A few weeks ago, a stroke of genius hit and I laid these “train tracks” down on the rug in Julian’s room. At four-and-three-quarters, he is over the whole Thomas thing, but larger scale train action definitely still turns him on.
All you need is a roll of painter’s tape, the kind that removes from walls with minimal damage.
As you can see, Julian has he has an extensive dress up collection (see his cowboy hat, santa hat, and tiger suit?) , and he put his engineer get-up on every day after school for about a week. We collected all of the stools and small chairs in the house and lined them up in rows of two. He sat in the front with a cardboard box that was his “control panel”.
The icing on the cake was the hole puncher we gave him. He passed out magazine reply card inserts for us to use as tickets. When he announced “Tickets, please!” we would present our paper for him to punch a hole through. Somehow this made it all very official. I think a toddler close to two would be inspired to play imaginatively these tracks, too, but of course without the hole puncher aspect.