Boys and their trains, that's usually how it goes. Who'd have thought though that cute little Thomas the Tank Engine from the small Island of Sodor, written by Rev A. W. Awdry and illustrated by C. Reginald Dalby, would have captured so many imaginations. Thomas is nothing short of a phenomenon; a character, created by a British author, who's name has surely been spoken in the majority of American homes. Personally I can't say I'm a particular fan of the modernized Thomas - take me out and shoot me if you have to now - but he certainly appeals to small children! I'll admit I'm a fan of steam trains and I enjoy the Thomas stories in their original format. I thought it would be fun to share some information, activities, and educational links related to Thomas the Tank Engine. I hope your kids, and you, enjoy them.
- Adults who want to know more about Thomas and his history and development may want to start with Wikipedia on Thomas the Tank Engine - information on the books, TV series, models, toys and how Thomas relates to real railway engines and railroad routes.
- At Thomas and Friends are games and activities for kids to explore - it's one of those annoying Flash sites which my computer security throws up blocks to so check it out and make sure it works for you before you get your kids excited.
- The Random House Thomas site has stuff about the books, printable activities, and some information about the authors.
- Visit the Unofficial Thomas the Tank Engine site for a nice collection of information about the original books and lots of links.
- You can read about the authors at the Awdry Family Official Website.
- Download paper models of Thomas and friends - these are very detailed. The website is in Japanese, but just click on the blue links next to the PDF graphic and the rest is self-explanatory!
- Here's a blogger who has created some very elaborate Brio Thomas track layouts for his boys.
- How Stuff works has a guide to all of the Thomas episodes. Now you can have the fun of quizzing each other about what happened and see if parents or kids have the better memory!
- Check out Wendy's blog and see very detailed instructions on how to make a very impressive Thomas the Tank Engine Birthday Cake and Alexa has written a blog totally about Thomas.
- More Thomas activities, including birthday party ideas and things to make at DLTK's.
- Lesson ideas for using Thomas to help kids with Autism at About.com.
- Of course you may have heard of the huge recall during 2007 because of lead in paint on Thomas toys - The New York Times on the Thomas recall and a lesson in morality.
Shop for Thomas the Tank Engine items at Amazon.com.