Selecting Ride-On Toys for Your Child
Kids like toys that help them get around—and ride-ons, scooters and trikes fit the bill perfectly. They’re great for toddlers who’ve mastered the process of walking, and while you may be tempted to hover beside them when they ride, you should remember that these toys have enormous benefits. Ride-on toys can boost large motor skills, instill a liking for physical activity and help your child become more independent. Use the information in this guide to help your toddler get rolling with the perfect first set of wheels.
Scooters for toddlers are some of the most popular toys among this age group, which is understandable when you consider that most kids between the ages of 2 and 3 have the coordination and balance needed to safely scoot around. Most of the best toddler push toys come with special steering and wide bases for better balance, which allows your child to hone his or her gross motor skills while building overall confidence. Below you’ll find some things to look for when choosing a scooter for a toddler.
- Two wheels in front, which makes for a more stable scooter
- Handlebars that won’t turn sharply, which decreases the chances of a fall
- Sturdy construction and a low base to help your toddler balance easily
- Lightweight design so your child can push it away if they fall
- Adjustable height handlebars, which allows the scooter to be used as your child grows
- A base that can accommodate both of your child’s feet, but tapers at the back
- Portability and foldability, to make it easier to carry it around
Ride-On Toys for Toddlers
From vintage-style rocking horses to the best toddler tricycle with push handle, there are many options for parents who want to buy ride-on toys. It can be difficult to choose, simply because there are so many choices. Other than your budget, a good rule to follow is the younger the child, the simpler the ride-on toy should be. If your child just started walking and can’t operate one of the best kids hoverboards, consider a toy with a handle that allows you to push your child along while they sharpen their coordination. Wait until your child is about three years old before you consider buying a battery-operated ride-on toy. Read on to learn which qualities make the best ride on toys for toddlers.
- Straddle toys and rocking horses should be very sturdy, with a low center of gravity and a wide base. Toys should not tip over when pushed from the side, and the child’s feet should rest firmly on the floor when sitting on the toy.
- Rocking toys should not move forward or back far enough to allow the child to fall off. Test a toy’s range of motion before you allow your child to see how it works.
- Cars that are foot-propelled should be low and sturdy. The child’s feet should be planted on the ground when they’re seated, and the knees shouldn’t hit the steering wheel when in use.
- When your child is old enough for a battery-powered ride-on toy, be sure to choose one that can be set to a low top speed. The toy should also have an auto braking system and seat belts to keep your child firmly in his or her seat.
As your child approaches age three, he or she will develop the coordination and strength to steer and pedal a trike. Other than being fun, riding a tricycle is a great way to get your child ready for a big-kid bike. Look for the following things in a toddler’s tricycle.
- Sturdy construction, a wide base and a lowered center of gravity. It should not tip over when the handlebars are turned sharply.
- A great fit: The child’s feet should reach the pedals when they sit on the seat. Get more mileage out of it by buying a trike so you can adjust the fit as your child grows.
- A removable push handle that will help save your back muscles when your child asks for a push
While there are other options, such as an indoor jungle gym for toddlers, removable wall stickers for children’s bedroom and the best musical toys, ride-on toys continue to be a popular way for parents to encourage their children’s mental and physical development. By following these tips, you can choose the right activity toys for every stage of development.