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This Chad Valley train set is recommended for ages 3 years plus. So the train set is based around every day life, things that children will see on a day to day basis including Stop signs, Do Not Enter signs, Traffic lights, buildings and woodland. When laid out, the train set is oval shape and measures 33 inches long and 11 inches wide. The 60 pieces you will receive, include: Bridge, 23 pieces of track, 4 buildings, 2 barriers, 4 cones, 6 traffic lights, 4 people, 5 tree''s 1 bush, 3 pieces of train and 1 car. To begin with I had no idea how to build this, due to the limited pieces, it can only be built 1 way. Now we have learnt how to build it, Oscar who is 2.5 years old can build the track himself then set everything up within the track. Personally I have some difficulty in getting Oscar to get to nursery without any problems crossing the road etc, we set the track up and used all of the accessories to include it into our everyday life situation to try and show Oscar what to do when crossing the roads, this worked perfectly and the next few days while walking to nursery we talked about the wooden children from his train set who waited at the traffic lights. While is Oscar is under the age recommendation for this, I found this great for his hand and co-ordination, as well as his problem solving skills with setting up the track. The track is very well built and is compatible with other brands including ELC, Brio and the thomas sets. I brought this on sale for 7.50 and am thrilled with it. My only negative is that you are limited to the track being built 1 way, but for a starter set, this set is fantastic.
While browsing Argos I came across this train set at just £9.99. We decided to pick it up for our youngest son. The track is very simple and is just a starter set but it boasts to having 60 pieces which we thought was impressive for the price. There is only one shape available to build, but we have found it is compatible with other wooden sets we own. In this pack you receive 60 pieces, and 21 of these are a wooden train track. There is also a bridge and just about everything you need to make a good starter set.
The accessories were a great addition, and while some can be hard work for smaller hands they are good value. There are a number of destinations like a bank and a shop that are relatable to children from day to day routines. This helps build bases for stories and possible deliveries. The buildings are wooden boards that need to be slotted into their bases which can be hard for smaller hands. Other than that my children really enjoy the extras. There is everything from trees to traffic cones and even little people. You also receive a train, two trailers and a car to complete the set. There really is everything you need for a first train set, but they are perfect to adding to others too.
As there are so many accessories my children do not seem to mind about the shape being a simple oval shape. They can change the scenery and makes up to different bits with the extra pieces. While 60 pieces seems a lot the overall track is rather small. The 60 pieces are mainly decoration pieces for the outside with just 21 pieces of the set being actual train track. My children loved the colours from the different accessories and did not seem to mind a limited design. They also loved that there was a car provided. With the extra pieces like the buildings, people and surroundings it takes it away from a simple train set, into a full play set for little one.
The pieces are very easy to put together and my children can all do this by themselves. The short straights are a little annoying as they could have just been made a little longer, but then this feature of the track is something that made it unique. My son loves these short straights for making up different designs with his other wooden sets, as it is a 60 piece set you need somewhere to store the entire track. We have a separate box so the pieces are all in one place, but we have lost a few along the way.
The quality is fantastic for the price you pay. All of the pieces can be used with other wooden sets and the quality is just as good, if not better than more expensive sets we have purchased. It has lasted well with three children building and dismantling it over and over again. Every piece is smooth and the track feels durable once set up. The accessories are again made out of durable wood, and have been used by my children on a regular basis, often resulting in them being dropped and bashed about. The wooden bridge can feel a little shaky at time which only adds to my children fun, but I do think that could have been a little more durable. This is a little difficult to add to other sets also, and you need the two connecting pieces to be used with it or it will not work. Also the two connecting pieces are difficult to attach to the lower track for smaller hands, but after some practise they can now do it.
My children really love this set and have received many hours of play from it. It is sturdy, durable and the extra accessories while only there for decoration seem to have a magical effect on their imagination. Age recommendation is three years old but we purchased this for my two year old son. There is no reason that it cannot be used by a younger child and we were happy for him to use it under supervision. It helps to push their imagination and is nice to have a classic wooden set without the bells and whistles of some of the other trains we own.
I would recommend this train set to anyone looking for a simple starter set. It is also perfect for expanding other wooden train sets you own, and we have found them to work with a number of alternatives. The simple oval design can be a little boring, but the accessories add colour and add to my children's imagination. For the small price of £9.99 you receive a durable starter set that is great at boosting imaginations. We have found a number of Chad valley toys to be fantastic quality at a low price and this is certainly one of them.
Last year my son's got a train set and since then we have asked family members if they are stuck to what to buy them for Christmas and birthdays extras for their train set would be excellent like more track, more trains, stations and tunnels. A family member bought this set after finding out Chad Valley track was compatible with the set we had. This particular set doesn't need to be added to another set and could quite easily be played with alone although I would point out with just set you would be a little limited to track design.
*****The set contents*****
In total this set has sixty pieces so it does make a good first train set. Within the set there are twenty one pieces of wooden track which are compatible with leading train set makes such as Brio, Tesco, Early Learning Centre and the KidKraft set which we have. The pieces fit perfectly to our set and other Bigjigs pieces we have. The pieces of track do feel lovely and smooth to touch. There are a range of style pieces with this set the straight pieces are rather short and there is quite a few of them, there are a few corner pieces and a couple of sloping pieces to fit the bridge that is including.
All put together it makes a good size loop which has a slight slope to go over the small blue bridge. Once set out it does have quite a basic feel to it the style of accessories add to this feel. The set does come with a good amount of very simple accessories with a simple looking train with two magnetic carriages and a blue car. Along with this are four basic buildings which are a square piece of thin wood stood in a stand painted with building details also there are traffic lights and plenty of road signs, basic shaped people and trees. All of this makes up a fun wooden train set for children three years and over.
Even though there is a limited amount of track your child can have plenty of fun making their own track using and expanding their imagination. All the accessories make the track look more fun and your child can weave the track round them. As your child's imagination grows I feel you will need to expand the track which is easy enough as it is compatible with lots of other brands. My boys have used the set to expand their already large collection of wooden train track and accessories. The short pieces of straight track have made things interesting for my eldest son who is four years old and enjoys making his own track up.
For the price you pay for this product and the amount you get you would think the quality would be a little poor. But you could not be more wrong, yes it isn't up to the quality of the Brio products and you could tell by the feel of the product but it is still good quality. I do feel the accessories are very average but again you can't expect too much for the price you pay. They are more for decoration around the track. We have had this set for a good few months now and it has been put to the test with my youngest son who is a little rough with wooden products and it is still in perfect condition. The blue bridge is maybe slightly flimsy but is still standing in our household!
As with all Chad Valley products they are great toys on shoe string budget. They give you good quality toys that have little fault with them just maybe not quite as well thought out than other leading brands. This particular set will cost you £9.99 and is available from Argos. I would highly recommend this product it would make a great fun gift for any child train mad or not. My only negative is although it does say it is a sixty piece train set it isn't as big as you would expect as there is only twenty one pieces of train track, so you have been warned!
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