Welcome back to Pondering Playtime, my fortnightly series where I share a favourite picture book and a craft or play activity to go with it. This week, I’ve chosen to set up a tuff spot using the girls’ train set, to go with the classic favourite stories from the Thomas the Tank Engine series.
In the interests of full disclosure, I will mention that we were gifted some of the train set shown here by BRIO, but we also bought some of it ourselves, because we like it so much. What’s shown here is only a fraction of our BRIO collection.
I haven’t chosen a specific book this week, but M has been a fan of Thomas the Tank Engine for some time. We’ve got some of the classic hardback books from Matthew’s childhood, and M and B can often be found with one of them under their arm.
For this activity, I started by putting down our artificial grass base in the tuff spot. Then I made a BRIO track to fit. I then added a mountain, a couple of bridges and the farm. The tuff spot was still looking a little bit bare, so I added in the round track in the centre, with its own train station. Lastly, I positioned a few brio characters and accessories like trees, signs and a cow, and of course a couple of battery-powered trains and carriages.
I set this up the night before (I think I probably enjoyed doing this as much for myself as for the girls, who doesn’t love a train set!) then left it out for them to discover the next morning.
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Now that M is three, she’s much more able to play ‘properly’ with our BRIO train set. She is starting to build tracks herself (although I set up this one for the girls) and enjoys playing with the different elements of the ‘BRIO world’ that we have.
M really enjoyed playing with the different elements of the tuff spot, raising and lowering the bridge and transferring the ‘hay bale’ from the train to the hay barn. B loved watching the train travelling around the track, clapping her hands in delight when it crossed the bridge.
Before, when we’ve built train sets together, they haven’t lasted very long as the girls have been more interested in pulling the pieces apart! With this tuff spot, though, it lasted all day. In fact, it was still pretty much in one piece at bedtime, despite the girls returning to it several times during the day to continue playing with it. I think that’s a good indication that at 15 months and three years old, the girls are better able to play together, and with the train set. I’m really looking forward to watching them grow and play together more as they get older.
If you enjoyed this, you can find more Pondering Playtime activities here, and you might like to join my Early Years craft and activity Facebook group; Play Craft, Explore. We’d love to have you! And lastly, don’t forget to Pin it!
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