There’s plenty of debate regarding whether or not model trains are beneficial to young children. Some people believe that they help teach kids about the physics of movement, while others think that they can be dangerous if kids are left unsupervised. In this blog post, we will explore both sides of the argument and let you decide for yourself!
What are Model Trains?
Model trains are miniature replicas of real trains. They come in different shapes and sizes and can be made from a variety of materials, including metal, plastic, and wood. Some people use them for decoration, while others use them to create elaborate train sets.
There are various types of model trains, including electric, diesel, and steam engines. Electric trains are the most popular type, as they are easy to operate and don’t require a lot of maintenance.
The Benefits of Model Trains
Now that we already have an idea of what a model train is, let us move on to the benefits they bring, particularly to younger children.
There are several benefits to using model trains with young children:
- Model trains help teach kids about the physics of movement. This is probably one of the most popular arguments in favor of model trains. When kids play with and operate model trains, they get a first-hand look at how different objects move in relation to each other. This can help them understand concepts like friction, gravity, and momentum.
- Model trains can also be used to teach kids about history. If you purchase a model train that is based on a real historical train, you can use it to help your kids learn about the events that occurred during that time period. For example, if you have a model of the Titanic, you can use it to teach your kids about the sinking of the ship.
- Model trains can also be used to teach kids about geography. If you purchase a model train that is based on a real train line, you can use it to help your kids learn about the different places that the train line goes through. For example, if you have a model of the Orient Express, you can use it to teach your kids about the countries that the train line goes through.
- Model trains boost creativity and imagination. This is among the most important benefits of model trains. When kids are playing with model trains, they are using their imaginations to create stories and scenarios. This can help them develop creative problem-solving skills that they will use later in life.
- Model trains enhance children’s crafting skills. If you purchase a model train kit, your kids will have to put it together themselves. This is a great way to enhance their fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. There are a lot of sensory toys benefits for kids, and model trains are known to provide such benefits.
Different Type of Model Trains
There are various types of model trains for your children to play with, each with its own unique benefits:
- Electric model trains are the most popular type of model train. They are easy to operate and don’t require a lot of maintenance.
- Diesel model trains are great for kids who want something a little more challenging than electric trains. They require more upkeep and can be a bit harder to operate, but they provide a more realistic train experience.
- Steam engine model trains are perfect for kids who love history. These models replicate real steam engines from years ago and allow your child to experience what it was like to ride on one.
Model railroad sets are a great way to get your kid interested in model trains. A set includes everything you need to create an elaborate miniature railway, including track, locomotives, and scenery.
The Dangers of Model Trains
While there are many benefits to using model trains with young children, it is important to be aware of the dangers that they can pose as well:
Model trains can be dangerous if kids are left unsupervised. If a child gets their hands on a moving train, they could easily get injured.
Model trains can also be a fire hazard. Train sets often use electrical wiring and heaters to create realistic flames, and if these wires are not properly secured, they could easily start a fire.
As you can see, there are both advantages and disadvantages to using model trains with younger children. Ultimately, it is up to parents to decide whether or not they feel that their child is ready for this type of toy. If you do choose to give your child a model train set, be sure to monitor them closely and teach them the proper safety precautions.
Best Model Trains for Children
If you’re still on the fence about whether or not to get your child a model train set, here are some of the best options available:
- The Melissa & Doug Deluxe Railway Set is perfect for younger kids. It includes an electric locomotive and three cars that travel along a circular track.
- The Bachmann Trains Thomas & Friends Take-n-Play Loose Load Bridge is great for older kids who want something more challenging. The bridge can be attached to any compatible track system, and it features working lights and sound effects.
- For parents who want to give their child a complete railway experience, the Lionel Polar Express Train Set is a great option. It includes an electric locomotive, tender car, coach car, observation car, and a Santa Fe locomotive.
Model trains can be a great option for parents who want to entertain their children with something educational and creative. As we mentioned in the article, there are both pros and cons of using model trains with young children. Ultimately, it’s up to each parent’s discretion as to whether or not they feel that their child is ready for this type of toy. Be sure to monitor your kids closely if you do decide on getting them a model train set so that you can teach them proper safety precautions when playing with these toys.