The 16 Best Ride On Toys for Toddlers

For Maximum Fun, and Learning Too

There is such a huge variety of ride on toys for toddlers that it can be difficult to know where to start when choosing the best for your little one. Don’t worry. By the time you’ve reached the end of this article, you’ll have a clear idea of what type of toy to go for and why.

ride on toys for toddlersFirst steps to riding a bike

We never forget the thrill of playing with ride on toys. My siblings and I had a much loved green and white pedal car that could get up quite a speed down the garden path. With four of us competing for its use, we had to learn patience and adhere to Mom’s rules to ensure we all got a fair go.

We loved to race around, set up obstacle courses, and dress up to drive off on pretend adventures in it.

I wonder what happened to that dear little car. I bet it’s rusting somewhere in the back of my parents’ chock-a-block garage!

Understanding the Benefits of Ride On Toys

Ride on toys are not just about joyrides and entertainment. They play a vital role in your toddler's development. Here are some of the reasons why:

1. Physical Development

Physical development is a fundamental aspect of your toddler's growth, and ride on toys are fantastic tools for enhancing their gross motor skills. As your little one propels themselves forward, by using their legs to push or their feet to pedal, they strengthen their leg and core muscles and improve their coordination.

Riding a toy also helps develop their balance and spatial awareness as they learn to maneuver and navigate their surroundings.

2. Cognitive Development

Ride on toys stimulate your toddler's brain functions. As they figure out how to make their toy move and change direction, and navigate it around obstacles and corners, they develop their problem-solving skills. Learning to anticipate and plan their movements while riding their toy enhances their cognitive abilities and critical thinking skills.

Additionally, ride on toys contribute to spatial awareness as your little one learns to judge distances, avoid collisions, and understand concepts such as forward, backward, left, and right as they ride around.

3. Emotional and Social Development

Ride on toys provide much more than physical and cognitive benefits. They also foster emotional and social development in your toddler. Riding a toy empowers your child, boosting their confidence as they gain control over their movements and explore their surroundings. It instills a sense of independence and accomplishment, which contributes to their overall self-esteem.

Furthermore, having the chance to ride their toys alongside friends or siblings on similar toys, encourages communication and social interaction. Through parallel play, turn-taking, and imaginative scenarios, your toddler will develop important social skills such as cooperation and sharing.

Types of Ride On Toys For Toddlers

1. Push Ride On Toys

Push ride on toys are perfect for younger toddlers who are still developing their walking skills. They often come with a handle for you to push while your little one sits on the toy, or a bar for your toddler to hold so that it can also be used as a walker.

Some are designed for your toddler to propel themselves while others are push toys. All help toddlers build confidence and gradually transition to independent riding.

2. Pedal-Powered Ride On Toys

Pedal-powered ride on toys are suitable for toddlers who have begun to develop leg strength and coordination. These toys allow your little one to propel themselves forward by pedaling, so improving leg and core muscle strength, and general coordination skills, while providing a fun and active play experience.

3. Electric Ride On Toys

Electric ride on toys are battery-powered and offer an exciting ride for your toddler. These toys usually have a foot pedal or button that your toddler can press to make it move. Many also have a remote control option so that they can be either child or parent-operated.

Riding an electric ride on requires your toddler to think and react faster than when riding other types of ride on toys. Hence, whilst providing a thrilling ride, they are hugely beneficial for cognitive development.

toddlers in a toy jeepElectric ride on toys are fantastic fun

Things To Consider
When Choosing the Perfect Ride On Toys For Toddlers

We’re about to look at my ride on toy recommendations but first, a few points for you to consider when choosing the ideal toys for your little one.

A. Safety Features

When selecting a ride on toy for your toddler, safety should be a top priority. Ensure that the toy meets safety standards. Look for features such as secure seat belts or harnesses to keep your child in place If appropriate to the toy, non-slip pedals and footrests for added stability, and smooth edges.

B Weight and Size Capacity

Check that the toy is appropriate for your child's age and size to ensure they are comfortable and safe while riding. Check the manufacturer's guidelines for any weight and size restrictions.

C. Quality and Durability

Choose ride on toys of sturdy construction and made from durable materials that will withstand the rigors of toddler play and last for a long time.

D. Easy-to-Clean Designs

If your toddler is to ride their toy outdoors on a regular basis, consider choosing ones of easy-to-clean design without too many nooks and crannies to trap dirt. They should be easy to wash or wipe down.

The 16 Best Ride On Toys For Toddlers

Push Ride On Toys

1. Radio Flyer Busy Buggy

This is a great first ride on toy that doubles as a push walker to help your toddlers gain confidence when standing and walking. With 17 sensory activities built into the buggy, it also provides lots of opportunities for fine motor skills development. The interactive activities include a spinning steering wheel, folding side view mirrors, interlocking gears, a clicking spare tire, a removable petrol cap, and a push button horn. An all-around fun car.

2. SEREED Balance Bike

A simple, well-made bike designed to do exactly what the name suggests – teach your toddler how to balance. It’s the perfect ride on toy to prepare your little one for riding a proper bicycle and it steers well around corners. It comes in 8 different shades, so plenty of color choices.

3. Ride On Pirate Ship

What a fun ride on toy this is. I particularly love it because it can’t help but take your toddler on a whole host of imaginative adventures. A push button on the mast activated four wonderful pirate ship sounds – a cannon, a fog horn sound, a ship’s bell, and the sound of an anchor dropping into the water. The mast is movable and turns the front wheel, and in the storage compartment under the deck hatch are two model pirates all ready with their cannon to accompany your toddler across the high seas.

4. Whisper Ride II Push Car

A nice first car for pretend play. You do the pushing with the attached handle leaving your toddler free to pretend drive. There’s plenty of room inside their super little car and a seat belt to keep them safely strapped in. The under-hood storage space is just right for snacks making this an ideal vehicle for taking off on picnic adventures. There’s even a cup holder for their drink, and not forgetting the horn. The ‘whisper’ in the name references the noise reduction tires that give a quiet ride.

5. Little Trikes Princess Cozy Coupe

Despite it being recommended for princesses, the boys in my toddler tester group enjoyed playing in this car as much as the girls. They loved climbing inside, poking their feet out through the floor and propelling themselves along. When they got tired, in went the floorboard to keep their feet safe as they were pushed along by a willing adult or older sibling. Features include a clicking ignition switch, a gas cap that opens and closes, a cup holder, and a rotating steering wheel for pretend driving.

6. Mickey Mouse Plane Ride On Toy

This is another of my favorite ride on toys for toddlers for inspiring imaginative play. As soon as your toddler jumps on, they’ll be off on an exciting adventure. The buttons on the cockpit style steering wheel produce a range of sounds such as revving and braking as well as a Mickey Mouse song. The propellers are made from a soft foam material and spin on the press of the controls. The wings fold up for easy storage when not in use. Hours of fun guaranteed.

Pedal-Powered Ride On Toys

1. Harley-Davidson Toddler Tricycle

This is such a cool tricycle with its Harley-Davidson color scheme and graphics. It’s a tough pedal-powered machine with rugged treads on the tires for “off-road” exploration. It also has large foot pedals and easy-grip handlebars. Once your toddler has got the hang of pedaling, you’ll have a job keeping up with them as they rev off down the backyard.

2. XJD 5 in 1 Tricycle

If your main objective is to prepare your little one for riding a bike, this has to be top of the list of ride on toys for toddlers. It is cleverly designed to convert from a three-wheeler to a two-wheeler and can be ridden by pushing it along with the feet or pedaling with the detachable pedals. The two rear wheels can be gradually brought closer together as your toddler’s balance improves. Genius. The seat and handlebars are adjustable to that the bike can grow with its rider.

3. Radio Flyer Tricycle

A classic style tricycle with spoked wheels, rubber tires, chrome handlebars, comfort handgrips, and a chrome bell. Its steel construction makes for a sturdy frame that will stand up to miles for cycling fun and plenty of rough handling on the adventure trail. It turns well without tipping over and has a rear step for easy mounting and dismounting. Just a great little trike.

4. Berg Buzzy Nitro Go Kart 1

For maximum stability, as your toddler learns to pedal and steer, this go kart is a great choice. Four no-puncture off-road wheels and a swing axle mean they can tackle just about any terrain for ultimate excitement and adventure. There are different 12 colors and styles available so your little one can have a fabulous ride on a toy that perfectly matches their personality.

Electric Ride On Toys

1. Ride On Truck

What I wouldn’t have given to have had one of these as a child! I bet your toddler will feel the same. It comes in 11 smart colors for plenty of choice. The 12v motor will give your toddler a maximum of 2.8mph – fast enough for an exciting ride whilst keeping safe. They can drive it on their own or you can switch to remote control mode to take control yourself. Features include an adjustable seatbelt, bright LED headlights, lockable doors, and off-road style grid windshield.

2. John Deere Tractor and Trailer

This powerful ride on tractor has two speeds – 2¼ and 4½ mph, plus reverse (with a 4½ mph lockout for beginners). Your toddler will love loading the detachable trailer with their toys or using it to help with outdoor chores. They can even listen to the working FM radio as they drive around. The large tractor wheels provide traction on grass, dirt, gravel, and pavement. A lovely ride on toy.

3. 2-Seater Land Rover Discovery

For a stylish driving experience, this Land Rover Discovery ride on toy ticks all the boxes. Your toddler can either cruise along at the low speed of 1.8mph or put their foot down to reach a max speed of 3.7mph. Being a 2-seater, they can take a friend or sibling along for the ride for double fun. Features include working LED headlights, a horn, and startup sounds. The car can also be operated by remote control for times when you want to be in charge.

4. Disney Quad Ride On Toy

If your toddler loves Disney, and what toddler doesn’t, they’ll be a proud owner of this charming little car. There are different designs to choose from including Minnie Mouse, Frozen, Spiderman, and Princess. This is an ideal first electric ride on toy with easy push button acceleration and a speed of 1.5mph. Sturdy tires make it suitable for a range of terrains.

Two More Great Ride On Toys For Toddlers

These two additional ride on toys for toddlers are a little bit different from the ones we’ve just looked at but are great options to consider.

1. Radio Flyer Scoot 2 Scooter

This fun toy provides your toddler with two ways to ride. They can either sit on the seat and propel it with both feet or you can remove the platform to instantly transform it into a scooter. Its’ four wheels give good stability and help beginner rides to quickly gain confidence as they learn to balance and steer. A versatile toy and highly recommended.

2. Wiggle Car Ride On Toy

This ride on toy is unique in that your toddler propels it forward by twisting the steering wheel to wiggle along. Great for developing gross motor skills like balancing and coordination, and for strengthening core muscles. It’s also loads of fun. Just set it up on a level surface such as linoleum, concrete, asphalt, or tile (not recommended for use on wood floors), and let them go. It comes in 8 color choices.

Tips For Parents

How To Enhance Learning and Development With Ride On Toys

A. Supervised Playtime

Encouraging Exploration and Experimentation – During playtime, encourage your toddler to explore their ride on toy and experiment with different movements. Allow them to discover their own ways of riding and maneuvering. This freedom of exploration enhances their problem-solving skills and fosters creativity.

Offering Guidance and Support – While promoting independent play, it's also important to offer guidance and support. Encourage your toddler, praise their efforts, and provide gentle guidance when needed by demonstrating different ways to ride and maneuver the toy.

B. Creating a Safe Play Environment

Choosing Suitable Surfaces – Ensure that your toddler's indoor play area has a smooth and level surface to ride on. When using the toy outdoors, avoid areas with steep slopes, or rough terrain that could pose a safety risk, unless it is specifically designed for off-roading. A flat surface, such as a driveway or a well-maintained playground, is ideal.

Clearing Obstacles and Hazards – Remove potential obstacles or hazards from the play area such as toys, rocks, or any other objects that could cause accidents. Creating a safe and uncluttered environment allows your toddler to freely enjoy their ride on toy.

C. Imaginative Role-Playing Scenarios

Pretend Play – Encourage imaginative play by creating role-playing scenarios. Pretend to go on a safari adventure, take a trip to the grocery store or a visit to a pretend park. This stimulates your child's creativity and language development as they engage in imaginative play and storytelling.

Road Safety – Ride on toy playtime is also a great opportunity to create fun scenarios that teach your toddler road safety. If you have a large driveway, chalk out a simple road system with crosswalks. Let them be a pedestrian as well as a driver so that they learn about road dangers and how to cross a road safely.

toddlers on ride on trucksReady for some competitive fun

Final Words

By investing in ride on toys for your little one, you not only gift them the thrill of exciting, active playtimes but also provide valuable tools for their overall development.

As you can see from my review of the best ride on toys for toddlers, there are ride on toys suitable for every age, stage of development, and personality. Whichever you choose, prepare for the joy on your toddler’s face when they see it for the first time then ride it around happily for hours on end.

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About Jacky Spear

Jacky Spear passionately promotes learning toys for child development. With 30+ years of teaching experience, she understands the power of play in engaging and nurturing children, including those with special needs. Drawing from personal experience in both the school and home environment, Jacky helps parents to select the best learning toys to unlock their children's potential and create a lifelong love for learning. Learn more about Jacky >>

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