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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Learning Curve: Early Engineers (review)

Did you know that Learning Curve has a line of Thomas & Friends wooden track set made just for little hands? If you browse the shelves at your local toy store, you may see one or two of these new sets for sale. 

Learning Curve recently contacted me and asked if I would like to check this out with my son and, of course, I said "Yes!". 

Alex is a huge fan of Thomas & Friends. He knows every train's name and he has a small collection of wooden trains and track. This new line of Early Engineers is made with both younger and older children in mind, though. It's specifically created for little hands (18 months of age and up) but is eager to grow right with your child. 

I have some photos to illustrate what I mean. It truly is amazing. 

Here is the Thomas Wooden Railway Early Engineers Roundabout Station set. It's perfect to purchase as a starter set or in addition to the other sets as well. As you can see, it's made with wooden track. This is the same sized track as the sets made for older children. The trains are made bigger so little hands can get a better grip on them and the other pieces are made to easily be added, subtracted, or changed to suit your child's interest in play.

The set includes the roundabout, Maithwaite station, a tree, spinning cargo, and a ticket booth/gate. Each piece has a circular bottom that fits into the shapes on the roundabout grass. The cargo and tree can be switched as well as the station and ticket booth. This offers a child independence in play which is great for his/her imagination and self esteem.

Alex loved that he could successfully set everything up and move it around on his own. He quickly began a dialog with his new Thomas the tank engine train and then decided he wanted to add others of his in as well.

It's wonderful that Learning Curve knew that children want to build on their play experience and added in a way to easily do that.

The set comes with 2 connecting pieces that fit to the end of the Early Engineers track and connect to the standard wooden track. Alex ran off to get some track and a few trains. In no time, Alex had a track designed and assembled.

Even Percy and Sir Topham Hatt stopped by for a visit. 

Watch the video to see some of these new sets in action!

My overall opinion of the Thomas Wooden Railway Early Engineers Roundabout Station is that it's a wonderful gift for a Thomas lover. I wish these had been made when Alex was younger. If, at 3 years old, he gets excited to play with it, I can only imagine what he would have thought of it when he was younger. The set is easy to use and durable. I can see it lasting for years and years in this house. 

BUY IT:  You can purchase this set for around $25 from Learning Curve.

** The opinions expressed are mine and mine alone.Others may have a different experience and may not agree with my opinion.Thanks to Learning Curve for the product to review. I was able to keep the item at no cost to me.**



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