My son really loves anything to do with trains, and since he was about two and a half we have started to build up a Brio train set for him. At Christmas "Santa" added to his Brio some new tracks and a few new trains.
I ordered my Brio from Amazon as they were doing some good deals and I got one pack of curved tracks and two packs of straight tracks for £17.50. Each pack has four track sections so altogether this has made a nice extension to my son's track. The two straight tracks we got were the medium and long length ones. The medium, as in the picture above above are coded 33335 and are about 15cm long, so adding around of 60cm track to play on from this one box.
My son is almost three, which is the recommended age for Brio, however I do think he was ready to play with it from two and a half, with some adult intervention. He can now put the track together himself, even if it sometimes doesn't match up and has lots of dead ends, but I feel this is part of the play.
The track itself is sort of like a jigsaw and I feel it helps develop coordination skills. Also, I find the Brio is excellent for creative play and my son will draw other toys into his train play, such as cars, Lego and plastic animals. So the track has more than one function, there is the building of it and then the actual playing with it, although mostly these are done side by side. Whilst he is playing with the track and train he talks a lot about what he is doing, and makes train etc noises which is really quite cute.
My five year old daughter also likes joining in too so I can see this Brio being played with for quite a few years to come. The downside is that it is quite expensive, but if you can get pieces on offer, or even second hand then I think it is worth it. Brio is made from good quality wood, beech I believe and nicely carved and sanded down. The joints seem easy to put together even for little hands, so it's a well thought out toy. Each piece of track can be used on both sides, making it very child friendly to assemble.
Brio seems to be hard wearing and although is often chucked into a box we keep it in doesn't seem to scratch or dent. The wood is wipe clean too, as sometimes I have found food and sticky little finger prints on the tracks which I wipe with a damp cloth.
At the moment we would be lost without this Brio and it is keeping both my kids very entertained! Plus, I have to admit I rather like playing with it too!
WHAT ARE THEY?
The medium size tracks for Brio railway systems. Some of these will come with your system but you can purchase them in packs of 4 to expand your railway.
These tracks each measure 14 1/2cm and they are made of beech wood. They have got jigsaw shaped connectors and fit all Brio railway systems and other wooden ones as long as the track ends are all the same size and thickness.
WHAT I THINK
I bought these to go with my daughters railway system so she could make bigger tracks and there is not a lot to say about them but they work very well and let her be more imaginative when she is building her railway. They fit flush with the rest of her track pieces so that her trains run smooth.
They are very durable because beech wood is soft so it does not chip or crack. The ends fit together and hold even when my daughter is playing for a long time and being rough with her trains. 14 1/2cm does not sound very long but you can use them with the long Brio tracks and the short ones to make a railway system that is personal for you.
They cost £5 for 4 medium tracks and that is expensive if you want to buy a lot of them like my daughter does but even buying 2 packs will give you a lot more choice of track lengths and shapes, then you can buy more when it is convenient.
WHAT MY DAUGHTER THINKS
My daughter says these are the most useful because the longer tracks are sometimes too long to fit with the shapes she likes to make with her railway system. When my husband offers to buy her a set of tracks from the toy shop outside his office she looks at the sheet and very often decides that she needs these medium tracks instead of anything else.
5 Dooyoo Stars.
"Medium straight tracks. Contains 4 x A track, each is 144mm / 5.5"" long."