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My wife and I have our 5-year old grandson, Hudson, staying with us this week. Yesterday I gave him an oval of some old Atlas code 80 sectional track, and a train to run on it. He was over the moon all day!
I showed him how to plug the sections of N-scale track together, and was pleasantly surprised when he was able to pick up that skill very quickly. While he's only just turned five, he has much better eyesight, and manual dexterity, than his 72-year old "Papa", as he calls me.
We set up the track on a 2' x 4' folding table. I showed him how to clean the track, and the loco's wheels. Once my 50-year old DC power pack was hooked up, he was able to run the train around the loop. Seeing his face light up reminded me of what it was like for me, all those years ago, when all things model train were brand new, and infinitely exciting.
We then retired to the garage, and made "tunnels" from scraps of wood. They look more like garishly-painted shoe boxes than tunnels, but they are tunnels to him.
The long term plan is to have "Papa" build a wood cover that can be laid over a folding table and the layout will be built on that. I've been working on that for several days, in short spurts. Yesterday he and I spent most of the day in the garage, and he wore me to a frazzle! It would be nice to have his limitless energy, but my own get up and go, got up and went away long ago! Still Hudson and Papa had a great day! 馃槉

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Nice story. No grandkids here yet, but I鈥檓 hoping. One of the best things about this hobby is to see the WOW on kids faces when they see the trains run.
 

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Good read. Glad you both had fun. Wife and I have had the grand daughter stay with us for a week a few summers. Grand son not yet.
 

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Good times! That's about where my son and I are at, although I'm learning along with him! You'll be amazed at how fast they pick up on this stuff! Enjoy!

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My youngest has been at it, at some level, since 4-1/2. Properly supervised, they can do very well with most aspects of the hobby at a surprisingly young age.
 

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That's just great! I hope you and Hudson get to spend many great times together. but I'm thinking the title of this post should have been "How to delight Papa"
 

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Its great to get kids into the hobby (that "first train" look that they get is priceless), my not-so-little-anymore guy just had his 10th two days ago and was very happily suprised at all the supplies I gave/got him for his layout that we're planning.
 
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