OP! (Makes me long to go back to that stage...)

MrsLoada Thu 20-Feb-14 20:08:25

My son at 2 was also obsessed with his wooden track even took the trains to bed with him instead of a teddy, I would always have cars and trains in my hand bag so he had something to play with. Now at 11 he will happily build trains cars planes all day long from Lego, air fix . Thomas was great when younger to help learn colours and numbers I still can remember them all now ( James the red engine is number 5)

MrsCakesPremonition Thu 20-Feb-14 20:12:52

Google "play schema", obsessions are very, very normal in small children and not an issue.

BeforeTheWorst Thu 20-Feb-14 20:15:12

My 3.3 year old DS is just the same, completely potty about trains, in particular thomas! The wooden track has been on the living room floor since Xmas day! He gets so much pleasure from it, it's so funny listening to him saying "and then there was trouble" in a voice like the narrator in thomas or "oh the indignity" in a withering voice like Gordon!

He does want someone to play with him more now than he ever did, but then just plays around you and if you try and make up a story he changes it to suit him and you end up just sat watching!

He has played with nothing else for weeks and I am quite tempted to have a bit of a clear out of his other boxes of stuff!

atthestrokeoftwelve Thu 20-Feb-14 20:18:46

I don't know what type of train set it is, but the wooden Brio ones are fantastic, very creative, building tracks, and can get quite complex for older children. We had tracks built up for several years with daily variations.
I'd say let him play!

Highlandbird Thu 20-Feb-14 20:19:24

My DS1 2.11 is the same, he also takes them to bed and the first thing he says when he wakes in the morning is that he wants to play with the train track. At nursery and playgroup that's all he wants to play with, and also at his cousins house he asks for the train track!
Before Christmas he was all about diggers and dump trucks grin

NormHonal Thu 20-Feb-14 20:20:26

BeforeTheWorst my Thomas-obsessed 2yo is forever narrating his Thomas adventures with such phrases as "wheel turn by wheel turn".

Another train-obsessed 2yo here. Not worried at all. As a PP has said, it's helped him to learn his colours and numbers.

Forago Thu 20-Feb-14 20:22:30

All of my boys were obsessed with their trains form 2-3, if not 4 and took them up to bed most nights. Most mornings is go in and find them playing with them. My 3 year old often says he wants to stay home and play with his trains instead of going to nursery or watch Thomas DVDs. He is trains able easily persuaded though if you promise him he can play with them later etc

Forago Thu 20-Feb-14 20:23:19


YarnyStasher Thu 20-Feb-14 20:24:01

I wasn't concerned until the past couple of weeks when he's been refusing to leave the house. As someone else said, he makes up endless stories and asks me to play with him (but really just wants me to watch because I always do it wrong).

He is a wonderful, happy boy and I am lucky that he will play by himself leaving me time to deal with DD.

exexpat Thu 20-Feb-14 20:26:19

DS was obsessed with trains (real and toy) from under the age of 2 until 9 or 10 - to be honest, he is still interested at age 15, but doesn't talk about them so much and has expanded his interests into other areas.

At one stage he was so obsessive that I wondered about ASD, but he is just a very bright and slightly single-minded but normal boy.

I think your DS is probably just a normal toddler.

ChinnyChinChin Thu 20-Feb-14 20:30:13

My ds1 was obsessed with dinosaurs from this age, everything was dinosaurs this and that! Now he is 3 he train thing as just started for us.

YarnyStasher Thu 20-Feb-14 20:48:24

He did like tractors. I think that was easier for me to deal with as I like tractors too. I'm less keen on trains but will have to get genned up!

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