Advantages and disadvantages of buying Japanese toy Plarail!


Childcare Issues from JAPAN

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Hello! I'm the author who thinks every time a Plarail toy comes with a Happy Meal, "It seems good for educational purposes." Thank you for reading. I've never bought it for my daughter because she didn't show interest, but some community centers even have "Plarail Day" to gather children. When we went there, she seemed to have a lot of fun. (We even went to the neighboring city by train for it! If my second child were a boy, I thought I'd like to buy it, but my second child is also a girl! 
I wonder if Plarail will ever come to our house. In my personal opinion, it seems to offer more logical play than playing with Barbie dolls. (Am I a mom who focuses on education!?) By the way, the recommended age for Plarail is from 3 years old (some items are recommended for 6 years and up).

 Q: "Why did the recommended age change from '3 years and up' to '6 years and up'?" 

 A: "Plarail Advance" meets the toy safety standards for ages 3 and up, but the skills required for play are higher than regular Plarail. Therefore, starting from products released in April, we recommend ages 6 and up. (Source:

Because there are small parts, it might be difficult to let children play with it between 0-2 years old. It seems that many community centers have wooden train toys in the 0-2 years old section instead of Plarail. What benefits does playing with Plarail have for child development? I asked an AI .

 Let's summarize the charms of Plarail toys into 7 points.

Stimulates Creativity

Plarail is a fantastic toy that ignites children's creativity. They can design their own railway tracks, plan train routes, and try various layouts. It helps develop spatial awareness and problem-solving skills. 

Fine Motor Skills Development

Assembling Plarail sets and connecting tracks promote the development of children's fine motor skills. Dealing with small screws and assembling tracks is suitable for refining precise movements. 

Encourages Communication

Plarail is an ideal toy for playing with friends and family. Creating railway tracks together and operating trains enhances communication skills and teaches teamwork. 

Basic Math and Physics Learning

Playing with Plarail aids in understanding fundamental concepts of mathematics and physics. Children can experience concepts such as distance, speed, and gravity firsthand. 


Using Plarail, children can create their own stories. By naming trains and characters and imagining adventures, their creative storytelling skills improve. 

Imitation and Learning

Plarail mimics real railway operations, allowing children to learn about train movements and station management. 

Extended Playtime

Plarail offers a wide range of play possibilities, and children can enjoy it for extended periods. 

Trying out new ideas and continuing stories help develop concentration and patience. In summary, Plarail provides children with educational experiences while allowing them to have fun. It supports their growth and development in various aspects, including creativity, fine motor skills, communication, learning, storytelling, imitation, and concentration. 

 ME : Are there any other benefits?

Sensory Stimulation and Cooperative Movement

Plarail not only provides visual enjoyment as trains smoothly traverse tracks but also offers tactile sensory stimulation as children manually manipulate the trains. It can enhance cooperative movements among children. 

 Environmental Awareness

Plarail can increase children's basic knowledge of railway transportation and raise awareness of places and the environment. It offers opportunities to think about energy efficiency in railway transport and its impact on the environment. 

Enjoyment of Collecting

Plarail offers a wide variety of vehicles and accessories, giving children the opportunity to enjoy collecting. It also encourages curiosity. 

 Safety and Durability

Plarail is usually designed with safety in mind and is highly durable. Many designs for children aged 3 and up do not include small parts to ensure safe play. 

Educational Theme Sets

Plarail includes special sets with historical or scientific themes. These sets provide opportunities for children to learn about specific topics and spark their interest. 

Parent-Child Bonding

Plarail offers excellent opportunities for parent-child bonding. Parents can enjoy Plarail with their children, feeling their love and support while sharing enjoyable moments together. 

 ME : Are there any drawbacks?

While Plarail has many advantages, it's important to consider some drawbacks.


Plarail is a high-quality toy, and especially when purchasing large sets or additional accessories, it can become expensive, which might be a concern for some families. 

Space Requirements

Plarail requires space to set up railway tracks and play. 

Small Parts Hazard

Plarail sets may contain small parts, so there's a risk of toddlers accidentally swallowing them or choking, which requires careful supervision. 

Assembly and Organization Effort

Setting up and organizing Plarail sets can be time-consuming. Children may need parental supervision and cooperation when assembling tracks. 

Becoming Overly Engrossed

Plarail is highly engaging, and children may become absorbed in playing for extended periods. This could potentially reduce time for other activities, work, or sleep, so maintaining a balance is essential. 

Potential for Boredom

Some children may eventually grow bored with Plarail, so it's important to provide a variety of play experiences. 

 Considering these drawbacks, Plarail can still be an enjoyable toy for many children if supervised and balanced properly. Parents should support their children in finding creative ways to play safely. Balancing the merits and drawbacks, Plarail remains an attractive toy. 

ME: Even though my younger child is still 0 years old, if she shows interest in the future, I would like to buy her one. However, considering the possibility of getting bored, maybe second-hand Plarail is a good idea . Well then, thank you for reading until the end.




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