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Wooden Train Sets Keep Your Child's Development On Track

Jun 20, 2008
"Choo Choo!" The train glides along the Amish Country Ohio tracks as it always has. After crossing a bridge, it descends and then bends obediently with the track. A small group of farmers watch as the train whizzes by them. Then suddenly, a cow standing alongside the tracks leaps up into the air and lands squarely in one of the train's cars. A little later, a tree beside the tracks does the same thing. Then suddenly the train comes to an abrupt stop. The passengers, which include a firefighter, a horse, and a road sign, disembark from the train. The child then places his hand back on the train, and guides it again along the winding tracks.

From tops to trains

Many of us grew up playing with wooden toys, such as wooden train sets. But have you ever wondered about the history of such toys?

Historians are uncertain about the year that wooden toys were first created. However, archeologists have dug up evidence proving that ancient Greek and Egyptian children played with wooden toys. For example, toy tops made of various materials, including wood, have been discovered.

Then from the 1700s to the 1800s, several innovations in the wooden toy industry were made. In the 18th century, a boom of wooden toys occurred. That included the creation of wooden alphabet blocks, small carved animals and even wooden sleds. Then during the next century, toy wooden cars were first produced. These included streetcars and fire engines. In addition, the world's largest producer of wooden toys was producing over 3.5 million wooden cars, trucks, and trains by the 1880s!

Another boom of wooden toys took place in America during the early part of the 20th century. In particular, wooden construction toys became very popular in places such as Amish Country Ohio. These included the creation of a new type of toy that included various forms (i.e. sticks, spokes, spools, and rods) that were used to make objects ranging from animals to vehicles to buildings. Then in 1916, the son of famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright launched a new type of wooden construction toys. These pieces consisted of linking logs that were used to build cabins and other structures.

More than a toy

Today, if you're planning on choosing a wooden train set for your child, the child's age is an important factor to consider. If a train set is too difficult to assemble, then your little one will easily get bored and play with another toy. On the other hand, if the train set is too simple, then the same result will occur. So try to find a train set that challenges your child, but not too much.

The wooden train set you select can be an excellent tool in your child's development. Assembling and playing with the set can improve several facets of his or her development. These activities can help to improve the child's fine motor skills, which involve small muscle groups. The toys can also be beneficial in developing the child's concentration and creativity. For example, many of the wooden train sets' parts are movable, allowing children to create their own town, and even some wild scenarios that would be impossible in real life. Also, assembling and playing with the train can improve the child's communication and socialization skills. Though one child can enjoy wooden train sets, they're always more fun if a parent or friend is present.

Today, children throughout the world, including those in Amish Country Ohio, can enjoy wooden train sets. These toys have remained popular even though they require no power sources or controllers. However, wooden train sets are still effective in nurturing children's physical, mental, and social development; and providing hours of fun. All aboard!
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