Toy Train Doodlewash


Today we have a little wooden toy train doodlewash which is decidedly vintage, but now that I think of it, probably wouldn’t be considered fun for modern kids. Considering most 2 year olds know how to use an iPad, I’m sure this little train would lack the bells and whistles needed today to keep a child enthralled. Which seems a bit sad considering what makes toys like this come to life is imagination.

I used to have one of those pull toy wooden dogs on wheels, but by the 70’s the wheels had already turned to plastic. It was by Fischer Price and was called Little Snoopy. This was confusing because it looked nothing like Snoopy, who everyone knew as the white beagle from the Peanuts cartoon. This one was a little brown and white dog shaped a bit like a large bean with vinyl ears nailed to its head and a tail on a spring with a green gumdrop at the top, so it resembled an antenna.

Although I considered doodlewashing him, he didn’t seem festive enough and I’m still in the throws of Christmas fever. Though I think as a toy, Little Snoopy might beat out a wooden train in terms of play factor. I always loved the look of wooden trains, but sliding them around yourself grew tedious quickly. As a kid, I immediately wanted the model railroad vs. a wooden train as they had the power to move on their own which was super awesome.

I remember a restaurant as a kid that had a train that traveled around the perimeter, dodging in and out of tunnels as it made its way around the place. For some reason, the fact that the train disappeared for a moment and then reappeared made the entire experience more magical. And I always imagined what it would be like to be small enough to climb inside and take that ride.

Living in the middle of America, there wasn’t an easily accessible passenger train system, so it wasn’t until I was an adult traveling Europe that I would get to take that ride. It was worth the wait. I loved every moment of the experience! Finally, I was taking that ride previously only enjoyed by those miniature people I had imagined. And in that moment, my childhood dream was fulfilled. I was a kid again, riding in a dream, dodging in and out of tunnels, and truly understanding for the first time that the magic really is in the journey.

Posted by:Charlie O'Shields (doodlewash)

Creator of Doodlewash® and founder of World Watercolor Month™ (July) and World Watercolor Group™. Sharing daily watercolor illustrations and stories while proudly featuring talented artists from all over the world!

37 replies on “Toy Train

  1. What a neat story and perfect way to fulfill a childhood dream. Love the painting too.
    My brothers had a train and I used to take my dolls for a ride on it. Then hubby and I took a sleeper car/train to Seattle. So many fun memories with trains.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think even kids today would enjoy the wooden train. You can’t get that tactile experience of moving the train around the track on the iPad. We had a huge train table when my son was young and the tracks and the table were the most popular thing with my son and his friends for years. I loved creating different configurations with all the track pieces. I’ve been on commuter trains before but I think it would be fun to go across the country in one! Your train is very lovely, Charlie!

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  3. Charlie , I not only admire your doodlewashes that always amaze me , but also your stories who are very interesting , and educating . Today you surprised me with the notion that someone would have to grow up to experience travelling by train , as for me it was a common thing ; to go to highschool for instance everyday by train , and even going inside a tunnel😉 .
    As a two-girls household we did not have train sets to play with as children , but every time I went to my grandmothers’ I would make a train station and trains moving about with this painted wooden blocks that had belonged to my mother and aunt.
    Turtle Hugs🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for the kind words! So happy you enjoy my posts! 😃 And yep…I’m a late bloomer when it comes to trains. Philippe grew up with them since he’s from Europe, but I never had the opportunity or ability to take one where I grew up. Those painted wooden blocks sound like such fun. What a wonderful memory! Thanks for sharing!!

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  4. So cool Charlie, your little train brings back memories. I have three brothers and trains were important to all of them. We had the train set up on a ping pong table with all of the surrounding landscape for the traveling train.

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  5. Such a charming little train! As you’re in Little Charlie mode, that’s it! We can play trains!😉 The simple toys are the best. I used to love dreaming up journeys with these – most of mine were Thomas the Tank Engine models, or Brio. I think we even had some track for the Brio, but of course that was too restrictive.

    Nowadays I rather like the idea of owning a big, grandiose train set and just watching the trains go round and round, and indeed in and out of the tunnels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Jacob!! 😃 Ohhhh I would love to play trains! Hehe…and have also thought it would be cool to have an elaborate set. But I’m not sure I’d what the “putting it together” part. I would just want it to magically appear so I could get to watching it go in and out of tunnels. 😊

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  6. My girls loved their trains…of course that was 15 years ago, no ipads then. But I suspect when given the chance children still enjoy moving real things around and making up stories. I love the Christmassy colors on yours. (K)

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  7. I really agree with you but I really hope toys like this offer something electronics don’t. I think we do a disservice to our kids by handing them those things but I digress. Once again, a lovely painting to inspire me to reach higher, Charlie. Lovely colors, shading and grounding and composition……your work always gives me the nudge to press on no end never lose sight of my goal. Thank you for that daily nudge. And I hope you and P have the merriest Christmas ever! (and Phineas too! At least I remember how to spell his name lol). Please give them both a big hug for me and the hugs back are from me, my friend. ❤️🎄❄️⛄️🎨👍👏

    Liked by 2 people

  8. This is a wonderful painting, you´re getting better and better, it´s really amazing!!! And I love you´re story to it. As I´m afraid of flying, I used to love to go by train. Unfortunately I started being afraid of trains too – but I´m working on it. 😊 Can´t wait to be able to sit in a train again. Thanks for this wonderful post, Charlie!!! 😊❤️🚂🎄

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Great memories and all magical. Be reassured that some kids still do play with wooden train sets. My Grandkids do but ever so briefly. Then it is on to something else but at least they set up the wooden tracks and spend some magical moments pretending.🙂 Making me smile and remembering days gone by.

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  10. what a beautiful painting..brought to mind a story I used to read to my son when he was a toddler. About a wooden train. It was his favourite story and we read it every night for a couple of months, I think.

    Liked by 1 person

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