Saturday, May 21, 2011

Terry Train by Haba

This is yet another durable and visually appealing wooden toy from Haba that's interesting for infants and toddlers alike. The three little wooden cars hook together through a wooden bead and string loop system to create a 14-inch long train. Because the two sets of wheels on the front engine are two different sizes the engine bounces up and down when it is rolled along a hard or carpeted surface. Like all Haba wooden toys the train is made of beechwood and decorated with a  solvent free non-toxic dye. It's recommended for use by children 12 months+, but I have children that I work with who are developmentally younger than 12 months and they really like the toy. Strengths: Each car of the train has a novel element for children to explore. The engine has a squeaker, the middle car has a kaleidoscope, and the caboose train has a little bell that rings as the train is pushed along. Weaknesses: There are two things that the children I work with seem to find frustrating about this toy. First, the squeaker on the engine is difficult for them to activate independently and they usually need a little adult assistance to make it work. Second, the wooden bead and string loop system for attaching the cars can be difficult for little fingers to manage. Personally, I wish that there was a cord attached to the front of the train so children could pull it toward themselves when we are working on cause-effect relationships. Because it is very visually appealing children want to get the toy so adding a cord would help them work on reaching, grasping, and pulling the toy closer to themselves.

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