The Chuggington Interactive Wash & Fuel set from Learning Curve is a great toy for any child, but I was particularly happy to see how well my autistic daughter played with it. Like many children on the spectrum, it is hard to get her to play with toys that have an element of pretend appropriately. I know she enjoys trains a lot, but all the train toys she had before this did not have an interactive element to them. They were simple wood trains, that collected dust.
This Learning Curve train set has on the other hand, has kept her attention well. Yes, she still drifts on occasion, while we are playing with it, but she pushes the trains on the track sporadically (she never did that with her old set), and is fascinated with the wash part. I also like that the trains greet each other and discuss what they are doing. This integrates language examples to the play time, beyond what I say.
The set comes with Brewster, and while he talks about the wash and fuel stations, and makes some statements without other trains, I would suggest picking up another train or two, if this is starting your Chuggington collection. The trains discussing things with each other makes it more fun.
Whether your child is typically developing, or on the autism spectrum, if they like trains, this set is sure to be a winner. For those who do have autistic children, I would especially suggest this toy. Since, the trains only move by people power, the tendency of autistic kids to just watch the toy functioning on it’s own, is not an issue. The trains also demonstrate basic social interactions during play. The balance between what the trains/set does, and what your child needs to contribute to make things happen is an excellent balance. I did not intend this to be a “therapeutic” toy, but I am happy to say, it really has been one for my daughter.
The Chuggington Interactive Wash & Fuel Set is not currently available, but many other Chuggington Toys are.
Disclosure: Product sample provided for purpose of review. All opinions presented here are my own.