Train Table for 2yo or wait until 3? — The Bump
Pre-School

Train Table for 2yo or wait until 3?

Was going to get DS a train table for Christmas b/c he's really into trains lately. Most say 3 and up due to small parts, and that's making me re-think things. He doesn't NEED one this year and it might be better to wait until we are (hopefully) in a new house next year, and by then, his little sib (due in Dec) will be a year old, too, and we won't have to worry as much about him/her trying to put pieces in his/her mouth. I'm leaning towards waiting a year, but will I actually miss the "sweet spot"? Do 3/4 year olds love train tables, too?
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Re: Train Table for 2yo or wait until 3?

  • We got DS one last year - he had just turned 2 in November.  He loved it and still plays with it a lot.  When his little friends come over who are almost 3 as well they also love it and play with it together.  I think you'll be fine whichever year you choose.  I agree with your reasoning in waiting!
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  • DS got one when he turned 3, and he loves that thing. I don't see it falling out of favor for years to come.
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  • We got DS a train table last Christmas. He was about 2.9. He LOVES it. He plays with it every day. When we don't have trains on it, he uses it for trucks.

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  • We bought it when ds1 was 2 1/2. He is 4 now and still lovs it like the first day he load eyes on it. The train tracks just get more and more complex. Many hours of play and many to come I have no doubt.
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  • Callum got one right before he turned three - it definitely gets heavy play a year later and I don't see that changing soon.  Eleanor also plays with it - but I think a 3 year old has more fun building and such.

    You could just get a small set of tracks with a train or two.  I'm actually not a fan of the pre-built tables - we just have a plain table and a bunch of track/road/buildings/trains. 

  • DS1 got his train table for his 3rd birthday. He loves it. They way he plays with it will change over the years to come.

     Personally, I do think 2 is a little early though.

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  • Does he put small parts in his mouth? DD2 hasn't in months. She probably started playing with our train table at 18 months. She seems to do everything just a bit earlier than her older sister did. My best friends boys are 2 yo and 3 yo and both love playing with our train table when they come over. I'd probably buy it now. The only con is that he won't be able to put it together by himself. (So if parts get taken apart, you'll have to help. Also, he won't be able to make his own track patterns for a while.)
    Annalise Marie 05.29.06
    Charlotte Ella 07.16.10
    Emmeline Grace 03.27.13
  • My DS got his at 2 and it was perfect for him. He was a quick study in making different setups (he also has other trains/tracks for the floor), etc and really loved it. It honestly got its most use between 2 and 3.5. He still uses it, but his interest has definitely waned as he has started liking planes, cars, games, puzzles, art, etc. more. DD uses it now at 2 and does very well with it, too. 

    I think 2 is fine, unless he still tends to put things in his mouth. 

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  • I think 2 was better.. by 3 and 4 my boys were done playing with the train table. My youngest started playing on the track as soon as he could stand.
    Boy 1 2/06 - Boy 2 12/07 - Boy 3 9/09
  • DS is 16 months and uses ours.  Ours, however, is not just for trains.  Right now we have trains on them, but we also use it to play games or play with cars.  It is more like an oversized coffee table with ledges so nothing goes over.  We got it at Pottery Barn.
    Anna Kate 10.17.2009 Alexander 6.10.2011 Baby Girl 6.2014
  • DS1 received his for his 2nd birthday.  I can say hands down, it is the best thing we have ever purchased.  It has been played with more than any other toy in our house.  We do have a lot of track/destinations/engines to keep it interesting though.

    Now that DS1 is 4 and DS2 is 2.  They both play trains (and cars - we also have the Plan City road and destinations all intertwined).  Because they are both playing and starting to make their own setups we have actually moved the train table to the basement and started putting all the tracks/road on the floor.  This way, they can make it as big as they want.   

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  • Get it now!  We got our son the Imaginarium set from TRU for about $110 on sale when he was 16 months (now 24m) and he uses it all the time.  We just set aside any of the smaller parts that were choking hazards, but almost all of the pieces (buildings, tracks, trains, etc.) are large enough that they're not choking hazards.  I actually think he would have even gotten use out of it closer to 1yr when he was cruising, because he could have pulled up on the table to play with the trains.

    I think that since it's a pricier toy and takes up a lot of space, you might as well get as much use out of it as you can! 

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