Trains for training

Phil McInnes

Funnily enough, train sets are not only an endless source of amusement for most kids (both boys and girls), but have great educational value as well. If you have tried to build a basic figure of 8 train track, it can be quite testing, especially if you are in a hurry. It is both a spatial and logical exersize, that unless done often, takes time. If your child is young enough to need your help with the assembly, a great way to help him/her put it together independently is to draw around it on a large piece of card, or use washable chalk on a mat. It becomes a puzzle that they can then put together on their own by matching the shapes drawn on the base. The only initial input needed is how to cross the line under the bridge. Once they have the basic shape the sky is the limit. The add-ons are endless. Thus, their spatial acumen is tested by the joining -on and joining -up of new tracks. Their perseverance is tested in completing a track that works. Their logic is tested in where to place level crossings, crossovers, stations etc. Their ingenuity is tested in that they can make double-decker tracks using blocks as flyover bases or use any number of items from their toy cupboard to add to the fun. Train tracks can also become roads for their cars. If friends are around, sharing, communication and co-operative play is put to the test. Another positive for young children is that  eye-tracking and crossing their mid-line are incidental outcomes of playing with train sets.(both essential  basic skills associated with learning to read and write).

And......more often than not, Moms and Dads love building and playing with them as well. What a perfect opportunity to engage with your child.

At ele toys we love train sets. We have a great figure-of-8 trainset from a top brand for R550. It is compatible with most brands and we have a vast supply of add-ons. The perfect gift.

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