Top 5 Ride-On Toys for Toddlers
Children aren’t wired to be still. If they were, they’d never leave the comforts of their crib. It’s only as adults that we seem to realize true joy can come from lying in bed all day with a baba and some Netflix on the television. Too bad; so sad.
“Enjoy this time now. They’ll be running before you know it!”.
I can’t count how many times I’ve heard that phrase remarked in one way or another. Long-established parents understand that kids are always wanting to move faster. And they’ll never get there crawling around on the carpet. No, they’re looking for that next rush of excitement.
Well, where do we go when we’ve mastered walking? Or what can we do when we can’t run any faster?
Thankfully, thousands of toys have been developed to address our children’s desire to be mobile. Some educate and train while others satiate the need for speed. We focus on reviewing these toys and have compiled a list of the top 5 ride-on toys for toddlers.
There are a lot of fun and educational toys for children in their early stages of life. And while they’re not all of the ride-on variety, they still provide hours of gross motors skill development and teaching capabilities.
These toys support many of the needs that toddlers require. Needs such as coordination, interaction, and movement. Without further ado, here are our top 5:
1) VTech Sit-to-Stand Learning Walker
One of the most played-with toys in our household. When our child was learning to stand up, this toy provided a key feature to help them safely practice.
The wheels have two modes:
* Locked: provides enough resistance to require some heavy pushing to move
* Unlocked: allows free-movement of the wheel for quick transportation
Throw in a slew of fun buttons, games, and songs; you’ve got yourself a well-rounded teaching toy. Since the VTech brand hires on professional vocalists, the songs you’ll hear on heavy rotation won’t take a toll on your psyche after the 36th repetition.
2) Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer and Stroll Trike
Recommended for kids between the ages of 2-5 years, this tricycle is a great example of a toy that can be used in several stages. When the child is at the toddler level and too small to pedal, the innovative design allows for parents to push and steer the trike quite easily.
Radio Flyer includes a unique freewheel pedal mechanism, which allows your child to rest their feet right on the pedals without needing to move them. This is great for toddlers just learning to grip handles or kids that haven’t figured out pedaling just yet.
When they grow up, and it’s time for them to take off on their own, the pedals can control the tricycle’s forward movement. No need to replace any hardware. It just works.
For this feature alone, it extends its use by at least a couple years, thereby increasing this toy’s overall value and re-use factor. Couple this with Radio Flyer’s solid safety and product quality, and you have a great toy for toddlers and preschoolers alike.
3) Little Tikes Go and Grow Lil’ Rollin’ Giraffe Ride-On
Soft, rounded edges and shaped like a friendly giraffe. Toddlers will be magnetically attracted. I guarantee it.
No need for pedals with this ride-on toy. It’s powered by your kid’s own two feet. The foot-to-floor style keeps it simple and safe for younger riders and the wide rear wheel add to its overall stability.
A notable caveat is its assembly. I know what when we get a new toy, an immediate buzzkill is a multi-page assembly guide. My kid sees the box. They see the toy inside. Then they see me hustle to the garage for some basic tools and spend about 30 minutes putting it together.
There’s a good chance I’ve lost them at this point, which is too bad. If you’re a nut for assembly, this is a great toy for you. Now look at that. Something fun for both parent and child.
4) Fisher-Price Laugh & Learn Smart Stages Scooter
Boasting its 3 stages of interactivity, this scooter is one educational ride-on toy! What may appear to be a simple toddler’s scooter is actually an interactive toy that leads kids through three important stages of interaction:
- Stage 1 – Explore
- Stage 2 – Encourage
- Stage 3 – Pretend
The exploration stage responds to your toddler’s choices. Pressing certain buttons yields a simple song or sound, helping your child to understand the basic relationship of action and response.
Stage 2 encourages your toddler to find and select specific shapes and colors. Auditory responses reinforce their selections. And stage 3 invites the child to pretend–or envision–themselves performing a specific action e.g. “Pretend to wave to a friend!”.
5) Little Tikes Cozy Truck
Little Tikes took the incredibly-popular Cozy Coupe and upgraded it to the max with this fun and sporty pickup. Donning a build similar to the coupe, this beefy little truck boasts a lot of the same durable features you’re expecting to find in a Little Tikes ride-on toy.
A great mode of transportation back from a long day at the jobsite, this truck has all the cool extras your little worker will be looking for. The rear compartment is larger and sports a working tailgate, perfect for all the plastic food to take to the picnic. It features a removable gas cap, working horn, realistic grill, off-road wheels, and a functional driver-side door.
Critical comments on this truck addressed issues with assembly and construction. Again, much like the Grow Lil’ Rollin’ Giraffe Ride-On, this toy requires some heavy-duty assembly to get it up and running. If you’re offering this as a gift, you’ll want to consider putting it together before presenting it to your child.
As for its construction, there are quite a few comments remarking about the roof not fitting to the rest of the vehicle properly. This results in difficulty closing the door. Even after a few exchanges, some users gave up and learned to live with muscling the door shut.
Still, this is a quality toy from a reputable company. It would be great if it came pre-assembled but, as the Stones said: you can’t always get what you want. Still, a small price to pay for such a fun vehicle. Plus, they offer a Princess model if your daughter likes trucks!