A train running on imagination
The wooden train in the LILLABO series now has a more modern design and new parts to continue inspiring creative play and limitless imagination. It’s playtime where all ages can play together and create new worlds while they fine-tune their motor skills and learn to solve problems. Simply put, playtime at its finest.
With fully-loaded wagons, the train pulls into the small town and brakes at the station to release some wagons before rolling on towards new adventures ... Generations of children have played the same way: transformed the floor into a landscape where railway tracks wind their way around a fantasy world where anything is possible. The fact that wooden toy trains have survived so long is because it encourages playing in different ways. Bodil Fritjofsson, who has developed and updated the LILLABO toy series, including a new train set, stands behind this. ”It involves both creative play where the child constructs their own train tracks and the surrounding landscape, and classic role playing where they imagine the train in their own world”, says Bodil, who believes that many parents like the fact that a classic train track like LILLABO is made in solid and sustainable wood.
Understanding the needs of children
How can Bodil know that wooden trains and other toys are still relevant for today's children? Some of this knowledge comes from Children's School, a department at IKEA which acts as a knowledge bank and teacher for everything concerning children. Jessica Bondesson works here and explains what Children's School does. ”We want to help our employees to really understand a child's development and needs so that IKEA offers good and safe children's products”. Jessica is convinced that the train track and other parts in the robust LILLABO series have a place in our technically advanced time. Toys stimulate the imagination, develop a child's logical thinking, and encourage socialising – something which children really appreciate. ”In 2015 we carried out a large survey about playing, Play Report, which shows that children have similar needs around the world and that they like playing with their parents”. Parents tend to agree, the survey shows that most parents think everyone should play more and work less.
New trains for a new time
LILLABO has been in our range since the 1990s, but with the new parts the series jumps into the modern era where high-speed trains have replaced steam locomotives and where wagons carry loads in colourful containers. It's a train set which every child can recognise from their own surroundings – even if it's in wood. How much candy can fit in a container and how heavy a load can the locomotive pull up the viaduct? By adding new parts to the series, Bodil and her colleagues hope they help to increase play and creativity. ”And with a battery and lighting on the train, I also think that older children will play with LILLABO. You're never too old to build fantasy worlds”.