After the stroller and before the bicycle, the scooter is one of those transitional vehicles that makes sure your child isn’t left in the adult-striding dust. So, as much as you hate to admit you’re one of those scooting families, you do have to admit you get places fast than walking. The list of best scooters for kids below range from easy riders for preschoolers, zippy powered models for pre-teens, and even sleek big-wheeled jobs for your own long-distance commute.
Let the cyclists have their lanes and the skateboarders have their cool affectations, because you and your kid are going places (hey, at least you’re not Rollerblading).
Radio Flyer My 1st Scooter
With an extra-wide base and a more limited turning radius than the Micro, the Radio Flyer My 1st Scooter should be just that — their first scooter. It does have a rear foot brake like the big boys do, but the big drawback is that the handlebar doesn’t raise and lower. Once your kid outgrows this thing you can just toss it in the dumpster. Or give it to a needy kid. Whatever you’re more comfortable with.
Ages: 2 – 5
Maxi Micro Scooters
This is the big kid version of the Mini Micro (whose name seems weirdly redundant), the Maxi Micro is arguably the most popular scooter for kids 5 – 12 because of its maneuverability. These are the preferred speed machines of those damn kids racing up behind you on the sidewalk (apparently saying “excuse me” is for old squares, like you). The handlebar can also raise up from 24-inches to 36-inches and you can replace every part of this thing, which means wear and tear isn’t an issue. The same cannot be said for your joints.
Ages: 5 – 12
Hoffman House Scooters
If there’s one thing that the Amish know, it’s how to commute 19th-century style. Ship your kid off like the Pennsylvania Dutch on one of these brightly-colored scooters with a kid-friendly 12-inch wheelbase. It even includes a kickstand and basket! If their barns, furniture, and pretzels are any indication, the craftsmanship on these things is top notch.
Ages: 5 – 12
Go-Ped’s miniature version is stylish, durable, and it has the added benefit of a foldable handlebar. The company has been around since 1997, making those gas-powered scooters the older kids in your neighborhood whipped around on in the cul-de-sac on. Today they make a same sturdy platform, but without the motor. Tell them they can think about upgrading when they start to grow a bad teenage mustache.
Ages: 5 – 12
Kosta Kid Mini
If you’re looking for a cruising kick scooter in miniature form, take a look at the Kosta Kid Mini. Dual brakes, tough pneumatic tires, and a bell (just in case the dual brakes and tough pneumatic tires give out) are basically all your kid needs to keep up with you. Who wants to be just another kid with a Huffy on training wheels?
Ages: 4 – 7
Razor E300 Electric Scooter
You’re never going to get your pre-teen out of bed in time for school, so just figure out a way to get them there faster. The Razor E300 is intended for kids 12 and up, and it will get your moody son or daughter to homeroom at a blazing 15 mph on 10-inch wheels (which feels a lot faster than it sounds). A 12 hour overnight charge will give your kid 40 minutes of ride time. Forgetting to charge it overnight will give your kid a nice morning jog.
Gravity Scooter Pixie
If you have one of those kids who thinks everything is cooler “off road” — because everything is cooler off road — you’re going to have to step up to the Gravity Pixie. Sure, it’s expensive as hell, but a mountain bike-inspired front shock, a 20-inch front wheel, and 16-inch back one, both with studded pneumatic tires, your kid will be able to take the long way home every time. Plus, it’s got disc brakes that will let them stop so fast, they might actually need that helmet you’re making them wear.
If you’re struggling to keep up with a 4-year-old on 3 wheels, maybe it’s time to get a scooter for yourself. Current Coasters makes grown-up kick scooters that sport 20-inch wheels and a hand brake, so it’s just like being a bicycle, but with more people pointing at you. Listen, there are plenty of lame adult versions of kid things (kickball leagues; coloring books), but these actually look like a chill way to get from point A to point B.
If the Current Coaster is the Cadillac of adult kick scooters, then the KickPed is the Honda Civic: It’s dependable, reliable, and you’re not going to freak out if somebody puts a dent into it. The best feature of the KickPed is the fact that it’s virtually indestructible — just check out those solid, rubber wheels. The handlebar also folds down so it can store easily under your office desk, because you’re now that guy who commutes to work on a scooter.