Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Review (and ramble): Dinosaur train set

If you're the owner of a two or three year old, then my bets are on that they're dinosaur mad like Joseph and that you now know your Diplodocus from your Brachiosaurus and your Triceratops from your Styracosaurus... and perhaps you've even developed a small crush on Andy Day, amiright?!

For Joseph's second birthday we took him to Port Lympne Zoo as they'd just opened a dinosaur section called Dinosaur Forest where you can walk through the different parts of the Mesozoic era and read tons of facts* about the different dinosaurs that lived in each period in chronological order; it's pretty darn cool if you ask me, and definitely rekindled my own interest in dinosaurs. *if your child lets you stop for more than three seconds at each dinosaur!

Coincidentally, around the same time, another wildlife park near us also opened a dino section, though not as fact-filled as Port Lympne, Joseph loves to visit come rain or shine thanks to their soft play area; and we have probably visited at least once a month ever since. Joseph is now three and a quarter, so that's a lot of dinosaur hang-outs... and thankfully we have an annual pass to this place which doesn't cost too much of a bomb. On a side-note, is anyone else thinking that the manufacturers of those giant plastic dinosaurs have got to be raking it in at the mo as it seems like these dino parks are cropping up all over the place! They certainly seem to be all over my Instagram feed this summer at least!

Apologies; I digress! Joseph loves dinosaurs and so do I. So when we were given the opportunity to review the Dinosaur train set from Big Jigs Toys, I was very excited *ahem* for him. For me personally this would count as a 'big' present; something I'd give a child for a birthday or Christmas, or from a new sibling, due to it's physical size and the price being a penny shy of £50. Alas none of those occasions were close, so Joseph was just given it after nursery last week, which led to a very late bed time that night! I'm already a bit worried that he's becoming spoilt by his grandparents so I'm probably not helping my cause here!

The set comes with 49 wooden pieces which includes the track, a volcano bridge, a three-part magnetic train with interchangeable dinosaur passengers, track-side dinosaurs & dino babies, a pool of lava and trees that can form a scene.... or just be played with separately, as I spotted Joseph doing too. It develops dexterity, imagination, creativity, coordination, problem solving and teaches cause & effect; which is a lot of things all in one toy.

It's suitable from age 3+, but the track requires adult assembly... and you can't really just wing it if you want it to look like what's on the box. Luckily the instructions are easy enough for even someone such as myself to follow (I'm awful at interpreting instructions; I managed to assemble an Ikea Kallax incorrectly!) My only gripe isn't with the set itself, it's more with the destructive toddler who has no respect for how long it's taken you to put the set together and will quite happily pull it apart only to demand you rebuild it seconds later. Pfft!

What I particularly love about the set - aside from the dino train's little face - is that the railway is compatible with other train sets; we already had the Ikea one and also a brightly coloured one from ELC so if you want to go off piste and make a huge track then it's quite likely that you can do so with your existing wooden track if you have one. 

I am certain that any small child would be chuffed to own this train set; we've had it for just over a week and Joseph has been very excited to show it to all of the visitors we've had and he has played with it every day for at least 30 minutes, which is a win in my book. 

If the full set is out of your budget, then a four-piece dinosaur train is available to buy on it's own for £11.49 that you could likely use with your existing set, or the Ikea set. On the other hand, if you want to go whole-hog, a table-top dinosaur train set is also available for £124.99. (UK standard shipping costs £2.99 btw.) 

Whatever you end up buying; just make sure your child doesn't see the leaflet that shows all the other accessories and train sets Big Jigs have to offer because you'll never hear the end of it! I made that mistake and Joseph immediately had his beady eyes on the T-Rex tunnel, dino crane and the Bronto riser; I actually had to have words with him because he was acting a little ungrateful. After threats of taking it back to the shop, he soon piped down but at least I've now got Christmas sorted! Honestly, there's so much good stuff available on the Big Jigs site and even just in the railway section; you'll be desperate to spoil your child rotten :-)

This was not a sponsored post but we were kindly sent the dinosaur train set to review by Big Jigs toys as part of their Play Patrol.

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Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to leave a comment. It really means a lot! Nicki x