How To build a wooden railway for your children

If your child loves trains, a wooden train set will be the love of his or her young life. But if you’re new to wooden trains you may be wondering how to build the best layout to give them the most fun. Read these tips to get started.

train setThe best fun about BrioBigjigs and Thomas and Friends and others wooden trains is that there are no rules. There’s no right or wrong way for you and your children to build them. Just build – let their imaginations run free.  They’ll love whatever is built.

But if you do want a hand, Helena and Desmond Mullen at Squirrel Tracks Wooden Trains have some great ideas and advice.

Coming Up With Ideas

Examples on a train set box are great starting points, but sometimes half the fun of playing with trains is just hooking up track any old way – it’s a great way for a child to learn and discover! Try out all kinds of things. Sometimes your kid may want you to set up a layout, sometimes he or she may want to do it alone, and sometimes it’s fun to come up with a layout together.

Every piece of track is either straight or curved. Some track pieces, like a curved switch, are combinations of straight track and curved track. The most complex layout you can imagine is simply a combination of these basic parts.

Smart Small

Most kids get a big kick out of wooden trains. But every kid is different, so if you’re not sure then don’t make a big investment, just buy an inexpensive, basic set. A basic set usually comes with a locomotive and a couple of train cars, some track and a few scenery pieces like houses and trees.

That’s part of the beauty of wooden trains; you don’t need much to have fun, and if you like, you can always add-on later as your budget allows or your child’s interest dictates.


woodtrain tunnelFor more layout combinations and possibilities, we recommend adding-on switch tracks and additional straight and curved tracks. Adding track to a basic train set is a very economical way to maximise your child’s play possibilties.

Having extra straight and curved track on hand lets young engineers build more expansive worlds. Four curved tracks make a half of a circle. Eight can make a simple circle layout, twelve can make a basic figure eight, and so on. The more curved track you have the more loops you can have and the more your track can wiggle around between obstacles. We recommend having anywhere from twelve to twenty-four (or more) curved tracks.

And Expand For More Creative Play

We believe that Accessories and Buildings (and special track pieces like the switches or bridges) are the heart and soul of any train set. They are the launching points for endless adventures and exploration. Your child will come up with all kinds of stories and scenarios based around them and in the process will learn about, and experiment with, everything from social interactions to “city planning” to logistics.

Read the full article and more great advice, information and guides on building wooden trains at Squirrel Tracks Wooden Trains. You can also read my other tips and guides to wooden train sets. Alternatively, if your child is looking for wants another train and you’re trying decide what to get them check out the sister post to this article – the best wooden trains.


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