Along with wooden train sets, wooden train tables are a classic feature in the children’s playroom at home and the preschool classroom. It can be hard, however, to get an idea of all the options that are out there — after all, I consider myself a pretty expert train stuff finder at this point, and it took me several different search tactics to discover all the train tables here on this list! And so I hope this list of the best train tables for toddlers and preschoolers will be helpful in your search.
This guide was last updated on November 14th, 2017.
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Posts in the Ultimate Wooden Train Guide:
The Best Wooden Train Sets
The Best Wooden Train Sets: UK Edition
The Best Wooden Train Tables for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Do You Need a Train Table?
Alternatives to Gluing Wooden Train Tracks to Train Tables
Wooden Train Tracks
Wooden Train Bridges and Elevated Tracks
Roundhouses and Engine Sheds
Organizing Wooden Trains and Track
Wooden Train Freight Cars
…and more to come!
It’s taken me a long time to figure out how to write this post. While I have a great deal of first-hand knowledge regarding the different brands of train sets, there are only so many train tables that one family can own (in our case, one at home and one at my mom’s house). However, as I got into the research for this, I realized that we’ve played on many different train tables in bookstores and toy stores, and from carefully reading as many reviews as I could, I think I was able to tell which train tables were a good bet.
I’ve listed as many train table options as I could here, but as you’ll read, some of my recommendations for the tables on the list are much more enthusiastic than others.
But, before you read this list, there’s a question you should ask: do you really need a train table? If you’re unsure whether or not you should buy a train table, you should read my honest rundown of the pros and cons of train tables, based on my own experience and on conversations with other train parents. I’ve changed people’s minds in both directions!
Train Tables without Train Sets
If you already have a complete wooden train set, or plan on purchasing one separately, buying a train table that doesn’t come with a train set makes a lot of sense. Also, most of the higher-quality tables I found do not come with train sets included, so if you can afford to buy them separately, I recommend starting here.
Made in the USA Hardwood Train Tables
These are likely the sturdiest, safest way to go when buying a train table. Some of them are also a very, very good deal in comparison to some of the name brand train tables I’ll list below, considering they’re much better made with better materials. If you can get one of these, it’s probably your best bet. Especially if your little one is likely to try to climb on top of the table like mine did!
- Sodura Birch Wood Train Table
- Made in the USA from all birch wood and finished with an industrial-grade, low-VOC, non-toxic finish.
- 3/4″ hardwood legs and solid construction make this a sturdy table that seems like it will hold up to a lot of play.
- You can fit two Sodura Birch Train Table Trundle Drawers underneath for storage.
- Judging from the Amazon reviews, this table would be an excellent choice.
- Little Colorado Handcrafted Play Table – Unfinished ( US ) and Little Colorado Kid’s Play Table – Natural ( US / CA )
- Little Colorado makes their train tables out of Baltic birchwood, and the description states it can hold 300 pounds, so it sounds pretty solid. They apparently are a very green company, using water-based, low-VOC, American-made finishes, wood from “environmentally responsible suppliers”, low-formaldehyde MDF, and 100% recycled packaging. (I’m not sure if the table is solid wood or if the top is MDF.)
- At 19 inches tall, these tables are almost as high as the Beka table below, which is great as preschoolers get taller.
- Also available: Storage Drawer Set Finish: Sanded/Unfinished and Storage Drawer Set Finish: Natural Lacquer.
- Beka Basic Train Table with Top ( US )
- This train table is made in the USA out of unfinished solid maple with a Baltic birch two-piece top.
- I also like the height of this table — 20 1/4 inches — because most train tables are short for older preschoolers. For toddlers, you can contact the company and request shorter legs for an additional price. (Personally, I would have just gone with the taller legs and let him grow into them.)
- You can also purchase Beka train trundle drawers separately (two will fit under the table) or buy the table together with two drawers for pretty much the same price as buying them separately.
- Nilo® Multi-Activity Childrens Play Table
- Their website states that half the table is made in the USA, with a sturdy hardwood frame and melamine top.
- This seems to be a very innovative table, coming in two different sizes and the option of having holes around the outside that allow you to attach accessories to connect to many different kinds of toys. They also sell LEGO/DUPLO-compatible base plates that fit their tables. The company has obviously put a great deal of thought into making the table as functional as possible.
- The tables are 19″ high, but you can also purchase 24″ legs to allow the table to grow with your child.
- Train Tables Online is another source for hardwood, Made-in-USA wooden train tables.
- Their train tables come in cherry, red oak, poplar, and maple. You can choose different play boards for the top, from Thomas-brand ones to solid wood boards that match the table. Trundle drawers for storage are also available. They also offer custom finishing services.
- These are somewhat more expensive than the Beka and Little Colorado tables, but they do look quite lovely.
- International shipping may be available; the website says to contact for shipping quotes to locations outside of the 48 contiguous states.
- Choo Choo Track & Toy Co. also has a Made in the USA wooden train table. It’s more expensive than the others on this list, but once again, it looks like a very nice option.
- Shipping is only available within the 48 contiguous states.
- TAG Child’s Activity Table ( US / CA )
Modular / Portable Train Tables
- Connect 2 Play 24 x 48 inch Portable Activity Table (2 sections) and Connect 2 Play 48 x 48 inch Modular Activity Table (4 sections)
- These sturdy plastic activity tables are easy to put together — once you have the hang of it, it only takes a few minutes! — and you can rearrange them in different configurations.
- The pieces fit back into their original box, making the tables ideal for grandparents or families living in small spaces because the table can be packed away in a closet or attic when not in use.
- This is also a great table to use at events outside of the home, or at children’s museums, train museums, or in preschool classrooms. I own four of the 2 section packs, and I take them with me to train shows when I’m promoting my wooden train book with the custom train set I made to go with it.
- I really enjoy using these tables, and I wish I’d known about them when the Little Engineer was younger! While they may not be made from wood, there are lots of practical reasons that make them a very useful option.
Major Brand Train Tables
- Brio Play Table ( US / UK / CA )
- I like the simple scenery painted on this table — solid green for grass, with blue in one corner for water. We’ve played on this table at toy stores, and it’s a nice one.
- This play table is designed to work with the Brio Deluxe Railway Set, which has been a very popular set with our readers after we recommended it highly on our list of the Best Wooden Train Sets.
- Thomas Wooden Railway Play Table ( US )
- If your child is a super Thomas fan, you may want to go with the Thomas table. We’ve played with this one in the store, and it’s a nice table. I love the train track shelf between two of the legs, especially the possibility of building tracks up from the floor to it. (It would have been nice for them to include more of these shelves!)
- The reviews generally rate this as much higher quality than the KidKraft tables, which is about what I would expect. (More than one reviewer commented on buying this after having a KidKraft table they were dissatisfied with.)
- This is a taller train table — 18.5 inches in comparison to 16 inches on a KidKraft table I checked — which makes it a better height for preschoolers as well as toddlers.
- Hape Railway Play & Stow Activity Table ( US / UK )
- This table features a storage area beneath the three-piece play top. The product photo demonstrates leaving one piece of the play top in place to create a multi-level train layout, which looks like fun.
- The play top is reversible, with a jungle (or countryside) theme on one side and a city theme on the other.
- Bigjigs Rail Train Table with Drawers ( UK / CA )
- This table includes a double-sided table top with a landscape design on one side and plain green paint on the other.
- While we don’t have any experience with Bigjigs train tables, we do have a number of their wooden trains, and I consider it a good brand to go with.
- This train table was available in the US on Amazon when I started this list, but now seems to be sold out. I’ll add the US link back in if that changes.
- Plan Toys Toy Play Table ( US / UK )
- Plan Toys is one of the most eco-friendly toy companies making wooden train products that are widely available. This train table is made from unfinished rubberwood. However, it doesn’t seem to be solid rubberwood…most of the reviews I read described it as particle board.
- You can also purchase matching toy drawers (two will fit under the table).
- Chuggington Wooden Railway Let’s Ride the Rails Play Table ( US )
- If your child loves Chuggington, this may be exactly what you’re looking for. It’s designed to go with the All Around Chuggington Set.
- KidKraft 2-in-1 Activity Table with Board, Gray/Natural and Espresso
- I’m hesitant to recommend KidKraft train tables due to the mixed reviews, but many people like their KidKraft tables.
- P’kolino Little Modern Activity Table ( US )
- This is an interesting, attractive, modern play table. The two-piece top is reversible, with a plain wood side and a chalkboard side, and beneath is a storage space that is painted with train set scenery, so a small train set could be concealed beneath the top during other activities or when the table not in use. This is a fairly small train table, nice for a small space.
- Melissa & Doug Deluxe Wooden Multi-Activity Table ( US / UK / CA )
- This is a standard-size white train table with a two-piece green play board top. The reviews on this one are pretty mixed. It also includes a “jumbo” drawer in the side…which I would just call a “drawer”, because it looks like it would waste space that could be used to slide a larger storage tub underneath the table.
Train Tables with Train Sets Included
A all-in-one train table and train set package can be an exciting gift, and has the benefit of coming with everything you need to play included. This can save you a lot of money, but sometimes you get what you pay for (the only brands from my Best Wooden Train Sets list that make train tables with sets included are Bigjigs and Imaginarium.) Often the play board top for the table is painted or printed with a design that coordinates with the train set, which can look nice, but can also be limiting once your child is ready to build their own train layouts. Also, the temptation to glue these train sets to their matching train tables is strong, so do yourself and your child a favor and read our list of Alternatives to Gluing Train Tracks to Train Tables to find out why and how to avoid this.
- Bigjigs Rail Services Train Set and Table ( US / UK / CA )
- Bigjigs is one of the brands we recommend on the Best Wooden Train Sets list. The quality is decent, and I appreciate their innovative and unique designs.
- This is a great set for learning about community helpers.
- Bigjigs Rail City Train Set and Table ( US / UK )
- Another Bigjigs train table and set, this time with a city theme.
- Bigjigs Rail Dinosaur Train Set and Table ( US / UK )
- If you have a Dinosaur Train fan, this might be the perfect train table for you!
- Maxim 50 piece Train Set with Train and Play Table ( US )
- This is very small for a rectangular train table. I wouldn’t expect great quality and the layout is pretty simple, but the bright and colorful images all over the table would be appealing to some children.
- KidKraft Train Tables: I’m including these on the list, even though I’m still hesitant to recommend them. Some people — including a blogger friend I trust — love their KidKraft train tables. In real life, I’ve heard frustration with them. And online, the reviews are extremely mixed — some people are really happy them, some people feel that the tables aren’t sturdy and the tracks are splintery and not high quality, among other complaints. I have two theories: there could be a wide variation in the quality of different products, and between production runs of the same product, or this could just be a brand that rides a quality line, and you get a lot for what you pay, but it may or may not last as long as you like it to. If you’re looking at a KidKraft table, you should compare it to the Imaginarium train tables sold at Toys’R’Us, which I do recommend.
- KidKraft Waterfall Mountain Train Set and Table ( US / UK / CA )
- Kidkraft Limited Edition Waterfall Mountain Train Table and Train Set W/drawers ( US / CA )
- KidKraft Ride Around Train Set and Table ( US / CA )
- KidKraft Metropolis Train Table & Set ( US / CA )
- KidKraft Aero City Train Set & Table ( US / CA )
- KidKraft also makes a matching Train Table Trundle Drawer – Natural ( US / CA ). Check the dimensions to make sure the drawer or drawers you order will fit beneath your table, because the dimensions of the KidKraft tables vary.
- Conductor Carl 80 Piece Train Table and Playboard Set ( US )
- This is a budget train table that gets surprisingly good reviews. I have no idea how it stacks up in terms of quality with, say, KidKraft and Imaginarium, but people seem happy with it. At this price, it’s worth a look.
- Imaginarium train tables: Toys’R’Us generally has at least one Imaginarium train table available. I feel they’re a good value for the low price, especially if you get one — as my mom did — when it’s on sale. While our table has gone onto another home (it was still in good condition at the time), we still use a lot of the pieces from the train set that came with it.
Available Only in the UK:
- Bigjigs Rail Magical Train Set and Table
- If you are looking for a pink train table, here it is! Bigjigs makes some really cute pink wooden trains and accessories, and here they’ve created a whole world of pink on a train table. (You might also want to check out our comprehensive list of pink trains and accessories.)
- Bigjigs is a brand we recommend: the quality is decent, and the design of the toys is inventive and interesting.
- Plum Train and Track Wooden Activity Table with Accessories
- This train table has an interesting shape and a drawer.
Square Train Tables
We have a square train table in our house. It’s a great space saver. Building complicated track layout can be difficult, but not impossible on a square train table. (Let me know in the comments if you’d like me to do a post on how to fit fun track layouts into the confines of a train table!)
- Maxim Enterprise Inc Train Table with 45 Piece Train Set ( US )
- This table is very similar to the table we own, although ours is white with a blue two-piece top, and this has a natural look with a one-piece green top. (We really like our table!) The product description says it’s made from 100% hardwoods (at least, it does when you scroll down to see the version without the “1%” typo), although I can’t find any confirmation of that in the reviews. It also includes a small fabric storage bin.
- Kidkraft 2-in-1 Activity Table ( US / UK / CA )
- This is a very small (23″ x 23″) play table, suitable for toddlers or very tight spaces. The play board is reversible, with scenery for a train set on one side and a LEGO-compatible surface on the other side. When you lift up the board, there is storage underneath.
Alternatives to Traditional Train Tables
- Fisher-Price Thomas Wooden Railway – Up and Around Sodor Adventure Tower ( US )
- This is an interesting twist on the idea of a train table: a three level tower. It takes up much less space than a regular table, and it may be a good choice for toddlers because there are tracks built into the two upper layers. There’s also a crane to lift supplies from the second level to the third and back again, and the bottom level is meant to be built into a wooden train layout on the floor.
- Step2 Deluxe Canyon Road Train & Track Table ( US / UK / CA )
- This is a plastic table with molded scenery and built-in track. This is possibly a good choice for toddlers who take apart train tracks or
- DIY Super Easy Garden Train Table
- This was a fun and easy project! See how I made an outdoor train “table” / garden for my son last summer with no tools required. He thought it was so cool!
- Toddler Bed to Train Table (in less than 5 minutes) from Munchkins and Moms
- What I thought was especially cool about this idea is that it’s a temporary transition. Your child’s toddler bed can go back to being a place to sleep in time for bedtime!
DIY Train Tables
I hope to eventually do a full post on DIY train tables, but for now I have a Pinterest board filled up with all the best ideas I could find. We do have a few posts here on Play Trains! featuring the beautiful wTrak DIY modular wooden train tables that you should take a look at if you’re interested in making your own, especially for younger children or a public space.
Once you have your train table picked out, you’ll want to browse our Train Play archives for lots of ideas of what to do with them! You may want to read our Guide to Wooden Train Tracks for advice on expanding upon a basic train set as well. I also recommend signing up for our email newsletter to keep up with our new train ideas and activities as we post them.
A note on safety: Wooden train sets generally involve a fair range of choking hazards, especially when you’re dealing with freight for freight cars or other accessories. There is also the possibility of a magnet coming loose, although the only time we’ve had that problem in the past three years was on a Brio freight container when the plastic square concealing a magnet came loose. (We checked all the other freight containers and none of the others seemed to have the same problem.)
Most wooden train sets are rated for age two or three and up because of these dangers. Please take this into account when buying a trains set for your children, as well as their own stage of development when it comes to putting things in their mouths. We were fortunate that the Little Engineer was beyond the mouthing stage when he was only one year old, so we were able to buy wooden trains from the start of his interest in them. Even so, I did put a number of smaller pieces away until I was sure, and I always closely supervised him with his trains.
This guide will be expanded with time. Have a question I didn’t answer? Ask in the comments below, or by email!
Need a train set to go with your new train table?