Encouraging creativity and play with BRIO | AD

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We’ve been huge fans of BRIO for a long time now and when we tested their new BRIO Smart Tech range last year I thought it was a fantastic addition to their range which transforms the BRIO world into a truly interactive play experience.

Smart Tech adds a whole new dimension to Brio. It’s fully compatible with the rest of the Brio World railway system and uses RFID technology to bring it to life, allowing your child to play with it in a new and exciting way; creating, experimenting, and customising their imaginative world. The Smart Tech Engine is the key to the interactive world. It’s battery powered and propels itself around the track, interacting with a series of tunnels and other buildings which make sounds, light up, or cause the engine to change direction.

Little boy in playroom, kneeling on wooden floor, playing with a BRIO train set.

This year, BRIO have expanded the Smart Tech range to include a Smart Tech Lift and Load Crane and a Smart Tech Lifting Bridge, and I was really excited to test them out with the boys.

The Smart Tech Lifting Bridge was a big hit. You use a little knob to manually lift or lower the bridge, and then the Smart Tech engine will automatically stop and flash its lights while it waits for you to raise or lower the bridge as required. Max, my eldest, loved the challenge of spotting when the train would reach the bridge and make sure that the bridge was in the right configuration for it to fly straight through without waiting.

We also tested out the Smart Tech Lift and Load Crane, which allows you to transfer cargo. You need to use the STOP tunnel to make sure your train stops in the right position, and then you use the knob to manually grab the cargo and transfer it onto or off the train. When you use it with the Smart Tech Engine, there are sounds and lights as it interacts with the crane.

You do need the Smart Tech Engine to fully use the features of these two sets, and that’s sold separately, but they would still function without it as well – you would just miss the lights and sounds of the engine.

My boys were both so excited to try out the new train tracks, and spent the whole morning playing with it. It’s reignited their love of trains and they’ve had it out every day since, creating brilliantly complex tracks. The Smart Tech range is fantastic for encouraging children to think logically about how things work, and Max loved being able to predict what the train would do when he put a particular tunnel in place, or turned one of the knobs.

We’ve often found before that Max loves to build a train track, but that once it’s built his interest can wane. But the Smart Tech additions have really tapped into his engineering mindset and brought it all to life for him.

We were also sent the Safari Adventure Set, which is a set that can stand alone, so no other BRIO required! It would make a brilliant Christmas or birthday gift. I feel it’s aimed at a slightly younger age group than the Smart Tech range, but my 5 year old loved playing with it just as much as my littlest. It comes with a set of wooden animals including a lion, giraffe, and an elephant, a safari ranger, and enough track to create a nice little loop, with hills, a large cave, and a watering hole.

Little boy playing with the BRIO Safari Adventure set
Aerial shot of the BRIO Safari Adventure set, with little boy pushing a yellow train around the track

BRIO is a toy for the whole family – my husband loves getting involved just as much as the boys – and it’s such brilliant quality that it will last for years and years. Thank you once again to BRIO for sending us such wonderful additions to our collection!

Disclosure: We were sent the BRIO items in exchange for this blog post

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