Oh toddler boys and their love for trains! Isn’t it funny how they just become obsessed with certain toys/genres? My son is absolutely in love with Thomas! Many mornings I will open his door to greet him and the first words out of his mouth will be, “Play trains with me?”
Anyhow, we were super lucky to inherit daddy’s old Brio train table, wooden trains and all. However, the only disappointing thing about this was that the Thomas trains would not fit through the tunnels or under the overhead tracks, creating toddler trauma! So, for Christmas, we decided to use all the old pieces of track, but design a new track that did fit the Thomas trains. The in-laws had very graciously purchased us some train table legs (otherwise, we would’ve crafted our own for much cheaper, but are blessed with fun Thomas table legs, which Cooper loves!).
After totaling up how many pieces of each type of track we had, I visited our local Hobby Town* to figure out a new track layout. (For example, I wrote down 15-small curved track, 10-4” straight track, etc.) The gal working there referred me to 3 different websites that helped tremendously! Squirrel Tracks, Wooden Tracks, and Wooden Railway Adventures. They have sample layouts with an itemized list of all the track pieces needed to create it. While I didn’t stick exactly with one of their layouts, it gave me the basic idea to get me going. We started putting it together Dec. 17th. We couldn’t start too early, because Cooper plays with it all the time. Here’s what we started with after purchasing a new sheet of plywood and prying the track from the original wood sheet:From here, I traced the track design so we could paint the plywood. My adorable husband did the painting and shellacking, because he didn’t want his pregnant wife around the fumes. The shellacking I COMPLETELY agree with! Pee-yew! At first he mocked me for being such a perfectionist, but I explained, if we’re gonna do something, we might as well do it right!
He did, check it out: While this was cheaper than purchasing an entire set, train tracks and accessories are not cheap! We purchased the railroad crossing, the tunnel (which was worth every penny, Cooper is in love with it!), extra track pieces, and a new Thomas train (shown wrapped from Santa). It’s definitely a hit. So, my little “life lesson” from this? DIY people! Do It Yourself. So much cheaper and customizable (yes, it’s a real word, I checked). Also, we kept the leftover track pieces that Cooper uses to design his own layout on the carpet. The only thing we’re still deciding is whether or not to glue down the track layout above. We haven’t yet, and it’s still in tact. We’ll see when little Allie gets old enough to want to play. By then, Cooper may be over trains, though. *Hobby Town – By the way, this is a great place to visit now and again! Our local store has a train table and play area set up in the middle of the store. It’s a great place to go if your child is in need of a little distraction to help you get through the day. He loves it!