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Thursday, April 12, 2007

There's just something about Trains

At the Birthday Extravaganza on the weekend, the kids were given add-ons to their Thomas Train set. This included a new engine with batteries. So of course the whole set had to be dragged out to the lounge room and set up smack in the middle for everyone to trip over, because, really, a party isn't a party without some casualty or another.

Then I noticed something. A train set automatically draws you in: the continuous locomotion of a train going around the track, and the scratchy noise it makes. Or mentally willing it to go over a bridge and stay its course, most people are hypnotized in their presence. We had boyfriends, playgroup-friends, grandfathers and grandmothers, fathers, mothers, all at some point re-building knocked about tracks or re-connecting rogue cabooses. All for the higher purpose of keeping little Thomas chug-chugging along.

It struck me then that no matter how much we grow; we all remain child-like inside. At least, we should. It's unifying. It's innocent. It's wonderful.

What toys do you find draw people together to play and enjoy their inner-selves? Perhaps it's a kite? Or a jigsaw puzzle? And just what is it about these toys - or others - that give them such universal appeal?

Comments on "There's just something about Trains"


Anonymous Shelly said ... (9:08 am) : 

I'm quite the fan of trains myself...my boyfriend and I had planned to go to the Diamond Valley Miniature train on our recent trip to Melbourne, as he knows I like trains, but were too busy with family commitments. Oh well- next time...


Blogger scribbit said ... (11:25 am) : 

And riding by train is so romantic and fun. Someday I want to travel across Europe, do the Orient Express thing all by train.


Blogger Jean-Luc Picard said ... (3:18 am) : 

Trains are so nostalgic; a reminder of another time.


Blogger Elizabeth said ... (3:41 am) : 

It's got to be the sheer simplicity.


Blogger strauss said ... (5:29 am) : 

My son LOVED his train set. It was teh one thing we threw into a suit case as one of our limited baggae when coming over here, everything else went into the shipping container. Quite literally, that set was dragged out every single day.
My son adn daughter are really enjoying Littlest Pet Shop now, the littel animals with teh bobble heads, they love making us little stories with them and collecting new ones. They are essentially my daughters, but my son enjoys playnig with them too. Mtach box cars are another fave. Tehre are so many scenarios and posibilities in which to use them.


Blogger Miscellaneous-Mum said ... (7:57 pm) : 

The orient express is always something that's intrigued me too, scribbit.

nostaglia and simplicity, yep, got to be those

wow strauss, that is a hard-core train lover you've got there!


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:25 pm) : 

As an alleged adult, the one that always fascinates me is Lego. Picture 7 people around a table, an assortment of ages and drinks and at the end of an hour there three people squabbling over the fireman figure... totally priceless.

I think it's a tactile form of Solitaire, after awhile you don't even notice you are doing it.

You should have seen the look on the 8 year old "owner's" face.


Anonymous SusieJ said ... (7:46 am) : 

Yes -- for me it is the trains. Or maybe it's the joy I feel when I see my kid's face light up when they play with their trains. Great post.


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