Train sets have been favorite playthings for over a hundred years! Not only do kids of all ages love them, but they are great for brain growth too! Designing a viable railway track fosters the development of problem-solving skills. The imaginative play that choo-choo inspires expands your child’s creativity.
Building the tracks, moving the train, and having the engineer hop aboard, all use fine motor skills. Train sets that use magnets introduce your child to the world of science. The rolling motion of the cars lets them experience physics first-hand. When they reach the end of the line and the train crashes, well, cause and effect are demonstrated. Colors, shapes, and sequencing can also be learning aspects a train set brings into focus.
Train tables are a nice extension of wooden train sets. Not only do they keep all those tracks and cars and whatnots off the floor, but the elevated height makes it easier for mom and dad to play too.
There are several distinct options to consider when choosing the best train table. Should the table be square, oval, or rectangular? How far off the ground should it stand? Do you want one that comes with a train set or will you purchase the train set separately? What about aesthetics? How much are you willing to pay? What material is the table constructed from? Do you want a fixed track or something moveable? What about storage space?
Don’t panic! We’re here to help. We’ve compiled a list to help you find the best train table. Each train table summary has the table dimensions, included accessories, and storage options for comparison purposes. If it has a unique feature, we’ve mentioned that as well.
Deciding on a train table can be difficult. We know you certainly want a table that will last.
So we compiled this list of the best toy train table sets for kids based on child-safe construction, size, versatility and customer reviews. Let’s take a look!
The gorgeous zero VOC, non-toxic finish on the Sodura Birch Wood Kids Train Table makes this a must-have for every child’s playroom. It measures 48 x 36 x 17 inches and has rounded corners and raised sides. Not only is this table ideal for train sets but it also makes a great play area for puzzles, legos, and blocks. Its sturdy construction means that even the youngest can use it with the manufacturer's recommended age at 0 months and older.
The Hape Railway Play and Stow Storage and Activity Table has reversible painted wooden panels for scenic variety. Your child will love all the possible terrain options, jungle or city settings. The child-safe finished panels also cover the in-table storage area for easy clean-up. It’s 31.5 x 32.3 x 15.8 inches and has rounded, smooth corners for safety. It’s appropriate for ages 3 and up.
Why limit your budding engineer to a table-top? With the Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Wooden Railway, Island of Sodor Playboard, your child can design a track that passes through the legs of the table! The playboard features the familiar sights of Sodor, which your little Thomas fan will adore. The sustainably sourced, premium beech wood table measures 53.5 x 18.5 x 5.5 inches, making it the biggest in our list. The wooden engine rack is the perfect place to park your train when playtime is over. It is designed for children 3 years of age and up.
The Metropolis Train Table is a lovely espresso color. The large trundle rolling drawer has two compartments and certainly comes in handy for storing 100 pieces that come with the table. It is 46.9 x 32.9 x 26.8 inches in size so is plenty big enough for several children to play together. Not only are there cars, buildings, and people but the set also includes a two-tier bridge, tunnel, and moving crane. What more can you ask for?
The Maxim Enterprise INC Play Table includes tracks, train, buildings, animals, people, vehicles and signs. The wooden tracks are compatible with Thomas and Friends and Brio train sets. The table has rounded edges and raised sides. It is 32.8 x 24.8 x 10 inches in size and was created with children age 3 and up in mind. This model’s unique feature is it has locking wheels so it can be rolled under a bed for storage when not in use.
The reversible landscaped panels make the KidKraft Wooden Play Train Table versatile. It also has a built-in storage drawer for easy clean-up. It has rounded corners and a raised lip. Designed for children three and older, it is big enough for several children to play at 47.6 x 31.6 x 15.8 inches.
The KidKraft Adventure Town Table is designed to fold away quickly and set up just as fast. The train set comes with tracks, signs, town folk, buildings, vehicles, and even an airport and waterfall tunnel. It has two collapsible storage containers for easy clean-up. Its dimensions are 43.5 x 31 x 21.1 inches, and the table is designed for children 3+. The colorful landscaped play board rounded edges and raised sides make it a very nice setup overall.
The Brio 33099 Play Table measures 46 x 30 x 18 inches and is designed for children ages 3 and up. The solid wood frame is sanded and has rounded corners. The six coats of non-toxic gloss lacquer paint create a nice finish. The table has raised sides to keep the trains from falling off the edge. The painted land and water formations foster creative play in your little one.
The painted roadway on the Pidoko Kids Train Table makes this setup great for both trains and cars. It measures 44 x 18 x 4.6 inches and comes in a lovely, natural finished wood color. The edges and corners are rounded and smooth, and the table has raised sides. The paint is child-friendly. It’s intended for children three years old and up.
The KidKraft Waterfall Station Table and Train Set is constructed from molded plastic and composite wood materials. It has three red, plastic storage containers that fit under the table to keep the tracks, train, people, buildings, and vehicles neat and tidy. The table has a silk-screened landscaped play board and rounded T-molded edges on the raised sides. The manufacturer’s recommended ages are 24 months and up. The table is amply sized at 48.75 x 34.5 x 16 inches.
You know you are getting quality with Melissa and Doug wooden toys! Their Multi-Activity Train Table measures a whopping 50 x 33 x 17.75 inches and has two solid wood panels, making it the perfect place for trains, blocks, puzzles, and arts and crafts. It has a large pull-out storage drawer. The panels are removable, making it easy to clean.
The Transportation Station Train Table actually comes with two sets of train tracks. The wooden tracks can be set up in any number of ways while the plastic track circles the table. As if trains weren’t enough, this table has moving cranes to lift and move that important train cargo and a deluxe airport. The 58-piece transportation set includes an airplane, a helicopter, three train cars, and a bulldozer. It measures 34.2 x 26.8 x 26.2 inches and is intended for children three years old and up.
Step2 Deluxe Canyon Road Train and Track Table is designed for the youngest engineers in mind. It’s made of durable vinyl rather than wood for easy clean-up. The three-dimensional track goes up and under, encouraging gross motor skill development. It comes with a three-piece plastic train set. The train track is already assembled, so no frustrated tantrums. The best part is that the one piece lid can be used to convert it to an activity table. It is 47.6 x 26.6 x 6.7 inches and designed for children 3 and up.
Legos and trains certainly go together with the KidKraft 2-In-1 Activity Table. One side of the playboard has a painted landscape, perfect for cross-country train travel. The other side is designed for Lego building fun! It comes with 200 Lego-compatible blocks and a 30-piece wooden train set. The play board lifts for underneath storage. It has smooth, round corners and a raised edge. It’s one of the smaller tables measuring 25 x 23 x 17 inches. Although the manufacturer lists the recommended ages beginning at three years, remember, Legos are tiny and designed for older children.
The Kaja Wooden Train Track Set comes with 80 Thomas and Friends compatible pieces. The table is 28.74 x 23.62 x 14.96 inches and brightly decorated with non-toxic water-based paint. It has a small raised lip around the edges to keep the tracks from sliding off.
Choosing a train table doesn’t have to be complicated. However, there are a few things you should keep in mind while shopping. When you are considering purchasing a train table you should consider:
Do you already own a wooden train set? Are the pieces that come with the table compatible with that train set? Of course, many train tables do not come with accessories, which makes it easy to choose which train sets you’d like to use on it. Those that do have accessories should be compatible with the pieces you already have. Otherwise, your child might get mighty frustrated trying to piece the tracks together.
If you are looking to purchase a wooden train set, consider that Thomas Wooden Railway, Chuggington Wooden Railway, Brio Wooden Railway, Melissa & Doug Wooden Railway, and BigJigs Wooden Railway are all compatible with each other. Other brands might not fit together as well.
When your child is ready for an electric train set, will the train table you bought when he or she was younger still work? For the most part, yes. Train tables with flat playboards will work just fine with electric train sets. Those that have attached tracks won’t.
How old is your child? What are the manufacturer’s recommended ages for their product? Younger children may climb up on train tables, so you would want to choose a sturdy construction. Older children might like the lego board or craft table options. Most train tables have the recommended age of at least three years old, which is about when children start taking an interest in trains, planes, and automobiles. Other sets are considerably more complex and not meant for toddlers or preschoolers.
Many train tables are precisely that, tables to create railway tracks and play with trains. Other train tables have more versatility. Some can be used as art tables, others as lego building stations and still others would make a beautiful coffee table once your child’s train phase has passed.
The bigger the table, the bigger the track setup can be. Square tables are a little more limiting than rectangular tables. Some tables even have an option where the tracks can run underneath. You should also consider the size of the room you plan on setting up the train table in as well. Most train tables are fixed, but there are some folding options available if space is an issue.
How much are you willing to invest in a train table? Does it include accessories or is a train set an additional cost for you? Popular brands like Thomas and Friends might cost considerably more than non-brand names. Are you confident your child will play with a train table? Would it be better to get a table that can be converted to another use in case that happens?
Wooden tables should be varnished or painted with non-toxic materials. Appropriate table height depends on your child’s height. If he or she can’t reach the train pieces without climbing on the table, then the train table is too high. Corners and edges should be curved and smooth. The table legs should also be sturdy. Make sure to check for wobbles and exposed screws regularly.
As you can see, finding the best train table for you is easily accomplished when you look at these aspects. All-Aboard!