Tips for Top Tracks

Here at Edspire HQ

We are train mad

Absolutely bonkers for trucks, tracks and trains


Today I saw my lovely friend Karin

Asking for inspiration for tracks

And decided that I should share

Some of our engineering feats

tip top

To be fair I cannot take any credit at all

Daddy and his little helpers

Do all the track building round here

I choose the parts that we buy

I add the storytelling element

But the construction and engineering

Has very little to do with me


Esther and William have adored trains for as long as I can remember

They have loved Thomas now for at least a year

I often think of beautiful Baby Tilda

And wonder if she would have been sucked in

To the splendour of Sodor

The romance of the railway

Or if she would have chosen her own different path?

I am not entirely sure the choice would have been her own.

Here at Edspire HQ

We are train mad

Absolutely bonkers for trucks, tracks and trains


No matter how many new toys we get

No matter what different types of trains we try

We always come back to our traditional wooden track


Made up of BigJigs and Brio

Janod and GLTC

A dash of Tesco accessories

And some unnamed, unbranded wooden trains

A real mish mash

Of wooden wonder

Our favourite waste of time

Filling the playroom with trains and track


So what would be my tips for a top toddler track?

From two and a half to three and a half

This is what Esther and William have most enjoyed

Top tracks include a range of bridges

We have bridges of varying colours, sizes and functions

The gentle rise and fall of the viaduct is a favourite


Top tracks include interesting twists and turns

They involve having to make choices

This way or that way?

Under or over?


Top tracks encourage problem solving and decision making

A turntable is a great addition to a complex track

It opens up lots of different routes and runs


Top tracks include different levels

Create them with wooden blocks

Or use the furniture to add interest


Under the sofa leg

Round the play table

Up and over a shelf

Between two surfaces


Top tracks are not always in the same place

Sometimes inside, sometimes out

Sometimes on the floor

Sometimes on a table


Top tracks have room for lots of engines

Working together along the lines


Top tracks have potential for accidents

For trains getting into trouble

Falling off bridges

Crashing off tracks

Dead ends and no entry signs


Top tracks have bells to ring

Have actions that cause exciting things to happen

Top tracks make use of lots of other toys

Past the castle

Through the tunnel


Beside the track runs road for the Land Train

Top tracks can be found in autumn leaves


Or covered in super soft snow

snowy track

Top tracks offer characters and potential for telling stories

Top tracks set different scenarios and scenes

Top tracks invite children to use their imaginations

To enter a world of magical play


Top tracks for twins need to be big enough to play together

Side by side

Interacting but not interrupting one another’s play


So much fun to be had with trains and track

So much potential for learning through play

So many things to test, solve, adapt and explore


We play with our trains everyday

Each time in a slightly different way

How did you play with your trains today?

10 thoughts on “Tips for Top Tracks

  1. Love this Jennie your children really are train mad, my 3 will play with the wooden train set occasionally, the boys are getting a bit too big for all of that now, but their and mine favourite train set is the Thomas the tank engine duplo sets, we recently set the duplo sets up again over Christmas and all 3 joined in playing together, even the 7 year old still loves duplo! Not sure you can still get Thomas duplo now but I would highly recommend the sets if you can still buy them!

  2. Wow! I’m always so amazed by the clever tracks D makes in your playroom. I can’t even come close when I try at home. I love the idea of using the furniture and other static toys as part of the setup. As S gets older, I plan to be more creative too. S loved the snow tracks when we last visited you, so I’m thinking of doing something with sand in preparation for the summer.

    I adore the pic of William in his superhero custom!

  3. Wow – that is an impressive amount of track! I can certainly verify you know your stuff!! You helped me when I was looking for my little girl’s first train set and we went with Brio as you recommended and she LOVES it xx fab post xx

  4. Jennie,
    Absolutely breathtaking. Thank you so much for your wonderful tips, photos and inspiration. You always inspire…in everything you do. Sam would be entranced to play with Esther and William. Thank you so much for writing this, for David and his creations and Esther & William for their imagination. Matilda would have been right alongside them…much love to you all.

    Karin xx
    Karin xx

  5. All your tracks look great, James is the track maker in this house too (I haven’t the logical brain to make anything complex) I think next birthday/Christmas with the boys I might invest in some more interesting track pieces as Sam seems to be enjoying trains a lot at the moment! Thanks for the inspiration x

  6. This is absolutely amazing, Jennie. We have a mixture of Brio, BigJigs and Tesco here and we love them so much. Seeing this post just makes me want to buy more and do more. You always create such magical memories for Esther and William. TC is a huge Thomas fan already so I’m bookmarking this post for future reference. Thank you so much for posting all this xx

  7. Oh wow, this is amazing! My kids had their first wooden train set for Christmas and it’s already clear they’ll get hours of fun from it as it’s just wonderful. Have pinned this to show the husband the kind of tracks he needs to be working on!

  8. Love this. We are also train-mad in our house! In fact, a lot of what Father Christmas bought this year was train-related.

    I like how you really incorporate different worlds within the train tracks i.e. the airport.

    I recently started a similar mini-series on my blog showing a photo of our latest train track creation- mostly created by my partner, he is the engineer in our house. Hoping my two take after him instead of me in that department!

    If you ever fancy starting a train-themed ‘linky’, or know of one to join, then let me know- i’d be well up for it!


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