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19 Best Train Sets for Toddlers

Updated 14 July 2020

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The toddler stage is an adventurous one. They’re gaining independence, understanding similar shapes and colors whilst discovering the joy of pretend play. This amount of change makes it tough to find one toy they’ll enjoy and stick with for longer than a few seconds.

That’s why many parents go for the time-honored choice: train set. It’s common for kids to be exposed to trains at a young age in books, cartoons and real life. They’re entertaining and useful for their development, so we sought out the best train sets for toddlers based on research and authentic recommendations from parents just like you.

1Fisher-Price My First Thomas & Friends, On-the-Go Train Set – Best Budget Train Set

The Thomas & Friends On-the-Go Train Set is bright, colorful, and encourages imaginative play. There are more than 20 pieces to use to help develop fine motor skills. It comes along with two push-along toys, a smiling Thomas and Harold, who are just the right size for tiny hands to grasp.

What we love

  • The tracks are generally simple so toddlers learn to assemble by themselves
  • Comes with a see-through storage carrying bag

We dont like this as much

  • It would be fun if the trains were motorized

2LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train 10875 – Best Electric Train Set

Geared toward older toddlers, the LEGO DUPLO Cargo Train is loaded with early STEM learning. With 105 pieces, they have more than enough ways to play to inspire them to stretch their creativity. Playing with the train is uncomplicated thanks to the push-and-go motor. When they’re ready, download the remote-control app to give them more ways to play.

What we love

  • The integrated technology helps toddlers understand simple programming
  • Designed to grow with your child with options to add compatible sets to it

We dont like this as much

  • Since the train can run indefinitely it may quickly go through batteries

3Melissa & Doug Wooden Railway Set – Best Quality Train Set

The Melissa & Doug Wooden Railway Set takes the classic approach for imaginative play. It comes with a variety of train types, a six-piece freight, and a four-piece passenger train, as well as a three-piece flatbed truck to push around. All of them have their own cargo, and there are dozens additional accessories toddlers can set up like trees and signs.

What we love

  • The tracks are compatible with any wooden railway set for expansion addition
  • Wood used is high in quality, leaving the tracks smooth without rough edges

We dont like this as much

  • The train wheels can get a bit wobbly

4WolVol Attractive Colorful Toddler Train Set

The WolVol Attractive Colorful Toddler Train Set is simplistic in the best way. It’s multicolored, bright, and features lights and realistic train sounds for constant entertainment. There’s a single train, and it features an on/off switch toddlers can learn to use, allowing them to develop problem-solving skills as they play.

What we love

  • Sounds are realistic, and they even cycle through various types of tunes from warning bells to a train whistle
  • The tracks feature smooth, curved edges which may make it easier for toddlers to grasp

We dont like this as much

  • The tracks could be sturdier

5Wooden Train Cars – 21 Pack

These Wooden Train Cars from Kidzzy Toys are a wonderful way to spark creativity and help toddlers build hand-eye coordination. It’s a true collection as it features coaches, engines, cargo carriers, a magnetic tanker load, and plenty more. Toddlers can discover various types of trains, and it’s easy to connect this with other major wooden train sets to create endless tracks.

What we love

  • This set comes in a sturdy box where you can neatly store it away
  • Trains are made from high-quality material and are creatively colored

We dont like this as much

  • Some of the wheels could be fitted tighter

6Conductor Carl Playtime Express Train Set

The Playtime Express Train Set has unique train designs that use more realistic coloring which helps further push a toddler’s imagination. They even feature various labels that, although advanced for toddlers, encourage parent-child play as you can explain the purpose of each train for them. You may even combine this with other wooden sets.

What we love

  • Trains are realistically inspired and feature authentic coloring and names
  • They are designed to attach to other major train sets that feature magnetic connections

We dont like this as much

  • The magnets could be more powerful

7On Track USA Figure 8 Wooden Train Set

The Figure 8 Wooden Train Set comes with 35 pieces so toddlers can bring their imaginary world to life. Along with the three train cars, there are houses, trees, cute farm animals, and more to create a little train town. It can work as a starter set or as an expansion for larger wooden train sets.

What we love

  • The wooden tracks are built durable to hold up against rough play
  • This comes in a clear carrying case so toddlers can instantly recognize their toys

We dont like this as much

  • It can take time for kids to learn how to assemble the train in a figure-eight style

8HappyToy4u WOODEN PUZZLE TRAIN TOY

In a 25-piece set, the HappyToy4u Wooden Puzzle Train Toy introduces toddlers to simple brain teasers all while keeping them entertained. On the pull-along locomotive and two carts, kids can enjoy setting up the 22 different vividly colored shape blocks. This works as a great way to teach toddlers shapes, colors, and building skills all at once.

What we love

  • The wooden pieces are beautifully crafted and soft to the touch
  • Capable of teaching toddlers stacking skills and shape recognition

We dont like this as much

  • The length of the pull cord is a little short for some toddlers

9Thomas & Friends Fisher-Price My First, Motion Control Thomas

The Thomas & Friends My First Motion Control Thomas turns your entire home into a train track. Simply wave the cross sign above Thomas to get him moving. He goes in all directions, manages to avoid obstacles, and there’s even a race mode where he can rev up and move on. The only limit toddlers have is their imagination.

What we love

  • The built-in sensors work well at making sure the train doesn't hit the wall or furniture
  • As the train gives out instructions and praise, toddlers can learn how to follow directions

We dont like this as much

  • The train could benefit from being more responsive

10BRIO World – 33873 Smart Tech Engine Set

The battery-powered Smart Tech Engine Set includes 17 pieces to excite creative toddlers. It’s an interactive technological adventure as the train can reverse, stop, honk, or switch on the lights. Kids decide this journey by setting up the track and tech action tunnels any way they like. Each tunnel offers a unique experience.

What we love

  • Tracks are fully compatible with other BRIO train tracks
  • The smart tech action tunnels teach toddlers about cause and effect

We dont like this as much

  • The engine could use more strength when pulling multiple cars

11VTech Sit-to-Stand Alphabet Train

The Sit-to-Stand Alphabet Train takes interactive learning to new heights. There are three modes available: floor, walk, and ride-on. This suits children in various stages of development and makes playtime fun and educational. Toddlers can learn about colors, letters, numbers, and various songs all while pushing or riding on a cute, colorful train.

What we love

  • The multiple modes allow toddlers to explore something new each time they play
  • Easy-to-use volume control switch

We dont like this as much

  • Seat could be closer to the handlebars

12Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Super Station

The Thomas & Friends Super Station can excite any Thomas-loving tot. This multi-system boasts three levels, and it’s compatible with numerous Thomas toys from the motorized ones to the miniature-sized trains. It’s designed with dozens of features and includes over 100 pieces so children can set up various layouts. This station is even big enough to hold more than 100 engines.

What we love

  • It can be configured in different layouts
  • Compatible for multiple sized Thomas trains, wooden and motorized

We dont like this as much

  • It is a bit bulky once assembled

13intelino J-1 Smart Train

The J-1 Smart Train is intuitive with STEM-based learning opportunities. Although it runs on a wooden track and is compatible with some other wooden toy train sets, this smart train detects the small colored Action Tiles so toddlers control its movement by setting them up. Older kids can move onto the app control function. Just using the colors teaches children some basic coding concepts.

What we love

  • Features realistic train lights and sounds
  • Incredible STEM learning aspects

We dont like this as much

  • The tracks could benefit from being less stiff

14Minmi Motorized Train Set

The Minmi Motorized Train Set, in jumbo size, features 107 pieces and more than 12ft worth of tracks. The lights and sounds from the multicolored train make it interactive as do the building blocks. There’s the addition of the likes of smiling characters and a gas station to help toddlers stretch out their imagination.

What we love

  • Everything seems easy and straightforward to put together
  • Tracks and blocks are compatible with multiple brands

We dont like this as much

  • Train may need resetting on the tracks sometimes

15BRIO World 33028 – Classic Figure 8 Set

Made with 22 pieces, the Classic Figure 8 Set is designed to work with other BRIO railway toys so it stays with toddlers as they grow. Since it’s such a simple wooden train set, kids are driven by their imagination. There’s enough to educate children from the magnetic attachments to the track bridge switch.

What we love

  • Trains feel sturdy and long-lasting
  • Basic starter track that's capable of using add-ons

We dont like this as much

  • Track pieces could benefit from a smoother finish

16Maxim Enterprise Inc Wooden Train Set

The Maxim Enterprise Inc Wooden Train Set features 60 pieces including a wooden engine with two cars. Tracks are straight, curved, flat, or on an incline. Toddlers can configure this in numerous ways as well as set up the city around them to suit their personal pretend play. It should be compatible with BRIO and Thomas and Friends wooden railways.

What we love

  • Variety of track styles available
  • Compatible with other wooden train sets

We dont like this as much

  • The downhill track could be steadier

17KidKraft Bucket Top Mountain Train Set

The Bucket Top Mountain Train Set offers toddlers the chance to play with more than just trains. Along with the train and attached cars, there’s a fire truck, a police car, a helicopter, and a plane. It emphasizes open-ended playing so kids can keep that creative spark alive each time they play. The scenery surrounding the tracks is beautiful and attention-grabbing too.

What we love

  • Comes with a large, transparent storage bucket
  • Wooden pieces are well-detailed and durable

We dont like this as much

  • The train magnet could use more strength

18100-Piece Orbrium Toys Triple-Loop Wooden Train Sets

The Triple-Looped Wooden Train Sets features 100 pieces so toddlers can build a complete wooden railway world. It features a train with coaches as well as city vehicles and numerous town accessories such as bridges, buildings, people, and trees. This works with some other wooden railway sets and includes two three-way track pieces for expansions.

What we love

  • The train runs well without derailing
  • Plenty of add-ons for kids to enjoy

We dont like this as much

  • Minimal straight tracks might limit layout designs

19SainSmart Jr. Wooden Train Set

The SainSmart Jr. Wooden Train Set features a unique three-level spiral bridge design, a downhill track, and many other accessories, trains, and cars to excite toddlers. There are 50 total pieces to create a mini train town with an awaiting train station. There are even reverse track pieces so kids can focus on problem-solving skills, hand-eye coordination, and develop creatively.

What we love

  • Capable of adding tracks and buildings to the set
  • Simple to put together so toddlers can learn

We dont like this as much

  • Some pieces could fit tighter