Train Tables for 2-Year-Olds

The holy grail of toddler toys?

More than a few parents would say they’ve found it, and it’s a wooden train set on a table.

These train tables are loved for years, starting around age 2: That’s usually when tots start to get into imaginative play, can figure out how tracks fit together, and have fallen deeply in love with old-timey steam engine trains.

Some new 2-year-olds will still be more interested in throwing and crashing trains than running things in a dignified manner, and most wooden train sets are suggested for ages 3 and up due to small parts. But you could consider getting a train table now; they’re also good for dollhouses, cars, and other vehicles.

Train tables take up a lot of space. They’re heavy. And there are more versatile activity tables or even floor mats available that might be a better fit for your home or your kid’s taste.

But if you have the room and you like the idea of keeping more toys off the floor, read on.

How to Choose a Train Table

Three things set train tables apart from other activity tables and play tables:

  • an edge along the surface to contain tracks and parts
  • a height ideal for standing toddlers
  • a large surface area that can fit a big set of wooden tracks

When evaluating train tables for 2-year-olds (and older tots, too), here are your deciding factors:

1. Quality. A train table will stay in your home for years. Your toddler will probably climb on it, and eventually, you’ll want to re-sell it or give it to a friend, so pick a sturdy one.

2. Size. Most train tables around the same size — at least 30 by 40 inches — but they do vary. Consider where you you’ll put it. Your tot will need full access to all sides for an optimal choo-choo experience.

3. Design. Whether you choose a table that looks more like a toy or a lovely piece of furniture will probably depend on whether it’s headed for the play room or the living room. Also, the painted landscape tops can be fun, but some feel that a blank top encourages more creativity.

4. Storage. Some tables come with built-in storage, others come with optional storage, and some don’t have any included – but there’s nothing stopping you from sliding a few of your own bins underneath.

5. Brand. Most wooden train sets are compatible with most wooden tables, but maybe you’d rather choose a train set first and pick a table to match. If so, head over to this post on the Best Wooden Train Play Sets to get started. Remember: many wooden train sets have small parts that you’ll have to put aside until your 2-year-old is less likely to see how they taste.

Where to Get a Train Table

If you’re handy with woodwork or know someone who is, a train table might not be terribly difficult to make. There are plenty of DIY train table options online, especially on Pinterest (I like this one).

I also found several “activity tables” that could work as train tables but look great in your living room (they’re on the expensive side).

But if you want to buy a table that’s just for trains, I’d suggest checking Craigslist first. There were a lot of train tables listed in my area, and many of them came with full train sets. (I got a now-discontinued Learning Curve Thomas table on Craigslist for $40 from a nice man who lived nearby.)

If you don’t feel like risking weirdos and bedbugs on Craigslist, let’s check out the new models.

Train Table Suggestions

I put a long, sortable list of options in a chart at the bottom of this post, but I thought I’d give you some general guidance first. If I were buying new and had an unlimited budget, I’d probably get a Nilo table or fancy one that looks like a coffee table and buy the trains separately. But there are also plenty of great options below.

The Toddler Choice – If you’re new to the wooden train scene, I’ll let you in on a little secret: Putting faces on trains makes them irresistible to kids. Thomas the Tank Engine enjoys a godlike status among most toddlers who have seen the TV show. The Thomas brand is pricey, but once you start collecting the trains, it’s an easy place to direct family and friends for gift ideas. (That said, you can easily use Thomas trains on other tables.)

Best Train Table with Train Set Included – Buying a table and train set together can be a great value, but the higher quality sets are usually sold separately. Jessica at Play Trains recommends the Bigjigs set as the best train set-and-table combo.

 

The Eco-Friendly Choice – I love PlanToys‘ environmental and socially responsible mission, and their unfinished table looks nice. The Amazon reviews on the table were somewhat mixed.

The Heirloom – If you’re looking for a quality, American-made solid wood table, check out companies like Little Colorado, Beka, P’kolino and plenty more. Sort the list at the bottom of the post by the “made in” column.

 

The Value Buy – Both of the plastic train tables listed below got great reviews on Amazon. These tables are also lighter, smaller and less expensive than the wooden train tables.

 

The Non-Table – Remember, if you decide that a train table is too much, you can start with a Learning carpet. There’s also a full line of Thomas the Train “Take and Play” toys. This under-the-bed-trundle is another nice alternative.

Train Table Comparison Chart

A note: All of these prices came from Amazon and include any significant shipping charges. The prices listed here might change over time. Pay attention to the cost of the storage bins; some pics show the bins but the bins are sold separately. Many of these are affiliate links, which means that a small percentage of anything you buy after clicking these links will be sent back my way.

PictureBrandTableH (in)LbsL (in)W (in)StorageMade ofMade inPricenotes

Melissa and DougTrain Table with train17.75403350small drawerwood (particle board)China$260includes 130+ piece train set

TomyChuggington Wooden Railway Let's Ride the Rails Playtable with Playboard17.553.433.549.5nonewoodChina$250
Click for image Choo Choo Track and Toy CoTrain Table1833.549.5nonewood - oakUSA$249

Fischer PriceThomas Wooden Railway Play Table18.539.253.5storage rack under tablewoodChina$240

SoduraBirch Wood Modern Kids Train Table1743.83648trundle drawer $75wood- birchUSA$231

Little ColoradoPlay Table1936492 drawers $198. 8H x 23W x 33Dwood - Baltic birch plywoodUSA$220unfinished model is $187

ImaginariumMountain Rock Table15.755432.547.75small drawerwood?$215

TagActivity Table18302436inner cubbies: 9x4x6"woodUSA$208

BrioPlay Table183046nonewoodChina$200

KidkraftMetropolis Table26.88232.946.9drawerwood (with either honey or espresso finishes)China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand$200includes 100 piece train set, bridge, tunnel

KidkraftSuper Highway Train Set55nonewoodChina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand$186

Plan ToysToy Play Table15.852.435.448.6toy drawer 48.6 x 15.8 x 35.4 incheswood - rubberwoodThailand$180rubberwood is a sustainable by-product of the latex industry's harvesting of trees used for natural rubber production

BigjigsTrain Table (with Services or City train sets)12.63528.750.3woodSoutheast Asia$172includes 56+ piece train set

Jonti Kraft KydzACtivity Table17.5 (incl lip)3444$750 table includes 3
wooden bins
USA$166

P'kolinoLittle Modern Activity Table16282332under lidwood - solid wood poplar and plywood with basswood veneerU.S., Canada, China, Taiwan and India$166

KidkraftAirport Express15.850.232.746.5small drawerwoodChina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand$161includes 100 piece train set including tunnel

BekaTrain Table20.25393249.5trundles $98.50 ea. 18X29-1/2X9wood - hard maple with 2-piece birch topUSA$159

KidkraftWaterfall Mountain16.14234.248.83 plastic bins includedwoodChina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand$148

KidkraftRound Table (Dinosaur or City Explorers)15.2234242two plastic bins includedplasticChina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand$145includes 95 piece train set

Kidkraft2-in-1 Activity Table162.22325under tabletopwoodChina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand$140
Click for imageBekaMini Train Table20.2525.535wood - hard maple with 2-piece birch topUSA$130Shorter legs available upon request for an additional $10

KidkraftNatural17.556.53549.5trundle drawer $75woodChina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand$125

ImaginariumTrain Set with Table15.826.831.830.5nonewood?$113includes 55 piece train set

MaximWooden Activity Table with 45-piece Train Set and Storage Bin1645 (total)30.532bin includedwoodChina$112

Melissa and DougActivity Table166232.550small drawerwood (particle board)China (Wikipedia)$109

KidcraftRide Around Table16.24334.549plastic bins includedwoodChina, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand$108includes 100 piece train set

Little TikesEasy Adjust Activity Table12 adjusts to 183424.5434 binsplasticUSA$100

MaximRailroad Wooden Activity Table with 50 Pc Train Set Compatible with Thomas the Train19.2520.6 (total)2432nonewoodChina$83

Step 2 (plastic)Deluxe Canyon Road Train & Track Table163023.87544.875under lidplasticUSA$80Includes small 3-piece train set

 

More Wooden Train Resources

Phew! That’s all I got on train tables for 2-year-olds, but if you have any suggestions, please leave a comment.