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Wooden Math Train Set With Soldiers


This vintage wooden pull-a-long train set includes a wooden train, 3 carriages, 29 wooden soldiers and 6 equation symbols (‘+’, ‘-‘ and ‘=’) to support mathematic learning.

This toy is not suitable for children below 3 years of age.

Cultural notes

The wooden soldiers depict the traditional uniform of the Foot Guards of the British Army. This uniform is instantly recognisable by the bright red jacket and large bearskin plume hat.

The Foot Guard currently provide ceremonial and security duties in London, England. They provide the Queen’s Guard, the Tower of London Guard, and sometimes also the Windsor Castle Guard. The Guards Battalions on Public Duties are located in barracks close to Buckingham Palace for them to be able to reach the Palace very quickly in an emergency.

Suggested activities

Language and Counting: 

  • Use soldiers as a visual prompt for mathematic skills, counting how many soldiers we are placing on the carriages, or by using equation symbols to encourage children to add or subtract
  • Using masking tape, wrap tape around each soldier and use a permanent marker to number the soldiers from 1 – 29 or from 1-10 three times. This can then be used as a number matching game or counting game

Puzzles/ Games:

  • This toy supports fine motor development through placing soldiers on the small wooden pegs of the train carriages.
  • Create your own train track around the centre using blocks, masking tape, chalk or other materials

Art and Craft

  • Using washable paint, roll the train through paint to create tracks and patterns. Explore the different patterns made as you move the train from side to side or when you overlap different colours. Use the base of the soldiers as stamps

Dramatic Play

  • Include this train set in the block corner, where children can create their own train station or maintenance shed for the train. The addition of the soldiers extends on play opportunities by adding a social aspect to the play.

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The research for this resource was made possible through a grant from the Central Coast Council.