By Wendy Mihm | Tuesday January 4, 2011
Our toddler son loves trains. Actually, if he were editing this article, he would change that to read that he loves “Choo Choos.” He loves them to the point of inanity. Anything that has four wheels and moves is a choo choo, when clearly, it is not.
This has driven our daughter past the point of utter frustration, through exhaustion, and to acceptance. He accompanies her on her drive to preschool every morning and on the way, he points out every bus, recycling truck and moving van, to enthusiastically declare “Choo Choo!” She used to protest vigorously, sometimes even venturing into a long explanation of the physical properties of the vehicle that rendered it nothing like a choo choo. Now she replies simply “No Alex, it’s a bus” and goes right back to tying the yarn back onto her stuffed animal or whatever task she was previously involved in.
But the point is that Alex loves trains and his obsession led me to discover another budget toddler fun activity to share here on FinancialRx.com: the train station. It can be any train or metro station, large or small, but many toddlers are just like mine: they love trains. They love to watch the doors open and close. They love the noises the trains make as they come and go, they love the tracks and they love the bells that go ding-a-ding and the gates that go up and down.
If tickets are inexpensive and your toddler might enjoy a short ride, go ahead and purchase one for yourself – note the rules for riding: your toddler may be free. But it probably won’t be necessary to thrill your little one. Just seeing the trains come in and out of the station and watching the people come and go from various platforms will likely be enough to make her happy.
If the train station is outside, you could even pack a lunch and make a whole, budget toddler fun afternoon out of it. Or if you have the time and the inclination, you could take a special trip with your toddler and travel a few stops on the train to a park or other toddler-friendly destination, spend some time, and take the train back.
Then if your toddler becomes obsessed with choo choos like mine, I will not be offended if you post a comment and complain!
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