Best Kids’ Ride-On Toys So They Can Tear Up the Outdoors

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There’s a reason we’re into kids’ ride-on toys. Whether a rocking horse or an electric car, ride-on toys let toddlers and kids get their first sense of freedom, and experiment with movement and balance. Ride-on toys also help toddlers practice physical and develop balance, coordination, and fine motor skills.

But there are some safety concerns to consider. Toddler electric cars are fun, 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 unbreakable so no parts can come off. 

If you do choose a motorized ride-on toy, supervise your kids and make sure they’re comfortable with whatever speed they’re motoring along at and know how to stop.

Most of all, just use your common sense, meaning, supervise your kid when he or she is zooming along on the ride-on. Because despite all our best efforts, falls happen. The best ride-on toys for toddlers serve as tools for kids to propel themselves forward and have fun, without doing all the work for them. These are our favorite ride-on toys. 

Best Kids’ 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. It works for both inside and outdoor play,but until your child has good motor skills, there is always a chance they can fall off and hit the ground, so it's best used on padded floors and grassy yards.

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. Though it grows with your child, changing the seat isn't always easy.

This ride-on toy is not only a stunner in terms of design, but it can be used as a walker, rocker or ride-on toy. Great for kids ages two to five, and it easy transforms from rocker to push toy to ride-on in seconds. It has inline, non-marking skate wheels, which are great for your floors but can be hard to clean.

This toddler Jeep goes between 2.5 and 5 miles per hour both forward and in reverse. We particularly like the Jeep's solid frame that fits kids from age three to 130 pounds, and the Power-Lock brakes system that automatically stops the vehicle when your kid's foot comes off the pedal, and a high-speed lockout option that let's you, the parent, control how fast the car goes. But with all these features, the battery life isn't all that great

This ride-on tractor works on grass, gravel, dirt, or pavement. It has two speeds, two or four miles per hours, which parents can control with the second gear lockout feature. It also has an accelerator pedal with automatic brakes, and a real working FM radio.The 12-volt rechargeable battery and charger are included, but as with many other motorized kid cars, the battery life is unreliable. It's suitable for kids aged two to seven.

Like the rocking horses of yesteryear, this sheep mimics the style of a classic wooden rocking horse with a soft, plush exterior. It's pretty basic, but powered by kids, not batteries, meaning it will help improve balance and build moter skills.

So many reasons to love this Hape ride-on toy. Another great ride-on option for beginners, this one is stable and easy to push forward. It starts out as a walker and then becomes a foot-powered car. It's made from wood sourced from environmentally sustainable forests. There are some complaints about the stability of the handlebars.

This is a gorgeous four-wheeled ride-on toy, with easy steering and solid stability.Because they're pushing themselves forward, toddler strengthen their leg muscles. This ride-on toy is easy to maneuver, and the rubber wheels make it perfectly safe to use indoors. The height is not adjustable, so it's great for young kids only.

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.

This cute little truck greets your kiddo with a smile when they decide it’s time to hit the road. The driver’s door opens and closes easily so getting inside is simple, and there's a functional honking horn (whether that's a pro or con is up to you). The floorboard is removable so as soon as they are big enough to touch the ground you can let them motor themselves around. Plus, there's space to toss a few toys inside. The steering wheel spins, but doesn't turn the car, so there's little chance of tipping over on a sharp turn. Some parents have said that assembly is a pain.

This sports car ride-on looks great and will let you motor around with your child in style.The steering wheel honks and turns like a real car, but you, the parent, gets to decide where it heads. There are two cup holders, perfect for sippy cups, and underneath the hood there is enough storage for toys. The handle is designed with parents in mind. It’s tall enough for most adults to not have to stoop over when pushing kids around, plus it has a cup holder for you too. When you are traveling the handle folds up for easy transport. Good for kids 18 months to four years old and up to 50 pounds. The wheels, contrary to what the company says, are loud. Quite loud.

The rocking horse is a classic toy that has been enjoyed for generations, but big wooden ones are not particularly safe for toddlers. This one is great for developing motor and balance skills. This ride-on toy has very few parts, so there's little chance of your kid pulling something off and putting it in their mouth. The low seat and large base lower the chance of tipping over to virtually nil. The seatback comes up high to make sure that no heads or backs get banged by even the most rambunctious of riders. Plus, the handles have an easy-grip surface on them. Good for kids one to three years old and up to 50 pounds.With no adjustable seat, this toy is only good for a limited time frame. Once they have outgrown it, away it goes.


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