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In putting together a range of toys in our home for our nieces and nephews to play with when they come to stay, it was important to us that we bought an equal amount of both boys and girls related toys. Now being that all three of our nephews are mad on Thomas the Tank, despite their differing ages of 4 and 3, one such item that we put into our shopping basket was this Thomas the Tank Wooden play tray being that I remember a similar item existing in my parents house when we were children.
This game is quite simply a wooden puzzle which has a range of characters from the Thomas the Tank arranged as pieces on the board. The board is quite thick in depth and therefore in my experience it is quite sturdy in construction and well equipped to deal with three eager pairs of hands. Each of the eight pieces on the board is a character and these include; James, Percy, Thomas, Spencer and Emily the trains, Harold the helicopter, Bertie the Bus and the Fat Controller. Each character is printed in very bright and eye catching colours onto the different pieces and each has their name printed underneath. Although each of our nephews is well aware of the names of each character it is still useful to them to have the name in text as it allows them to spell the names, this is particularly true of the twins who are 4 years old and are now at school.
It is recommended that this game is not to be played by children under 36 months and should be used with direct adult supervision at all times.
==How Do You Play==
This is a very straightforward puzzle to play as it is simply a case of arranging the pieces on the floor and allowing the children to slot them back into their individual holes on the board. Each character has a shaped edge and varies in size to mean that they have to go in a certain place to fit back into the puzzle. To enable picking the pieces up, each character is also allocated a small yellow knob. The parts are all of a good size therefore they do not initiate a worry of swallowing the pieces although the boys are now getting past that age I believe.
Once all the pieces are back in place it is simply a case of doing the whole exercise again. This might sound a tad boring to an adult brain however in our experience the children love it and will often compete with each other to see how quickly they can slot the pieces back in. This is a great game as it is something that the children can play on their own if needs be, although we do find the occasional argument is inevitable as one of the boys gets their favourite character and the others want their turn to slot it into the board.
==Price and Availability==
We bought this game for around £6 from the Early Learning Centre around a year ago; however it is currently stocked on Amazon for £8. This is not a bad price in my opinion given the amount of hours it can be played and enjoyed.
Overall this is a brilliant game which is quick and easy to clear up when the boys go home and can simply be hidden away in the back of a cupboard. The game is very sturdy and well made and therefore we have had not breakages or damage done to any of the pieces plus the parts are big enough to ensure that they don't go missing down the back of the sofa.
This game is highly recommended for all lovers of Thomas the Tank and his friends; it therefore scores five stars from me.
Thanks for reading! x
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