- What: Wooden Trains
- When: 18 months and up
- Why: Affordable, durable
- Where: Target
Do you have a kid obsessed with trains? I know I’m not the only one. If just looking at the price tag on a Thomas brand wooden train makes your stomach convulse, check out the toy section on your next visit to Target. They have a open bin chock full of wooden trains (right next to the open bin of wooden vehicles). The best part? The super affordable price. Most of them go for around $3 a train, which makes for a much more affordable (though it still adds up fast if you’ve got a collector) option than Thomas or even Brio.
A friend of mine clued me into this deal several years ago, and I’ve been stocking up for my kids and gift giving ever since. The selection turns over every year or so, and you have to dig through the small bin to see the selection. Originally Circo made them. Now the brand has switched to All Aboard. Regardless, they don’t come with any extra packaging, which I love. But it means some can get more beat up than others before you even purchase them.
Once you’ve gotten the majority of colors and options, it will be a while until you can grab some new designs. I like to buy them all at once (which I could never afford with Thomas) so I don’t have to remember which ones we’ve already got. Then I parse them out over birthdays and holidays and any other gift giving occasion (you filled up your potty sticker chart – yay for you – here’s a train!). Although they say ages 3 and up, my kids have played with them since age one and half and no small pieces have ever fallen off.
Their wooden train sets can’t beat the low price of IKEA options, but you can buy a lot more detailed supplemental trains at Target, as well as a few good sets and supplemental tracks and pieces. The IKEA sets only feature a few actual trains, and you can’t buy them separately. These wooden trains themselves sell only in stores, and don’t even appear online, so the selection (and existence) may vary widely between locations.