Toddler ride-on toys don’t just look cool, although many of them do. They also serve a pivotal role in child development. The best toddler ride-on toys help young kids develop both fine and gross motor skills, while also building their confidence as they master the ability to propel themselves forward while remaining balanced. They learn to take turns, and burn off some energy.
And let’s be real here. Toddler electric cars are fun and make for great social media posts, but the Consumer Product Safety Commission advises that toddlers, meaning kids between the ages of one and three, get ride-on toys that are self-propelled with no pedals or motors. The ride-on toys should have a stable base that does not tip over, and if wheels are involved, there should be at least three of them evenly spaced. All edges of toddler ride-on toys should be smooth, with no sharp points, and they should be sturdy so no parts can come loose. And make sure you pay attention to weight limits, so you can get more than a month’s use out of the thing.
The Best Toddler Ride-On Toys
Created by an industry leader, this animal-themed ride-on is perfect for a toddler getting his or her first taste of balance. It has an adjustable seat so you can raise it as they grow, ensuring their feet are always firmly on the ground. Three large wheels will easily roll over any small obstacles, not causing any sudden stops, and the over-sized back wheel has a wheel guard to ensure nothing gets caught. The steering wheel has a controlled turning radius so ensure no sudden sharp turns. It's suitable for kids one to three years old, and up to 50 pounds.
This wood stunner converts from a baby walker to a push-trike to a balance bike, and can be used as either a two-wheeler or a three wheeler. It's gorgeously made, and the weight limit is 60 pounds. In other words, this will last not just years, but generations.
No childhood is complete without a scooter. The weight limit is 110 pounds. This one starts out as a ride-on that's pushed by parents, the switches over to a child-propelled ride on, and then becomes a regular stand-up scooter. The weight limit is 110 pounds.
Of course, one of our favorite brands makes what is perhaps the most perfect of ride-on toys, with some caveats. The rubberized wheels won't damage your floors. And your kid has to propel him - or herself forward, which is great for developing muscle strength and balance. While the toy is a solid choice, it won't grow with your kid, as the height is not adjustable. And some parents have said their kids' legs got caught in the back whees. It's made for kids 12 months to three years, with no specified weight limit.
First, this is a bamboo wood three-wheeler, but once your toddler becomes more confident, it turns into a two-wheeler. The cushioned seat is washable, and there are foot pegs so kids can position their feet for cruising. The extra-wide base makes this even more stable. The weight limit is 55 pounds.
Simple and beloved, this rocking horse is made of plastic, has been around seemingly forever, and helps young kids develop their motor skills and mastery of balance. Instead of having wheels, kids use the motion of their own bodies to get this thing moving. The weight limit is 50 pounds.
If you've got the space, you need this beast of a horse. It can walk, trot, and gallop. Oh and when your kid feeds it a carrot, it makes chewing sounds. In this case, the weight limit is 60 pounds, which means you'll get plenty and we do mean plenty of use out of it.
Conversely, if space is an issue, get thyself this beauty, which is almost, almost too pretty to ride. It's made of wood and folds up when your kid is done riding it. It's portable and made from birch wood, and when not in use looks like something an interior designer dreamt up.
This awesome-looking toddler ride-on toy has four play modes: Kids can sit and rock, stand and walk, push and ride, and connect to a play train. You can easily adjust the height of the seat by pushing it from the bottom. The 360 degree swivel wheels are non-marking and the weight limit is not defined, but you can use it until your child is five.
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