Children have been playing with toy train sets ever since their childhood. It’s one of the best ways to teach growing children how to be organized and coordinated. Train sets allow them to relax and utilize their imagination. Thus, as a parent, to help realize their vast potential and make them feel that too, you need the best train sets for toddlers.
Playing with train sets and handling the small pieces helps to develop the fine motor and coordination skills of children. By adding extra elements and complexity to the train set, you will be able to impart problem-solving skills to your child. The best kids train sets will help develop children’s physical as well as mental abilities.
To help you buy the perfect beginner train set for your little one, I have compiled this thorough and informative guide that you will need to buy a great train toy for your child.
Top Picks Train Set for Toddler
Here are the reviews of the top 15 toy train sets you can find currently. These reviews are a result of my personal evaluations.
1. Lionel Polar Express Model Train Set
The Polar Express is a breathtaking and memorable film that is a holiday-time favorite of children all over the world. If your child is a Polar Express fan, then this high-quality electric train set would be a wonderful gift for them.
One of the first things I loved about this toy train is the flexible track design. The train comes with 32 tracks, of which 24 are curved and 8 are straight. My daughter tried joining and morphing these pieces together and she created a variety of cool track shapes, such as an oval, a circular, and a rounded square layout.
I really like that this set comes with realistic sound effects that have been lifted directly from the Polar Express film to make the playtime experience realistic and immersive. I also see that the iconic Polar Express train whistle’s sound has been included along with other generic sound effects such as special announcements, and train sounds.
What I love most is the easy-to-control RC remote of this set. It is simple for my daughter to operate and understand. If your child is too young, you can show them the ropes and teach them how to go about assembling the toy train set. I love this toy train’s working headlights.
2. Tiny Land Wooden Toy Train Set
Wooden trains are an important part of every child’s toy collection. Ever since trains were invented, children have been playing around with wooden toy trains. Some children are even lucky enough to have well-wishers who make them handmade wooden train sets. I can say that these train sets are of extremely high quality.
I love that each individual element of this train set is made of polished beech wood. Beech wood is extremely hardy and is a very high quality wood as well. I’m impressed that this set comes with loads of tracks, which are both straight and curved. I also find that the manufacturers have included elevated tracks loaded with lots of additional accessories.
I feel secure that the edges of the tracks and the trains have been hand sanded, so there are no sharp points that can cause injury to my daughter. This wooden toy set is perfectly safe and appropriate for your toddler. I love how this train set is expandable and modular. With the help of expansion track sets, your child can create a unique train track.
Another great aspect of this wooden train set for kids is that it is compatible with most of the mainstream toy train brands in the market. I saw that this wooden train set and its elements were 100% compatible with Thomas the Toy Engine, Chuggington, and Ikea trains.
3. Lego My First Number Train Set
One of the most important milestones in any toddler’s life is the day they finally learn their alphabets and counting. Modern educationists believe the best way to impart education to growing toddlers is to engage their attention with toys. I think this one is the perfect train for your kids.
This train set has a buildable locomotive, which your toddler can assemble with the help of the included Lego blocks and instructions. I see that the assembly instructions are simple and intuitive. I’m sure that they are perfectly suitable for growing children. This set includes three train wagons, which can each be loaded with Lego blocks that display a particular number.
There are 10 number blocks, where each block displays a digit between 0 and 9. I think this toy train is the ideal educational companion. I used it to teach my child about numbers and colors. Assembling the locomotive and train set will develop your child’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination. They will be able to practice open-ended play.
My daughter really loves its adorable Lego cat figurine included in this toy train set. You can buy additional Lego bricks with animals, fruits, money, etc. on them. With the help of these blocks, you can teach your child about a lot of new concepts.
4. Temi Model Train Set
If you want your child to experience the wonder of a realistic steam locomotive, then I would definitely recommend you to try out this high quality battery operated train set for toddlers.
I like that this toy locomotive is battery operated and is capable of realistic sound effects and blows out real smoke. All my daughter has to do is arrange the train tracks, place the train on them, and switch it on. She can arrange these easy-to-play train tracks in no time and they are also simple for her to modify and take apart.
This train set comes with realistic LED lights that can function as a gorgeous Christmas decoration. There is a small water dropper, so my daughter can use it to add water to the engine and create smoke.
The tracks snap into place very easily. My daughter can modify the shape of the entire train set arrangement to create a layout that is consistent with her vision. I love how this toy set includes additional accessories and action figures that have a classical European aesthetic.
5. KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set
Many kids dream of having their own train set and table so that they can set up their own adventures and imaginary situations. If you are looking for extensive train toys for 5 year olds, then you should definitely look into this train toy set from KidKraft.
This set comes with 120 individual pieces and a large MDF table. It takes my daughter a lot of time to assemble and complete. I rest assured that this train toy set can keep my energetic little daughter busy and captivated for hours of fun. I love how this set comes with 3 bins for convenient storage.
The train table has been landscaped so that my child can create her own beautiful train set on it without any problem. Along with that, the edges of the table have 1.5-inch lips, so when she plays with it, the train set elements don’t fall off accidentally. The wooden train set is elaborative and includes a cargo crane, a helicopter, and a waterfall.
The table is big enough for my daughter and her friends to play together, making it perfect for playdates and collaborative playtime. The wheels of the train come with magnetic grooves.
6. VTech Train Station Playset
If you are seeking interactive toys for your toddlers/infants, I would recommend this best train track for toddlers and infants. My daughter had hours of fun when she started assembling the tracks and engaged in imaginative and open-ended play.
My daughter is so involved in it as this beautifully detailed and complete set includes a hill that features interactive additions such as a bridge, a tunnel, an electronic conveyor belt, additional accessories, and stop signs.
I love it as this toy train set comes with 10 unique SmartPoint locations, which is a proprietary educational technology used by VTech to make their toys richer and more educational. This is a great way for me to teach my daughter phrases, music, nursery rhymes, and numbers. You will also find an included cargo train.
The train station has three piano-like buttons, so I can have a nice time with my daughter while teaching her some foreign language phrases and nursery rhymes. My daughter also learns the time concepts from it as there is a brightly colored clock on the station wall. I’m so pleased that the train set can develop my child’s motor skills.
7. Lego Duplo Remote Control Train Set
When it comes to easy to build toy train sets, this is the undisputed leader. Lego’s toy train sets are the best in the world and I would recommend them for kids of all ages. If you want toy trains for 2 year olds, then this is just perfect.
My daughter can build a fully functional train with its 16 track pieces and innovative action bricks. The train included in this set is a remote control locomotive that pulls a passenger train. You can expand this train set for your kids by buying a cargo train and other accessories like a train station, a crossing signal, and train tunnels.
Its pieces are trouble-free to assemble and the assembly instructions are simple to follow. What I like most is the intuitive nature of the instructions, which is a perfect way to enhance my daughter’s motor skills and hand-eye coordination. My daughter is also excited by the action figures like a train engineer, a child, and an animal.
The train has a lovely push-and-go motor – all my daughter needs to do is push the train gently forward/backward and it will start to move on its own. The Lego interactive action bricks allow my daughter to interact with the train in an immersive way.
8. Lionel O-gauge Model Train Set
This model train set is actually appropriate for older kids and collectors who are passionate about trains and locomotives. This would be great for an articulate children to play with, but they definitely need to be 10 years old and older. This is a valuable and rare toy train set.
This set comes with an authentic 2-8-4 locomotive that is an exact reproduction of the train animated in the Polar Express movie. Apart from the beautiful locomotive, there’s a coal tender car, two passenger coach cars, and an observation car. I’m impressed that the train cars have been reproduced faithfully and the craftsmanship of the entire toy is so exquisite.
I like that the electric locomotive can be controlled with the help of a LionChief remote and a LionChief Bluetooth enabled app. With the remote, my daughter can modify the movement of the train, the realistic film sound effects, and the volume of the sounds. If you install the app, you will be able to control the smoke and momentum.
My daughter can connect and disconnect the train tracks easily. The set comes with 12 pieces of track, so my daughter can connect them to create a fairly large oval track. Apart from that, the passenger car comes equipped with an interior light to help her create a realistic train experience.
9. SainSmart Jr. Wooden Train Set
If you want an affordable and functional wooden train set for your kids, then you can consider this set. The large train cars and tracks are brightly colored and are designed to attract the attention of growing infants and toddlers. It helps in my daughter’s overall development.
My daughter enjoys playing with this toy train set. The tracks, trains, and other components of this toy set are made from high quality birch and beech wood that’s sourced from Australia. What I like most is the edges have been hand sanded to be smooth and are totally safe for toddlers to play with.
The train tracks are double-sided and it is easy for my daughter to assemble. Handling the train tracks and the train pieces will develop your toddlers’ motor skills and coordinative abilities. I see the train and bogies themselves have magnetic wheels, which will glide smoothly in the train tracks. The set includes additional accessories like a crossing signal, traffic signs, etc.
This is the best train set for kids 3 years old and older because of its immense compatibility. When my daughter played it with the other train toys I had bought for her like Brio, Thomas, Melissa & Doug, I saw that it was fully compatible with them. You can even expand this train set by buying additional tracks, trains, accessories, pieces, etc.
10. TOMY Thomas & Friends Model Train Set
Thomas the talking train engine is a beloved character and is a renowned children’s TV show. It is the favorite of millions of kids worldwide. So, if you have a young train aficionado in the house, you should get them a Thomas train set.
As I see, this Thomas and Friends toy train set has three motorized versions of beloved characters from Thomas and Friends – Thomas, Percy, and Terence. You can expand the collection for your kids by buying more if you want. My daughter really loves this set as she can deliver cargo and transport passengers all over the fictional town of Sodor.
My daughter can set the tracks up and operate them quite easily. The tracks and destinations can be rearranged to recreate your children’s favorite Thomas the talking train engine adventures. This toy set will encourage your kids to come up with their own stories, adventures, and scenarios.
I like how this train set has a cargo loading and unloading mechanism – Thomas and Percy can receive and dispose of their cargo with the help of Terence the truck. The motorized engine can be easily switched between Thomas and Percy with the help of a cool mechanism.
11. Fun Little Toys Toddler Train Set
If you love nice trains toy sets coming in a huge variety of designs and concepts for your kids, you can consider these toys. This is a zoo train set and it allows the user to transport loads of animals.
My daughter can easily assemble the 27 unique pieces of this set. While your child is manipulating the pieces, their motor skills will be polished. My daughter was very excited manipulating the tracks to create a variety of fun railway track shapes.
This zoo animal train set contains an elephant locomotive that runs on AAA batteries. I see that attached to the locomotive are 4 separate wagons, each containing an action figure of a zoo animal. The set includes a ton of accessories that make my daughter experience realistic and immersive. I also find that there are loads of crossing signals, traffic signals, lights, a train station, etc.
Besides switching it on and watching the train puff along on its own, my daughter can also push the train along the tracks with her own hands. The locomotive comes with loads of light and sound effects that will make playtime of your little one open-ended, immersive, and enjoyable.
12. Play 22 Magnetic Wooden Train Set
Wooden trains are a personal favorite of mine. They are simple and yet so elegant and a lot of fun to play with. Brightly colored wooden train sets are loved by kids of all ages. This beautiful set comes with an attractive display case.
I really love it as the set contains 12 beautifully designed train cars, engines, wagons, passenger cars, etc. that have been carved out of high quality wood. My daughter can learn color recognition because the train pieces have been painted in bright primary colors. I see that each model is equipped with 2 strong magnets so that the train can be linked well.
There are 3 brightly colored engines, which are all connected to their own coal tender, an oil tanker, cargo cars, passenger cars, observation cars, etc. This toy is a wonderful way for me to teach my daughter more about trains and steam engines. The set includes a nifty cargo loader that can lift the cargo using magnets.
I would like to point out that this is the kind of toy that is appropriate for children with special needs. The bright colors and the precise order that usually accompanies wooden train sets can calm your kids down. Playing with trains can also help them to socialize with other kids their age.
13. Lego Duplo Cargo Train Set
If you want to introduce your kids to organization and creation, then there’s nothing better than this train set, which is perfect for teaching your children interdisciplinary concepts. This cargo train set is one of the best electric train sets for kids that I have ever seen.
This train set comes with 105 unique Lego pieces, which need to be put together to create a comprehensive cargo loading/unloading system. The entire model has two separate cargo cars, a boat, two cargo loading cranes, a cafe, and action figures. The set includes action bricks which will give your kids a realistic playing experience.
My daughter enjoys playing it as the train set is easy to build. She just needs to follow the instructions. Toy train sets like these act like a gateway towards STEM learning. Your child can begin operating their own cargo train yard.
Another thing I like about this set is that the train has a push-and-go engine, which sets the train into motion at a little directional push. My daughter is also interested in its simulation of the train and crossing sounds. There is a Lego mobile app, so you and your child can control the movements of the train set.
14. Atlasonix Electric Classic Train Set
Classic steam engines and model toys train sets are well-loved by little boys and girls. If you want to share your interest in trains with your little ones, then this battery operated miniature train toy of the Arizona 1901 train is the perfect starting point. This train’s level of detail just wow.
The set comes with 8 railway tracks, of which 6 are curved and 2 are straight. My daughter can arrange the tracks according to their preferences with ease. The train set contains a classic battery operated steam engine, 3 old fashioned train cars, and 4 horse action figures.
My daughter loves playing this train set as she can simply attach the tracks and set it up. I find that the tracks are modularly designed and they can fit very snugly with each other. Once my daughter has set up the tracks, she just needs to place the train on the tracks carefully, then switch the engine on and watch it go.
This classic train will allow your toddler to travel back in time to the Wild West and the Frontier times while learning a lot about train engineering and American history. I see that my daughter is very excited when playing it due to the realistic light and sound effects.
15. ToysOpoly Deluxe Wooden Toy Train Set
I love to buy wooden train sets for my daughter, and this deluxe 55-piece model is the best toy train set for kids that I have ever seen. This toy train set contains beautiful parts that are constructed out of high quality beech wood.
These entire wooden train sets contain 55 unique pieces, my daughter can easily put them together to create 4 trains, a car, a red bridge, and three unique destinations. She also enjoys playing them as a number of fun accessories like crossing bridges, crossing signals, and traffic signals are very lively.
The tracks are made of wood as well and are hand-sanded to remove any risky sharp edges. So I have no worries when letting my daughter have a fun time with them.
When my daughter played with this train set, I saw that it was compatible with Brio and Melissa and Doug toys that I had bought for her. So, if you already have a Brio wooden train set, then you can get this set as a special expansion pack. The wooden toy train tracks are compatible with O-gauge trains that are made of metal or high quality plastic.
What I like most is that this train set is completely safe to play with for kids 18 months old. The paint used for the trains and the bridge is non-toxic and certified safe by third-party testing centers. The different elements of the wooden train set are free of toxins like phthalates, BPA, etc.
What to Look for While Buying Train Sets For Toddlers
To help you buy the best train set for kids 2 years old and older, I have compiled a list of important factors. These will help you narrow down the choices and pick the best toy.
- Brand of the Toy: If you are considering a toy train for your toddler, then it is a good idea to get something made by a reputed brand like the ones in my review. For wooden trains, you should consider Brio, and Kidkraft.
- Age of the Child: While you are picking a toy, you should take their age and preferences into consideration. If your child is 18 months old, then you should get them a starter set as it is simple and easy to use. For older children, Lego Duplo, Brio and construction train track sets are perfect.
- Safety of the Toy: Considering the safety and well-being of your child is imperative. You should ensure that the toy you are considering satisfies all the safety standards set forth by international and national quality organizations. The paint and the material should be 100% non-toxic and safe.
- Type of the Toy: The type of toy you choose depends on the age and preferences of the toy. If you have a kid 4 or 5 years old, then you should get them something constructive and educational. If you have a younger child, get something simple.
- Educational Benefits of the Toy: It is important to gauge the educational benefits of the toy before you make a purchase. For example, the Brio train sets are great for introducing your child to STEM concepts. They encourage children to be imaginative and social.
- Developmental Benefits of the Toy: The best train toy for your toddler will be the model that helps in their physical and mental development. Brightly colored trains will stimulate their developing senses. Manipulating the tracks and assembling the trains will develop their motor skills and coordination.
- Budget and Financial Constraints: Even though we would like to, we cannot spend a huge amount of money on our children’s toys. It is easy to overspend too. To ensure that this does not happen, you should decide on a strict toy budget before you make any purchases.
Other Important Factors to Consider
1. What are train sets for toddlers?
They are model trains or train sets that are intended for use as toys. Trains are a wonderful way of inculcating a meticulous and neat nature in your child. They help in the development of kids’ motor skills.
The best train sets for kids 4 years old will help in developing their socialization and cooperation skills as well. They can use trains to express their creativity and come up with their own games and scenarios. Toy trains are excellent for pretend play and open-ended play.
2. How do toy train sets work?
Toy train sets work in a simple way. If the toy train is battery powered or electric, then it has a small motor inside the engine. When the train is switched on, the locomotive runs on the track and pulls the attached cars.
Realistic model trains have link-and-pin couplers to keep the train cars attached to one another. Usually, toy trains are much simpler and they are attached to each other with the help of small magnets. Some well-known brands come with their very own train technology.
3. What are the different kinds of train sets for toddlers
There are loads of train toy sets for toddlers. First of all, there are assembly-required train sets that are manufactured by brands. Secondly, there are simple wooden or plastic trains that are perfect.
Apart from these simple model train types, there are advanced versions that are perfect for older children. These train toys are battery operated or electric and are quite sophisticated. Lego Duplo and Brio toys train come in battery powered/electric models which can be operated quite easily.
4. Why do you need toy train sets for kids
First of all, the train in toys are a wonderful way to instill the nature of neatness and discipline in children. By recreating real-life functions with the help of their toys, the imagination and problem-solving abilities of your child will be enhanced greatly.
Second of all, handling the train tracks and pushing the wooden train cars will help to develop the motor skills and hand-eye coordination of your child. Many train toys come with educational functions, which you can use to teach your child all about numbers, colors, alphabets, animals, etc.
Frequently Answered Questions
I have compiled a list of some of the most frequently asked questions that I receive from first-time gift-givers. These will address all the most common doubts that parents and toy buyers usually have about model train sets for growing kids.
1. What are the most trusted toddler train set brands?
If you are looking for the best train sets for kids 4 years old, then you should consider the train car sets manufactured by Brio. Apart from these brands, you can try brands like KidKraft and Lionel Store.
2. What is the best train set for a 2 year old?
The best train set for kids 2 years old is definitely the wooden toy train sets produced by brands like KidKraft and Brio. Wooden train sets are convenient to play with and are great for developing children.
3. What age is perfect for playing with a train set?
I think that your child should be at least 18 months and older to enjoy playing with a toy train set. At this age, children are curious and imaginative – they are able to hold and manipulate their train car sets.
4. How to use a train set?
If the train is battery powered or electric, you just have to set up the tracks and switch the engine on. If it is a Lego Duplo train, you have to assemble the pieces and set up the train set while playing.
5. Where can I buy a good train set?
Trains sets can be found in any toy store. Some cities have specialized model train stores where you can find high quality model trains as well as toy sets. Otherwise, you can always look for these train car sets on Amazon.
6. How to care for and clean train sets?
If your Brio train set for kids 18 months old is wooden, you can sanitize the toy by wiping it clean with a wipe. If you have a battery operated toy, you should replace the batteries on a regular basis.
7. Are ride-on trains appropriate for toddlers?
If you want train sets for your kids to ride, you can look for ride-on toys online or in toy stores. Well-known brands like VTech and Fisher-Price make great ride-on toys sets that have a train theme.
This is all the information you will need to buy the best train sets for toddlers and growing children. I hope with the help of the reviews, extra information, and FAQs, you will be able to buy the best available toy train sets for 1-year-old kids.