Model Railroading continues generation after generation in part to the all-consuming love affair children have with trains. Young children have an incredible obsession for trains and this passion has predictable stages.
Children usually begin with Thomas the Tank Engine toys and the Thomas television show. Also, during this very early stage, children will love watching real life trains on television. Train videos have a soothing and mesmerizing effect that some kids will absolutely love and can be a godsend to parents.
Next, is the Brio Train Set era which enables children as young as four years old to build some impressive train layouts. My children have spent a huge amount of time over the years playing with Brio. By far its the best toy set we’ve ever bought for them. My kids are in the pre-teen years now where the Playstation dominates their life. Yet still there will be days where they choose to unplug and retreat back to their Brio set for some quiet layout building.
As they enter the pre-teen age, trains and train layouts are replaced by the excitement and danger of speed with the roller coaster. Knex Building Sets offer some great roller coaster models which easily get 4 to 5 feet long and 4 feet high. The roller coaster phase also spills over to watching videos and television specials about coasters. My son was an avid coaster fan at age nine and could name all the top coasters across the U.S. and at which theme parks. Too young and too timid to go on these, thankfully, he still loved watching these super trains.
It’s this early love affair with trains that sets the stage for them to become life long Model Railroad fans. And even if they don’t, they’ll still appreciate it when we bring out the train tracks once a year for our Christmas tree decorations.
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