Every time we go to Ikea we pick up a new addition to Steven’s wooden train tracks. They’re inexpensive but really high quality. His wooden trains are without a doubt his most played with toys. I don’t think there has been a single day (literally) since he has had them that he hasn’t played with them. I even made a travel train case that way he can take his trains wherever he goes.
We picked up two more sets last weekend. I don’t know who was more excited, Steven or my husband! The container we store them in had just cracked, so I was happy to find this flexible basket at Ikea too. Naturally, it needed a label so off to my Silhouette I went. Five minutes later I had this train design cut out of adhesive vinyl and placed on the basket. Easy peasy.
We don’t have a train table. We’ve thought about getting one numerous times but keep deciding against it. Steven is more than happy to play with his trains on the floor. The rug in the middle of the living room is really “his” space so it isn’t a problem to have his train tracks on it all the time. He is always building and rebuilding his train with new track set ups. I love that he isn’t confined to a small area and can keep building whatever he imagines. When we have the room we’d love to make him a huge table to build on. For now the living room rug works for us. His trains and tracks just get stored in the container and placed off to the side when he is done with them.
I wrote about our experience with Ikea’s Lillabo 20 piece train set before. Since we’ve picked up more pieces since then I thought I’d write a little update. We now have two of the Lillabo 20 piece train sets, the 3 piece train set, the 12 piece train set with tunnel, the 5 piece track and bridge set, the 9 piece train rails with switch set, and the 10 piece rail set. *Note: These aren’t affiliate links, just wanted to make it easier for you to see exactly what I was talking about.* Yes, it is a lot of train tracks and pieces but when you add it all up it comes out to less than $60 for everything. Not bad for a wooden train set that gets played with for hours each and every day. I’m also thrilled that not one single piece has broken…even the plastic ones!
Steven’s grandma picks up the wooden Thomas and Friends trains when she sees them at TJMaxx. They fit perfectly on the Lillabo train tracks. The one and only problem we’ve run into is that they’re too tall to go through the red tunnel. No biggie. The Thomas and Friends trains do fit under the bridges so that’s great. He is getting some of the Thomas and Friends Trackmaster trains for Christmas so we’ll see if they fit on the wooden train tracks too.
Kim@NewlyWoodward saysDecember 13, 2014 at 8:49 pm
We really like our IKEA tracks, too. The only issue we have had is they aren’t a great fit with the other tracks we’ve received as gifts. They take a lot more work to get them together.
We do have a train table and it’s pretty amazing for us. Henry is NOT good about putting things away, and it’s nice that everything stays on the table so I’m not stepping on the trains in the middle of the night. We didn’t have the train table set up for about a week in our new space and I was tripping all over them. Now, if only your little dude can teach Henry to pick up his toys. ;)
Love the bin. Great idea to have something easy to store.
Analisa saysDecember 15, 2014 at 12:54 am
They have train tables at a few shops around town. We try to avoid them because it is just too much work to pry him away when we’re done.
The only reason he puts away his trains in because I’m the mean mom who takes them away if he doesn’t. One time my hubby walked out the front door with them because Steven just wouldn’t listen. That was all it took. Poor kid loves those trains.
Debbie saysJanuary 4, 2015 at 10:46 am
Hi Analisa, I just found your delightful blog site and read about your building of the barn adventures and thoroughly enjoyed it! Your little Henry and husband seem to be just the BEST also:-) I have a little 7 1/2 year old grandson that was obsessed with Thomas the Train from about age 2 as well, so when I read about your little engineer I chuckled! He has just this year moved on to the Lego World almost exclusively and I am so sad to say goodbye to our little train family, we had probably 6 years of nothing that wasn’t Thomas related and Papaw and I loved getting down on the floor and building incredible tracks and amassed quite a collection at our house so that he was completely prepared to build when he came to see us. Which has been very often! Lol! He is in school now and doesn’t get to spend a week at a time now with us as he used to be able to do, and as I said he has almost completely grown out of his love for track building, but I appreciated your comments about finding less expensive track pieces and accessories and little trains for little Henry’s collection! We found early on that if a piece had the name ‘Thomas’ anywhere within a foot of the piece it was quite pricey! Lol! I wanted to just share with you that we found a fantastic comparable set of add on pieces to our wooden set at Toys are Us called Imaginarium. You may have already found it, but when we discovered this brand and they had it on sale quite often for 40% or more off we were thrilled! It is a great set!
We also found some neat little tiny wooden trains at Target one Christmas that were very high quality and very inexpensive as well! Big Score!! Loving your writing and looking forward to getting to know you better through your site! Debbie in Louisiana
Analisa saysJanuary 14, 2015 at 12:07 am
Hi Debbie! You must be thinking of the lovely Kim over at Newly Woodwards. Her family’s barn is stunning isn’t it? She is so talented! We do have train obsessed little ones in common though :)
What sweet memories you’ve made with your grandson! That age can be exciting with all sorts of new interests, but it is hard to see the more childlike interests let go isn’t it? Although, every trip to the toy store includes my husband wanting to throw a ton of lego sets into the cart and asking me when our son will finally be ready for them. For now they both have a blast building all kinds of layouts with the train tracks. We’ve seen the Imaginarium sets but haven’t tried them yet. Thank you for the tip! I have spotted those trains at Target. Glad to know those work well also! When it comes to the “fun stuff” I try my best to get a deal since all the train things really can add up. Like you said, just the name Thomas can blow the budget!
I love that you and your husband are so involved with your grandson! He must feel so loved! It is my son’s luck that he was born into a family where both of his grandpas love trains. My dad finally put up his model train before we went to visit for Christmas. All my son wanted to do was watch his grandpa’s train….even with all his new Christmas presents which were all train and Thomas related. It makes me beyond happy that they have something they both love to bond over.