My son Wyatt is almost six and sometime between ages two and three he developed this love for Thomas the Train. He has had a Thomas birthday party, been Thomas for Halloween, owns more Thomas toys than I do clothes and still loves Thomas! Most days he eats with his Thomas the Train fork or spoon on a Thomas plate and sleeps with his head on a Thomas pillow holding a Thomas pillow pet. He dresses in Thomas shirts and brushes his teeth with a Thomas toothbrush and toothpaste. Do you get the picture? This kid sleeps, eats and breaths Thomas! Now that he is in kindergarten he is learning to read so of course we have more Thomas the Train books than I can count on two hands.
Wyatt’s love for Thomas began after we watched a few episodes on Netflix and has transformed into a total Thomas takeover but I am so happy about it. Both of my boys have learned so much from watching Thomas the Train – number recognition, counting, colors and each episode teaches some sort of lesson about good behavior and using manners.
With Wyatt starting kindergarten this year and Mason starting Pre-K both boys are learning letters, the sounds each letter makes and Wyatt is starting to learn to read. Of course reading is a great way to help your children learn. When I read the Thomas books to the boys I like to stop and ask them about the pictures. ‘What color is that engine? What number is Thomas? What do you think that engine is pulling in their freight car?’ I try to get Wyatt to read the sight words such as ‘the, all, at, a, I, my’ and ask him to sound out other words too. If you were to look at Wyatt’s reading log for school you would find that more than half of the books we have read are some sort of Thomas book!
Not only am I using Wyatt’s love for Thomas to help him read, we also encourage playing with Thomas the Train toys because it helps the boys with problem solving. Don’t you just love when you have ‘toys’ that help your kids learn without them even knowing it? We have two rubbermaids full of Thomas trains and tracks. There were days when Wyatt would beg us to build the tracks for him because he just couldn’t match them together to build a track that connected. We would help him but we wouldn’t do it for him. We would refer to pieces as straight tracks or curved tracks and tell him which one to give us. We taught him that by using all curved tracks he could make a circle (OMG teaching shapes here too!). Eventually he started building the tracks himself and each time he would want us to come and look. (As a mom I know that we can get busy, dinner is cooking, we have a job to finish or a baby to tend to but take the five seconds to go and look because positive reinforcement is so powerful to a kid!) Now he builds multiple tracks that overlap, connect, go into a dark tunnel (underneath his bed) and tests tracks by trying to send a train over a huge bridge (a long track supported by his bed on one end and table on the other which usually breaks from the weight and lack of support).
Sometimes our kids bring things into our daily lives that we don’t even realize are there. It seems like every part of our time has turned into #ThomasTime around our house! Do you have a child who loves Thomas and his friends? Right now you can share your child’s #ThomasTime photos on the Thomas facebook page!
This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mattel. The opinions and text are all mine.