Sunday, July 26, 2009

If your child likes Thomas the Tank Engine, here is the BEST investment you can make! It's called "Take Along Thomas". This series of sets includes all the tracks and stations etc. to build the whole Island of Sodor. Everything is sold separately, so you can buy just what you'd like. It's a die cast iron set which can endure anything your child throws at it!

We had a friend who gave us a bag of the trains and once we saw how much our son loved them, we purchased the Tank Engine Shed and Carnival set and made our own little island. Our son LOVES it and plays with it for hours. He re-creates all the episodes he has seen and all of his trains talk to each other! I prefer this set to the traditional wooden set as it takes a beating and the pieces are a bit smaller, less chunky. They say it's for ages 2+ although my son started playing with these at about 1.5 years old.

You can find all the sets here: We attached the tracks to a big piece of plywood so it would stay together and then built a table beneath it with legs on rollers so we could roll the whole thing out of the way when he wasn't using it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Adventure Play Sets Pathfinder Wooden Swing Set

We recently purchased this swing set for our son and give it a rating of FOUR and a HALF. We have been looking at sets for the past three years trying to find just the right one at the right price. Any of the other cedar sets we found were priced in the thousands of dollars. We are hindered by a small yard, so the set we chose had to fit.

We saw this one at Wal-Mart at a price of $399.00 and our interest was immediately peaked. It has everything we wanted, a sturdy slide, sandbox, three swings, tree house and even a little table with bench which can be used like a lemonade stand.

The reason it only gets a 4.5 rating was due to the length of assembly. It took my husband and his brother 8-10 hours to put together-although it clearly tells you to expect this. Out of all the pieces which came in the box (everything you need to assemble except sand for the sandbox) only one small washer was missing. That was phenomenal! Here is a picture of what it looked like spread out in our garage prior to assembly as well as a picture of it put together.

This is a well crafted set which we expect will hold up well over time and our two sons. Time will tell, but we're very optimistic and really like this set-as does our son!!

Click top image for purchase option.