子どもの年齢と遊びかたの提案 (Suggestion on how to play Plarail for each age)


この記事のねらい/Goal of this article

To understand how do kids play Plarail for each age.

It’s the time for your kids to start Plarail…which products to buy, then?

If your kid is big enough to tell you what he/she wants, it might be easy.

However if your kid is too young or has totally no idea of Plarail, parent has to determine what to buy.

In this article, we review what kind of Plarail products to get and what kids can for each age.
For each specific product, we’ll review separately in other articles.

The age in this article is only for reference. It varies by individual and kids may also be influenced by elder brother/sister who already plays Plarail.

1歳半ごろ〜(18 months+)

It would be difficult for this age to play with the rails.
Even if adults build the track and run the train for kids, they will grab the running train and destroy the track immediately. Also, it could be unsafe as their hair can get caught by the rotating wheels.

But still they can start Plarail! There is “Hajimete no Plarail" (The first Plarail) which is non-powered single car train (I don’t have this product, though).

You may also get a normal 3-cars Plarail train and play with the non-powered tail car only until your kids grow up.
If you do so, it’s recommended to unscrew the screw at the bottom of the car with a phillips screwdriver, open the body, and tilt the white connecting part toward inside the car for kids not to bite the part.

3歳ごろ〜(3 years+)

Plarail is basically for the ages 3 and up, therefore kids will get used to play Plarail as intended to build a track around this age.

They may just connect all the stations and the railroad crossings straightly alone.
It may be difficult for this age to build a circuit track by them own, so it would be a good idea to have kids help to build a track.

It’s also difficult for the kids to switch the yellow point.
Remove small parts from scenery parts if you have such items.

It could be a little bit too early to use pier blocks.
Kids can trip over the elevated track and destroy it, then may cry.
In this case, use small numbers of pier blocks to build en elevated track and avoid piling up high.

Suggested to use minimum number of pier blocks while kids get caught.

Having said that, if there is only kit rails available, kids will get bored just building tracks according to the instruction manual – not very educational.
I would recommend to get some more rails and scenery parts (RR Xing, station, tunnels…) and build in your and kid’s own way.

4歳ごろ〜(4 years+)

Around this age, they may get used to build a circling track and to use point rails by themselves usually with some contortions.

They will be able to build 3-D layout stacking pier blocks with adult and pay attention not to trip over the elevated track.

Even more rails and trains may be necessary for kid’s creative capacity, but it would be more important not to possess Plarail too much for personal use at home. That’s because,

  • おとながハマると、うっかり大人買いできてしまう価格です。
    It’s inexpensive enough to buy a large amount of Plarail especially when an adult gets into it.
  • 際限なく増えると収納的に問題が出てきます。
    It can cause a storage issue.
  • ちょっとレールや橋脚が足りないとき、なんとかレイアウトを成立させるために工夫することを学びます。
    In case a little bit short of rails and/or pier blocks, kids will learn to think out to establish the track layout.
  • 数に限りがあると、みんなで遊ぶときにレールをゆずり合うことを学びます。
    Kids will learn to share the limited amount of parts.

If your kid has a chance to see trains and stations often in a real life, it’s also nice to build the existing station by Plarail. Additional station parts and point rails for double track will be necessary to do it.
It seems unrealistic to build a huge terminal station, however, there is a man (Japanese YouTuber builds Nagoya Station by Plarail). Have fun by watching videos.

6歳ごろ〜(6 years+)

Gradually kids graduate from Plarail and transition to other toys such as LEGO or video games, and/or get to play with friends.
Even at this stage, as long as kids notice how much fun Plarail is, it’s good toy as well as a communication tool among kids or with parents.

Would you like it?
Enjoy Plarail in your way as kids grow up.