There is a five year age difference between our girls, but that doesn’t stop them from wanting to do everything together! I love that they enjoy each others’ company, but it can be a challenge as a parent to find toys and activities that are age-appropriate and entertaining for both a toddler and a second-grader. Especially around the holidays, it can be so helpful to find toys that a toddler and older child can play together!
However, I found the answer in a bit of an unexpected place: my own childhood! We were recently invited to try out the new Thomas & Friends™ TrackMaster™ Shipwreck Rails Set and Thomas & Friends DVD, Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure and I was so excited to introduce my girls to this updated classic. I have wonderful memories of watching Thomas & Friends videos with my younger brother and sister — even though my brother was the biggest Thomas fan, all three of us loved the series and playing with his Thomas & Friends train set. It was something that transcended age and gender.
My husband so kindly agreed to put together the train set; though it was a pleasant surprise how easy the task actually was. (I totally could have handled it!) But just look how adorable the three of them are working together!
To say this has been a hit would be an understatement — I’ll let the video speak for itself:
For the past few days it has been all Thomas, all the time in our house! As soon as Annabelle wakes up, she runs over to the track, grabs Thomas, and begs me to turn him on. She is actually quite careful with him (though thankfully Thomas seems durable, as he has inevitably endured a couple drops).
When Lilu returns from school, she and Annabelle run right back over to the train set and are at it again. Laughing, squealing, and jumping (literally) up and down with excitement as Thomas climbs the steep slope and whooshes down the Spiral Dive to pick up the treasure chest from the shipwreck below.
This is a really cool toy, and I have to admit, that I don’t mind joining in the play when asked! Thomas is powered by two AAA batteries (not included) and runs at a nice clip over six feet of track (which can be connected to other Thomas & Friends Track Master sets). He climbs to the top of the ship’s mast and dives into a special car which carries him down a two foot spiral, releasing him back onto the track below.
At the end of this spiral, he trips a trap door which drops a treasure chest into the carriage he is pulling. It’s hard to describe exactly (if you haven’t already, check out the video earlier in the post because showing is easier than telling!), but it’s a pretty ingenious idea and endlessly entertain the girls.
The accompanying Thomas & Friends DVD, Sodor’s Legend of the Lost Treasure, is a bit different from the videos of my youth (they’re animated now), but still as charming as ever! Kids can even re-enact the adventures they see on screen with the matching train set.
If you also have multiple kids with a few years between them, this would be a wonderful Christmas gift they can enjoy together. Visit Fisher-Price to find this set and other awesome Thomas & Friends toys that would make the perfect family Christmas present! Which one would your kids love?