Reviews - BRIO toys

We have reviewed a selection of toys which have been sent to us, as well as recommending some that have been a particular success at home. These will help you and your children to have fun together while they are learning. On this page, we have focused specifically on the wonderful range from BRIO - there are far more than just train sets to discover!

BRIO World - Battery Operated Action Train

Engines and carriages are always welcome additions to train sets, and battery operated trains are so much more appreciated than ones children have to push. This battery-powered set has got lots to recommend it - forward and reverse movement (the reverse movement is great to get the train in just the right position to offload the goods!), a headlight, a cement mixer which revolves as the train travels and a tipping coal tender. The train chugs along nicely - not very fast, but then it doesn't need to be. The magnetic coupling means that other carriages can be mixed and matched. With so much to enjoy, this set really engages children's imaginations, giving them lots of scope for role play as the set services the rest of their railway by delivering coal and mixing the cement ready for the building works. As children design their tracks, and set their trains off in motion, their thinking skills and planning abilities are developed as they work out a safe route for each of the trains. All three items in the set are beautifully manufactured with plenty of attention to detail and this is a great addition to a wooden train set. Of course, it's made to BRIO's normal high standards with bright colours and good quality plastic.

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Crane and Mountain Tunnel

All add-ons to the BRIO railway sets offer lots of scope for extending the play value, but this one is particularly impressive in the amount of different features it offers. Every corner of the 33889 Crane & Mountain Tunnel offers something new to discover. The crane and the top of the mountain can be lifted off, and placed separately onto the track. As well as the multistorey railway passage and the majestic crane on top, there are four different sounds that activate when the train is passing through the mountain. The set includes the mountain with crane - it's good to see the height adds an extra dimension to existing tracks, plus a cargo engine and wagon with load, a figure and two pieces of track. The item measures 45 x 27 x 24.1cm. Suitable for ages 3 years and up. Of course, it's made to BRIO's consistent high standards, from very high quality plastic and using beech wood from sustainable sources. The train and wagons have the classic BRIO magnetic couplings allowing for easy connection to each other and to other vehicles in your child's collection. It's a novel addition to the sets, and really does add new opportunities for role play and story-telling; as children manoeuvre the various parts they are also increasing their manipulative skills It's a brilliant way to support creative, collaborative and imaginative play; I love the way that our BRIO railway just gets bigger and bigger, and every new piece enhances the rest. It's not unusual for us to have four children, aged 3 to 7, all happily playing at the same time - and what more can you ask of a toy?

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Cogwheel Puzzle

I was thrilled with this puzzle, which is suitable for children of 24 months plus, because it really makes them think about how to make it work. They need to work out what makes the wheels go round and round. There are nine brightly coloured plastic cogs, attractively decorated, which fit on to the baseboard. I was really impressed by the weight of the wooden board - it's very sturdy which means that it doesn't move around whilst the cogs are working. The corners are rounded and protected by plastic corners which adds safety and durability to the toy. The first objective is one side of the board, where children have to match the cogs to the right colour circle. Then they progress onto the second objective on the other side of the board, which is to match the right cog to the right shape. There are 12 raised circles on the board, and in the centre of each is a shape which corresponds to the shape inside the cog - four each of square, triangle and circle (a good early introduction to shapes). One of each set of three cogs (blue, red and green) has a small handle to turn the cog - a good way to develop manual dexterity. Once all the pieces are in place - and the fact there are 12 spaces and nine cogs means the board can be set up differently on each occasion, turn one cog and watch the rest move. Once children have enjoyed playing with this toy, see what else you can find around the house that works in a similar way, and build on the learning opportunities - you may even have an old-fashioned watch around! This is a sturdy, well made toy which will help children understand an early scientific concept, and cause and effect. They will also have their manual dexterity and problem solving enhanced as they fit the cogs into place and turn them round; shape and colour will also be learnt. It's good to see the two stages of the puzzle, which adds value.

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Push and Go Racer

Push down on the head of the bright yellow racing driver and the back wheels spin into action, propelling the car forward. It works best on hard floors, but we found it would run on carpet too. Suitable for 12 months upwards, it's a great way to stimulate activity as little ones crawl or toddle towards the racer as it travels along. Their fine motor skills will be developed as they push down to make the toy move, and children will enjoy the bright colours. The toy is perfect for this young age, as all the corners of the car are gently rounded for safety. It's easy for little fingers to grasp and will help develop manual dexterity This toy is mainly made of plastic - 75% to the 25% wood. It's a great companion for other Brio vehicles for this age group. A lovely bright toy to add to the toybox.

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Track Repair Vehicle

Problem on the line? Send in the BRIO Track Repair Vehicle to sort it out. The Track Repair Vehicle is ready for any emergency and its special feature is the mesmerising 'fixing and welding' light show, which is simply operated by pressing the red button on the top (the battery is included). It produces orange flashing lights which light up the track to show the work in progress - great fun! The vehicle is suitable for ages 3 years and up and is a great addition to an existing wooden train set. Of course, it is manufactured to BRIO's high standards and the wood used is FSC Certified wood, although this particular vehicle is largely plastic. The bright yellow of the design makes it look suitably different from other trains. A magnetic coupling front and back allows it to be attached to other trains and carriages; there's also a magnetic point on top of the silver piece of equipment which fits on top of the vehicle. It's great to see a focused product like this, which really gives plenty of opportunity to extend the imaginative play value of children's train sets - all sorts of scenarios can be played out which children will enjoy. It also gives an insight into the way railways work and the fact that regular maintenance needs to be carried out, thereby extending knowledge.

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BRIO My Home Town - Camping Set

Regular readers will know how much we love the BRIO My Home Town range, and the fact it is suitable for children of 18 months plus - always a tricky age to cater for, as so much is marked as being suitable for 3+. The BRIO My Home Town series is constantly expanding, and every time a new product is added, the play value of tyour child's collection really increases - as do the opportunities for imaginative and role play. Children can act out real life scenarios with the playfully designed Camping Set. There are plenty of features and functions to give children plenty of play value - the set includes a car, a caravan, two people, a dog and a canoe - of course, they are all compatible with others in the series. The car and caravan fasten together; they are generously sized and the big wheels mean they travel smoothly, even across carpet. The canoe slots neatly on top of the car for travelling, and the two people can either fit in the car or lie in the caravan. Sturdy construction makes for a durable toy that keeps its good looks, and the paint is long-lasting; BRIO toys are always a joy, with their high manufacturing values; children respond well to this and it encourages them to care for their toys to keep them looking good. This set is 75% plastic, 25% wood. If you are going off on a camping holiday, this set is a great way to encourage discussion about what to expect, and to build anticipation. Role play is much loved by children, and it's a valuable part of play, extending their knowledge and understanding of the world and stimulating imaginative play - this is another well thought-out set which facilitates these important skills. A lovely addition to the series.

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BRIO Light and Sound Firetruck

Hurry! There's an emergency and the firetruck has been summoned! Set the sirens and lights going (good news - the batteries are included and fitted) until you get there. The bright red plastic fire engine has two crew members (male and female), plus two removable ladders (which stack together) and a hose attached to the fire truck, which can be reeled in and out. I am a big fan of the My Home Town range from BRIO for children of 18 months plus. So many toys are marketed as being suitable for 3+ that it's great to know there is a whole range that can be purchased to build up a really good collection for toddlers. The toy has so many different features; it stimulates imaginative play and encourages interaction with other children; it also works really well with the other toys for the age group, and the size is ideal for the age, helping them develop manipulative skills as they move the play pieces around. Like all BRIO toys, it is beautifully made and is a toy that can be handed on through the generations - it is timeless in its appeal and the excellent manufacture means it is durable. An excellent role play toy and one which will be really enjoyed and played with a great deal - especially with others from the range.

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BRIO Builder Deluxe Set

This construction set is something different for me from BRIO - and one that's just as good as all their products. Children can really give full rein to the imagination because as well as loads of wooden and plastic construction pieces there are eye graphics to enable character play. It includes an amazing 270 x Brio builder pieces including nuts, bolts, blocks and more - even a drum and rope. The screwdrivers, hammer, spanners and pliers are perfect for developing those construction skills and familiarising children with using tools. It is all well packaged, ensuring the pieces are all in perfect condition on receipt. It all comes neatly packed in a sturdy blue storage box with clip fastenings, perfect to keep it all tidy - and to encourage tidying up! 40% of the pieces are wood and this is FSC wood, as with all BRIO products. There are lots of bright colours in the plastic pieces, ensuring the finished constructions will be really colourful and attractive This a great set packed with so much potential for use of imagination to create any number of objects. The instructions include detailed drawings for five different items including a crane and a car. Then it's down to children to make up their own ideas. We found the pieces fitted together well and the good size makes them ideal for young children. Just tipping all the pieces out and letting children have free rein immediately generates creations. With so many pieces to choose from, there are always enough pieces to make what you want. This is a fun and constructive way to practise hand/eye coordination and develop fine motor skills, especially when using the tools. It's suitable for 3+ and is a perfect first construction set but is also a set that will grow with your child - as their skills grow, the set has plenty of flexibility to accommodate this.A super set that will have many years of use. Of course, being manufactured to BRIO high standards ensures this will happen.

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BRIO World - Airport with Control Tower

Would-be air traffic controllers will love this big playset, which puts them in full control at the airport, both on the ground and in the air. So there's plenty for them to think about and organise, which is great for developing those all-important thinking skills. Sequencing is another thought process that can come into play as children work out what happens if... It would also be a good way to prepare your child for the excitement of flying themselves. This super set has so many actions that children will enjoy - load up the aircraft; wind the luggage up in the lift then slide it down the chute. The neatest thing, though, is the lamp (batteries incuded) which just needs turning upside down or shaking to turn it on/off - and it switches off automatically after three minutes. This set has a terminal complete with control tower to spot all the activity, a beautiful red airplane which is really solidly made and which wheels along very smoothly preparing for take-off, plus a complete baggage handling system with two airport staff figures. Intergated with this is a track outside which will, of course, work with other BRIO train sets, making this part of a really extensive play set and increasing the play value hugely..The whole set is really beautifully made; it's mainly strong plastic and the wood is, as you'd expect, FSC certified. Substantially made, brightly coloured, this is a toy that will give, not just hours of play, but generations of play, as, like all BRIO products, it's one to treasure and hand down as the sets build up. It really stimulates imaginative play, with so many different actions to enjoy, to discuss with friends, and to link with other BRIO sets - the play value is limitless.

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Magnetic Train

Your child is in charge of where this train goes, with no need for tracks. It's perfect for children of 12 months plus, who will respond well to the bright colours of the pieces - red, orange, yellow, purple, blue and green, as well as black and white. It's a good way to introduce colour recognition - "Pass me the orange piece." Each piece is magnetic and they snap together with a satisfying click - and they hold together well in play. Young ones may need a little help in working out how the magnets work. There are two train carriages and nine stacking pieces of varying shapes. The well made pieces are testament to BRIO's high production standards; they have a really nice feel and will certainly be durable. The train runs smoothly - better on hard floors than carpet but that's inevitable; the base with the wheels on is satisfyingly heavy, making the toy very stable. The toy is made from FSC Certified wood and it measures 19.8 x 7.8 x 9.1cm. Placing the pieces together increases manual dexterity, and the opportunity to create different trains gives free rein to the imagination. A colourful first train that is fun to play with and very attractive to display on a toy shelf too.

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Ball Pounder

This 5-piece set includes three bright multi-coloured balls, a child-friendly hammer with a hard rubber head and yellow handle, and a bright red bucket. There's more to the balls than a first glance shows - they are gorgeously tactile, partly rubber and part shiny plastic. What's more, each one makes a different musical noise, and little ones will enjoy shaking them and hearing the sounds. Put one of the balls into the top opening, bang it with the hammer and watch as it shoots out through one of the three openings at the bottom - which one will it be? And can you catch it? The anticipation is always a thrill at this age. Your young one will be having lots of fun and at the same time will be developing dexterity, hand-eye co-ordination as they refine their aim to hit the ball squarely, and sound recognition. Can they guess which colour ball you are rattling? The bright colours, jingling balls and excitement of pounding the hammer will engage children, keeping them enterained for hours.. The toy is suitable for children of 18 months upwards and it is an excellent way to encourage hand-eye coordination, They will respond well to the bright colours, and can be encouraged to name the colours as they play. Like all BRIO toys, the wood used (the toy is part wood, part plastic) is FSC certified. It is really well made, very attractive - a toy that will last and last and give children hours of happy play.

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My Home Town - Hen House

It's morning on the farm and the hen is waiting for her food - no eggs unless you feed her! You need to feed the hen with corn from your bucket and set the fence straight so that she can't escape. Come join the fun in the Hen House. Did you know that the hen’s favourite place to sit is on the roof top? She neatly slots into place, which is a great feature. From there, she can see everything that's going on - encourage your child to talk about what else might be seen on the farm. This colourfull set includes a figure, a hen, a bucket, the hen house and four fences; it measures 14.8 x 6.6 x 13.4cm. The bucket has a ring to attach it to the figure, and the hen house has an opening door plus a movable ramp to give the hen access. The Hen House is suitable for ages 18 Months and up - it can be hard to find suitable toys for this age group, so it's super to see this is the recommended age. There are plenty more toys in the My Home Town range, and every time you add to the collection, your child's collection gains a new lease of life, refreshing interest. Of course, the set is manufactured to BRIO's high standards and from FSC certified wood where appropriate - the set is part wood, part plastic. This is another lovely BRIO toy which offers plenty of scope for imaginative play, and opportunities to talk about where our food comes from.

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Brio World - Central Train Station

BRIO just goes on and on giving - and being received with great joy. Every time you give your child a new piece of BRIO, the play vaue of their whole collection is enhanced, giving them ever more opportunities for creative and imaginative play. All journeys need a starting point, and here's the set-off point for lots of play. This is the perfect town/city centre train station to fit into the existing tracks (it has double tracks) and to add a urban dimension to play. For extra play value, children will enjoy the wide  sounds from the ticket machine, which sounds just like a ticket being issued (batteries are included) - and a figure is included to play with this. There is also a clock face with movable hands on both ends of the station building, so children can run their railway to a timetable. The item measures 23.4 x 21.8 x 17.7cm and is of course fully compatible with the whole BRIO range. The detailed painting on the building gives extra value, stimulating play ideas. BRIO train sets last children for many years - although recommended for three years plus, younger ones will also have great fun, especially playing along with older siblings. The range and versatility of BRIO make is perfect for co-operative play, with plenty for everyone to do. Our BRIO regularly comes out and is set up with a different layout (or one per child, perhaps interlinking) every time. Of course, the station is manufactured to BRIO's high standards and from FSC Certified wood (although this is largely plastic, incluing the integral tracks); the colours are bright and bold, there's never a rough edge to be felt and the toys just go on for ever, with new blending seamlessly with old. The urban look of this station is a great addition to any set.

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BRIO Bus and Train Station

There's plenty of scope for the imagination with this attractive addition to BRIO's range. The combination of bus and train station gives the ideal opportunity to link together children's collections of road and rail vehicles, and then there are all sorts of destinations on offer. Maybe it's time to set off on holiday or a visit to grandma and grandpa? Then this is perfect, because a suitcase is included in the set. Maybe it's time for a day trip, setting off from home on the bus and then changing onto the train for an exciting journey. There could even be another bus at the other end. The friendly character even has his camera slung round his neck, ready for those all-important souvenir photographs. This could be used as an extension play idea - draw pictures of the potential photographs to make a record of a day out. Good to encourage motor skills and conversation. The set includes the station, a Parking Bay, a colourful yellow bus, a Figure and a suitcase. There's plenty of decorative detail on the station, including a ticket machine and platform numbers; these features give plenty of opportunities to extend imaginative play and stimulate discussion and role play. The bus has magnetic couplings, so other vehicles in the range can be attached; the figure can stand or be seated in the bus. The item measures 33 x 30.1 x 13.3cm and is suitable for ages 3 Years and up. Of course, the setanufactured to BRIO's high standards and from FSC certified wood. You can always guarantee really good construction with BRIO toys and this is no exception. A great addition to the range and we love the way it unites road and rail..

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Brio Wooden Pram

This sturdy and attractive wooden doll's pram is very different to the conventional idea of a doll's pram, but that makes it much more versatile and gives plenty of opportunities for imaginative play for both boys and girls.This strong red doll's pram measures 34 x 26.2 x 45.7cm, and is suitable for ages 18 months and up. Of course, it is manufactured to BRIO's high standards and from FSC Certified wood; the pram is a really bright red, with red and white wheels and a natural and red wood handle. The handle can be put into different positions. It comes almost fully assembled - just one side of the handle needs fixing into position and you're ready to go. The pram trundles along very well - it's easy to push, even for small children, and remains very stable. It's strong enough to take out and about - perfect for a walk in the park, and very eye-catching with its unusual design. Most doll's prams are more suited to older children, so it's super to see this for younger ones. I foresee it being used to transport all manner of things apart from dolls! It's capacious and would make a great tidying-up toy - ask your little one to go round and fill it with all the little bits and pieces that are inevitably around at the end of the day, and make tidying up fun. Another good use would be as a shopping trolley - set up shop and invite the customers along, supplying them with their own trolley. It's a lovely way to encourage role play and imagination, and I think would be really good in pre-school settings, as well as at home.  The design encourages imaginative use, rather than pre-conceived ideas. Find out more about this lovely wooden pram and buy from BRIO here.

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BRIO World - Police Station

The BRIO range is growing rapidly and they are producing some wonderful sets which will extend children's imaginative play - and they can be used alongside BRIO's classic train sets for added imaginative and role play value. The latest addition is this police station, and there's lots going on to keep children happily engaged. The police car can be driven up the ramp and directly into the station - and then there's a lift that goes up to the first floor where the prison cells are; this keeps those pesky prisoners away from everyone else! Once the prisoner (a suspicious looking character!) is safely in the cell, lock the grill gate. Then it's time to set off again in the police van, ready for the next job - and don't forget to set off the siren and lights so you get there as quickly as possible. The police van also has a magnetic coupling so it can be linked with other BRIO toys; there is so much play value here. This set is mainly plastic but you can be confident that the wood used is from FSC Certified wood; the quality of manufacturing is, as always, excellent. The set includes the Police Station, a ramp, a piece of track, a police van, and two Figures. It is suitable for ages 3 years and up. Find out more and buy direct from BRIO here.

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BRIO Farm SET 

BRIO is far from being just about railways; they have a superb range of toys to encourage imaginative play on children of 18 months plus, and this Farm Set is one of them. Young children can enjoy a busy day with the farmer, as there are so many different parts to this set. With a little help from an adult to start with, children will soon be playing imagiinatively with the many components. They can help the farmer feed the animals with the hay bale; build the fences to keep the animals safe; tidy up with the wheelbarrow and spade. For even more play value, the set works really well with the other BRIO sets for this age group.  Once the end of the day arrives,  all the animals have to be put inside inside the barn and the doors closed. It's great to be able to pack all the contents away in the barn (although it would be even better if there was a back to the barn). The set includes 1 Barn, 1 Wheelbarrow, 1 Hay Bale, 1 Cow, 1 Horse, 1 Bucket, 1 Spade,  and 4 Fences as well as the barn, which has opening front doors and a small swing door. With so many items, there is plenty of scope for children to be imaginative and act out a variety of scenarios. The Item measures 30.5 x 16.3 x 19.5cm. Suitable for ages 18 Months and up - and I always like to see toys specifically for this age, as so much is available for either older or younger children. Of course, the whole set is manufactured to BRIO's high standards with the wooden parts from FSC Certified wood. The recommended price is £39.99 and you can purchase the set from BRIO here

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My First Take Along Set from BRIO

Here's a great chance for younger children to start on their BRIO journey - suitable for 18 months plus, this carry-along play set with bright colours is just perfect to be young one's new play companion. They can take it along when travelling or visiting and play wherever they want - or enjoy using it at home. Just open the bag, magnetically couple the engine and wagon together and drive the bell wagon down the track to the accompaniment of the bell chiming as you go - a great little extra little ones will love. This snazzy plastic case has the train and track inside and the set includes the Carry Case, 2 tracks (these are, of course, compatible with the rest of the BRIO sets), 2 ramps, an engine and a carriage. The track runs around the case, and then you attach the two wooden raised ramps and plastic end pieces. It's fun to use and really easy to tidy away and store; perfect ti encourage young ones to tidy up their toys! Young ones will welcome the opportunity to share with their older siblings whilst having a train perfectly suited to their age. Manufactured to BRIO's high standards, this is a good way to develop early role play and imaginative skills. Find out where to buy yours with BRIO's toy shop locator.

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BRIO Special Edition 2017 Train

Wow! This will make a fabulously stylish addition to any child's BRIO train set. It's a superbly made and decorated train and coal tender, made partly of FSC certified wood, embellished with bright red wheels, a black cowcatcher and snazzy gold extras which look super against the red and black. The piston wheels turn as the train travels along the track and the magnetic couplings mean that other BRIO carriages can be added. It will look good as part of any train set, but it does have a bit of a Wild West feel, which will be great to fit in with a themed set. The technical bit - The item measures 15 x 3.9 x 5cm, and is suitable for ages 3 years and up. THis is a special 2017 edition, so don't miss out on this super addition which will add a bit of class to your child's train set - it's definitely a collectable.

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BRIO Village Family House Playset

This is just one playset from the superb range that makes up BRIO's Village Family. This superb BRIO Family Home Playset means all the caharcters who play in the village cave a lovely house to go home to. This extensive set Includes 4x Figures, 2x Chairs, 1x Table, 1x Bed, 1x Toilet, 1x Bookshelf Block, 2x Kitchen Blocks, 1x Bench, 2x Fences, 1x Step, 3x Roofs, 11x Columns, 1x Ladder, 9x Panels and 6x Base Plates, giving plenty of flexibility for little ones to create their dream home - all the sets in the BRIO Village range are completely modular allowing young ones to build and rebuild the scenes in new and unique ways every time. Suitable for ages 3 Years and up, this set is, of course, manufactured to BRIO's high standards for complete toy safety, and from FSC Certified wood (some elements are sturdy safe plastic). It all feels really sturdy and will definitely be robust for hours and house of play and reconstruction. The parts fit together really well, making a strong construction for endless play... and then they come apart so a new design can be created. A great way to encourage children's problem-solving skills as they create their ideal home. It also encourages social skills (especially when children share the toy - or have their own set to add), as the realism and flexibility of the setting allows for all sorts of home role-play scenarios. You can buy the Family House set from BRIO here - and make sure you check out the extensive Village range here. I love the fact that this is such an extensive range - as the sets are suitable for children from ages 3 to 7, that could be presents sorted for quite a while to come! Endless possibilities in this stimulating and excellently designed set.

  

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BRIO Village Modules: Family Home Expansion pack

This pack is a great way to encourage children to make their BRIO house really their own - all the extras give great scope for the imagination, encouraging them to make make their BRIO family home bigger or create their own unique layout. This expansion pack includes 2x Roofs, 1x Bench, 3x Columns, 5x Panels, 3x Base Plates, giving a great deal of scope for building in variations... or maybe an annexe to the house? This is just one part of BRIO Village, which is completely modular allowing children to build and rebuild the house in new and unique ways every time. With so many fresh approaches available, children will never get bored. Suitable for ages 3 years and up, this set is manufactured to BRIO's high standards and from FSC Certified wood with some plastic elements. It all sots together (and takes apart) really easily, even for little fingers, giving children a real sense of satisfaction as they create to their heart's content. This is a superb addition to the BRIO range, with all the high production values and educational aspects we expect from BRIO. Superb. Buy from BRIO.

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BRIO Rail & Road Travel Set

This is a great way to start a road/rail collection and also a super way to increase interest in an existing rail layout, by adding roads. Rail sets are a perfect way to encourage imaginative play as children set out the tracks and then make up all manner of scenarios. The inclusion of a roadway with this set really gives masses of scope for increased imaginative play, as passengers change for train to car; goods are transferred between the two and cars stop to let the train pass at the level crossing. Like all BRIO toys, the set is safe and durable and encourages children to imagine, to interact with one another, and to develop their fine motor skills. This set includes a bus/train station, 2 level crossings, 13 pieces of train track, 6 pieces of roadway, 2 off road ramps, 3 train carriages, 3 figures, a car, a bus, a suitcase, and a signpost.brio33
The inclusion of people immediately gives added play value, helps fine motor skills as the people are moved around the playset, and encourages conversation as children act out different happenings. All the vehicles have the classic BRIO magnetic couplings, allowing for easy connection to each other - and to all the other vehicles in BRIO's extensive range. When set up as recommended, the track layout measures 76 x 75cm. It is the compatibility across sets which makes BRIO sets such a good investment, as they can be added to to extend the original play value - every time you buy a new set of track, or a new vehicle, it generates refreshed interest in the whole set-up. And you will never be short of gift ideas! I really like the fact that there are roads as well as rail - an excellent way to increase play value and longevity. And longevity is built into BRIO, with their high production values which mean the toys are durable - perfect to hand on from one generation to another. This is another superb set and the combination of road and rail is a real winner. Do browse the BRIO site to see this and the rest of their wide range.
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BRIO Farm Tractor Set

This is perfect to introduce younger children to the joys of BRIO - and older siblings will welcome it too, as it means their little brother or sister won't keep playing with their BRIO! This brightly coloured tractor comes with its own trailer, which can be unhooked, plus a driver and a horse who fits into the trailer. On the front of the tractor is an easy-to-grip red knob which steers the front wheels of the tractor, making it a good introduction to push toys with steering; it's a good way to develop manipulative skills and to learn about cause and effect. The tractor is a good size for young children, measuring 24.5 x 7.4 x 9.8cm and it is suitable for ages 18 months and up. Of course, it is made to BRIO's high standards and the wood used is FSC Certified wood ; the toy is partly wood, with the horse and man made of wood as is the front of the tractor. All the corners are gently rounded, there are no small pieces that could become detached, and it's all easy for little ones to use. The trailer couples to the tractor with an easy push- and the trailer has another coupling point at the back so that others in the same range can be attached, increasing the fun, and the play value. It is a good way to encourage imaginative play, as your child can make up imaginary scenarios - perhaps the horse is off to a horse show, or going out to pasture. A lovely first tractor - and good to see that BRIO are catering for the younger market.
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BRIO Rescue Emergency Set

Wow! Any child that is given this fabulous set is going to be over the moon! It is absolutely fantastic, with so many play opportunities for children to enjoy. Come to the rescue in BRIO World - disaster has struck! The train has got stuck crossing the bridge - and that's just one possible scenario. Children's imaginations will be stimulated by all the pieces in this set and they will soon be making up their own stories, and acting them out, perhaps with some of their other BRIO toys as well, because the whole range is compatible. The set includes 30 pieces - the fire station with fold-up door, well equipped with a fire engine and wagon and two firefighters; the fire engine even has a siren for more realistic and exciting play and the fire tender has a swivelling ladder. There's a fire to put out, of course. Then the scene can be set with the 12 pieces of track, level crossing, bridge (plus rock supports) and ramp; the lumber truck and accessories, plus two trees. The set is manufactured to BRIO's high standards; the wood is FSC Certified wood and the plastic is of high quality. The attention to detail is excellent, especially on the vehicles and characters. A set like this gives children so much scope to use their imagination, and the theme of rescue is a great prompt to act out all sorts of situations - and maybe to introduce some discussion about safety too! The vehicles all feature the classic BRIO magnetic couplings allowing for easy connection to each other - and to all the other BRIO vehicles. Buy the set direct from BRIO - and make sure you browse around the site at the same time - there are other rescue sets. My favourite thing about BRIO is the fact that every time you add a new set, it refreshes the whole BRIO collection and as children's collections grow, the play value just increases. Railways are timeless toys - they offer so much play value, encouraging imagination, role play, co-operation, stimulating conversation and developing motor skills.
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