Are you looking for the best train set for your preschooler? There are several different types and brands available, and it can be overwhelming to know which is the perfect one for your child. We’ve done the legwork to find the best sets for different ages, skill levels, and interests.
Our best overall choice is the Melissa & Doug Wooden Railway Set. With 100 pieces of track, several different types of trains, and plenty of accessories, this interactive set provides hours of fun. We like that it’s made of quality materials and offers lots of opportunities for creative and imaginative play. Read on to learn about some of our other favorite picks.
Related post: Top 11 Best Model Train Sets for Kids & Adults 2021
- Best Train Sets for Preschoolers in 2021
- Best Overall – Melissa & Doug Wooden Railway Set
- Best Deluxe Set – Brio World 33052 Deluxe Railway Set
- Best Budget Option – Tiny Land 39-Piece Wooden Train Set
- Best for Toddlers – VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset
- Best Train Table – KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table
- Best for STEM Skills – Lego Duplo Steam Train 10874 Remote Control Set
- Best Thomas the Train Set – Thomas & Friends Wood Busy Island Set
- Best for Building Skills Development – Magformers Sky Track
- What to Consider When Buying a Train Set for Preschoolers
- Frequently Asked Questions
Best Train Sets for Preschoolers in 2021
Best Overall – Melissa & Doug Wooden Railway Set
Our top overall preschool train set is the Melissa & Doug Wooden Railway Set. It comes with 100 pieces of track and over 30 accessories. There’s a six-piece freight train, a four-piece passenger train, and a three-piece truck set. It’s compatible with other wooden track brands. The set also contains two cranes, bridges, and a parking station for the trains.
We love this set because it’s perfect for kids who are just getting into trains and want a good foundation for their collection. With 100 pieces of track, kids have endless possibilities when it comes to building configurations. We also like that it comes with so many accessories, making playtime more imaginative. The bridges and cranes also keep the set interesting.
Best Deluxe Set – Brio World 33052 Deluxe Railway Set
Our favorite deluxe set is the Brio World Deluxe Railway Set. It comes with 87 pieces and builds quite a large set. In addition to track pieces, there are nine train pieces and a boat. There are also people, bridges, cranes, buildings, and more. Your kids will like fun features like elements that raise and lower and trains that the people figures can ride in. It’s compatible with other sets.
Brio train sets are known to be some of the most durable, well-designed train sets. This quality set is great for a child who is just getting into trains and plans to play with it for a long time, or can even be passed down through multiple kids. The many accessories and interactive features will provide your little ones hours of imaginative play.
Best Budget Option – Tiny Land 39-Piece Wooden Train Set
If you’re on a budget but still want a fun and versatile set, we like the Tiny Land Wooden Train Set. The set comes with 23 pieces of track made out of sanded beechwood. You’ll also get three trains, a bridge, and accessories. The track can be built in several configurations, and the pieces are compatible with other brands.
We love this set because it is a great value for the amount of track you get. It’s a great first train set for toddlers who are just getting into trains and need a set that is easy to build and manage. As your child grows, you can purchase expansion packs to make the track even bigger.
Best for Toddlers – VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset
Our favorite train set for toddlers is the VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Train Station Playset. It comes with 32 track pieces built in different configurations and works with other Smart Wheels track sets. The motorized train interacts with ten different SmartPoint locations, teaching concepts like counting, time, and foreign language. Other interactive features include a train station, bridge, and corkscrew tower.
We recommend this set for toddlers because it is easy to build and highly interactive. Kids will love the bright colors and the cute phrase and songs the trains sings as it makes its way around the track. Other interactive features like a hand-crank bridge, levers, and buttons to press will keep your child entertained for hours. When put together with different sets, your child can have an entire city.
Best Train Table – KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table
Our top choice for train table is the KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table. The train set comes with 120 pieces, including four wooden trains, people figures, and enough track to build a large set that covers the almost three-foot by four-foot table. There are lots of fun, interactive features like two bridges, a crane, an airport, and a turntable. The table is made to look like a city and also comes with storage bins for easy cleanup.
We think this toy set is a great addition to any bedroom or playroom. Kids will enjoy setting up a city on the table can make up exciting stories about the adventures in the town. This toy train set is designed to provide your children with hours of fun.
Best for STEM Skills – Lego Duplo Steam Train 10874 Remote Control Set
If you’re looking for a toy train set that can help develop your child’s STEM skills, we suggest the Lego Duplo Steam Train Set. It comes with 59 pieces, including tracks, a steam train and passenger train, two mini-figures, a train station, and more. There’s plenty to build, including the scenery and the track itself. Action bricks can be placed around the track, making the train perform specific actions, such as playing a song or changing direction, as it rolls over. You can purchase expansion packs to make the track layout even larger.
The steam train is one of our favorite train sets for kids because it helps to develop technology and engineering skills. The action bricks are a great introduction to coding for kids three years old and younger. The tracks can be arranged in many configurations, and the battery-powered train is simple to use, just push and go. It can also be controlled remotely with a free downloadable app.
Best Thomas the Train Set – Thomas & Friends Wood Busy Island Set
If your child loves Thomas the Train, our favorite pick is the Thomas & Friends Wood Busy Island Set. It comes with over 40 pieces, including enough track to build a circular track with bridges, lifts, and switch pieces. You’ll get five people and animal minifigures, including Sir Topham Hatt and several accessory pieces. The set includes Thomas, a cargo train, Jeremy Jet, a ferry, and more.
We like this set because it offers lots of fun features to fuel hours of exciting play. The features are unique, and it’s simple enough to be a great first set for little ones who are just getting into the Thomas series. All of the Thomas wooden train sets are made with high-quality materials and are compatible with lots of other brands. Your kids will also love the connection between their toy train and the popular series.
Best for Building Skills Development – Magformers Sky Track
If you have a little one whose main interest is construction, make sure to check out the Magformers Sky Track. The set comes with 54 pieces, including a sky train that resembles a monorail. The track can be built to make the track do some cool tricks, like a 360-degree spin and moving along a lifting track. The set is made of Magformers pieces and can be configured in multiple ways.
There’s a lot to love about this little set. Kids learn some essential engineering and physics skills as they design and redesign the train tracks to see what they can make the sky train do. Older preschoolers will enjoy the cause and effect aspect of it. This toy train set is also a long-lasting product, as many kids play with Magformers until they’re much older. We also like that building with Magformers can help with fine motor skills development.
What to Consider When Buying a Train Set for Preschoolers
One of the most important factors to consider when buying a train set is durability. Kids can be rough on toys, and train sets are no exception. Train sets can get many hours of play and are often taken apart and put back together multiple times. You’ll want something made of solid wood or quality plastics to stand up to the wear and tear your child is likely to inflict.
If you plan on buying wooden train sets, you may want to get sets that are compatible with one another. If your child is into trains and hopes to build up a collection of train tracks, they’ll all need to fit together. Most of the major brands like Brio, Hape, Imaginarium, and Thomas and Friends are compatible, but it’s always worth a quick check before buying a familiar brand.
You shouldn’t just trust what a manufacturer says, though. Some train sets will claim compatibility yet don’t fit together as nicely. In some cases, you may get tracks stuck together that are virtually impossible to get apart.
Some train sets can only be put together in one way. While kids can still get a lot out of these sets, such as building and imagination skills, other sets encourage more creativity. These sets allow your child to create a countless number of train designs. These sets develop a wider variety of skills.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why are train sets a good toy for preschoolers?
Train sets encourage the development of many skills in preschoolers. The act of building and playing with trains and tracks helps to develop fine motor skills. As kids build and rebuild their sets in different configurations, they’re working on engineering and problem-solving skills and developing their creativity. As kids play with their sets, they’ll often make up stories, building up their storytelling and imaginative skills.
What is a good age for a train set?
Kids can start playing with train sets as young as a year old. You may have to do a lot of the building, but once a child can roll a train, they’re ready for a train set. Be sure to check the age levels on sets. You can often find some that are designed for kids who are 18 months and younger.
Should I get an electric or wooden train set?
Both wooden and electric train sets have their merits. While we recommend that you purchase a train set that has the potential for creative building, your child’s preferences may be the deciding factor when it comes to wooden or electric.
Some kids enjoy physically moving a train around a track and can spend hours doing just that. Other kids are more into building the train track and then seeing the results of their work as an electric train navigates. You also have the option of getting both and some tracks have both push and electric options. Your child’s age may play a role as well, as older preschoolers tend to get more interested in electric trains.
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Last update on 2021-01-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API