|Mr Sociable's 2nd birthday morning|
|The boys are starting to play "together" with Thomas|
|This track was close, but not quite.|
* For the basic track pieces (straight track, a bridge, a tunnel, curved track), buy the generic pieces from Kmart, Big W or Toys R Us. They all sell wooden railway pieces that are compatible with the Thomas Wooden Railway (like the ALDI set I originally bought). These pieces are plain wood, rather than striped (like the genuine Thomas brand) - but my kids don't care and they are a lot cheaper!
* Buy some interesting pieces from the genuine Thomas range. We have the chocolate factory, roundhouse, turntable, Cranky the crane, bumpy track, a swing-bridge and the wash-down. These pieces get played with a lot.
* If your kids are into the Thomas series on TV, then buy the genuine Thomas and Friends engines - these have also had a lot of play at our house (both with the track and without).
* Wait until the toy sales to buy the genuine Thomas stuff - Myer often does big specials on the Thomas range.
* The larger Thomas items (eg the chocolate factory) are great presents for grandparents, aunties, etc to buy for Christmas/birthday. Mr Sociable gradually collected these over Christmas/birthday when he was 2-3.
* Rather than buying everything, organise to with a friend to swap some of the interesting pieces (eg one of my neighbours let us borrow her pig farm and mine shaft). Before we had such a large collection, we used to borrow track too!
Any other tips that you would like to add?