family fun

Thomas the Tank Engine: Timeless Toys Your Kids Will Never Outgrow

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Toys—When my children were little, we started collecting Thomas the Tank Engine's Wooden Railway.

First, we bought one train. Then, we watched the DVDs. We didn't want Thomas to be lonely and he definitely needed more tracks, so we bought James, Gordon, and Percy and lots of straight and curvy tracks to wind them around our family room. But soon, that wasn't enough.

What was playing trains like with the magical Lady? And, what train stories were fun without the giggling, troublesome trucks or Diesel's dark side? And then, we couldn't just be on flat ground, which didn't at all represent the Island of Sodor. We needed mountains with boulders and the round house, of course! Hundreds of dollars and a full bin of toys later, we had our very own railroad. And one year, @TroyPattee even made these amazing Thomas the Tank Engine Halloween costumes, which earned him Father of the Year for life!

My boys are now eight and 10 and just the other day, we pulled out the trains and tracks and wooden scenery and started building and in no time, we all reverted back six years choo-chooing and talking in multiple voices and making up stories and building "the world's best train track." And I realized, just like my grandma's wooden spools that we would play with hour upon hour and still pull out from time to time, Thomas the Tank Engine's Wooden Railway would be a toy none of us would soon outgrow.

What are your children's favorite toys? Which ones are timeless—that they won't ever outgrow? Which ones do you like to play with the most?

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An active part of the Mom It Forward team, Jyl primarily writes about parenting, social good, and all things travel related. In a past life, Jyl was an award-winning copywriter and designer of corporate training programs for Fortune 100 companies. Offline, Jyl is married to @TroyPattee; a mom to two teen boys and a beagle named #Hashtag; loves large amounts of cheese, dancing, and traveling; and lives in the beautiful Rocky Mountains. Topping her bucket list is the goal to visit 50 countries by the time she's 50.


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