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, stating with a starter set. 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 and the curves are an essential if you want to make a track that goes round. The curved track pieces are about 20cm in length.
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, so one curved piece can curve to both the left and right depending on which way up it is.
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!
Very good review, especially with the links to various places that you can buy this type of track. I would like to add another resource to this list JKToys is a new online only company offering BRIO compatible sets and track and very cheap prices - especially compared to BRIO. You can find them at JKToys.co.uk.
All of their items are completely compatible with BRIO are very smooth and allow the trains to run well. They also offer a variety of second hand items ranging from genuine BRIO track to Thomas the tank engine characters and accessories such as buildings and cranes. This stock of second hand, or 'pre loved' as they like to call them, items is constantly changing so it is worth visiting the site if you are on the look out for something specific.
The website accepts payments by paypal at the moment but I had some trouble and they were more than happy to accept my order over the phone - despatch the goods and then I sent them a cheque - overall a very nice company to do business with.
4 Pieces of wooden tracks. The Large Curved Tracks are part of the Brio Wooden Railway range, a collectable build and play system that grows with your child.