The Clear Winner
Each of the options we’ve shared has definite pros, but our favourite is the Scuttlebug Bumblebee. Small children learning how to walk can push the Scuttlebug, children old enough to “drive” it will enjoy it, and it has unisex appeal, ensuring a long life for this toy.
The Scuttlebug is made from durable and sturdy materials, and the fact that it can be folded away easily solves storage problems in a snap and gives it the added benefit of transportability, something every other toy in this category is hard pressed to beat. We also appreciate its versatility–it can be used easily indoors and outdoors on smooth pavement or grassy terrain.
Thanks to these stand out features, the Scuttlebug Bumblebee is a clear winner in a list full of ride-on toy favourites!
Benefits of Ride-on Toys
Toys that children can ride on benefit them in many ways. They often help children to be more active. Many ride-on toys encourage the uses of children’s legs and arms, strengthen core muscles, help children develop coordination and gross motor skills, and assist children in learning how to balance. Some ride-on toys can even double as walkers, helping the littlest children learn to walk.
Ride-on toys also open up whole new modes of locomotion to children; instead of walking or running, now they can ride. This brings a whole new dimension to their world of wonder!
Toys children can ride allow them to explore their environments at new heights, helping them learn and develop a thirst for exploring. Some ride-on toys are so realistic, they heavily encourage children to role-play, a valuable type of play as young people act out and learn about what they see in the grownup world around them.
How to Choose the Right Ride-on Toy
Make a quick online search for “ride-on toys,” and you might feel overwhelmed. There is a myriad of possibilities in every size, shape, age range, and design! How do you know where to begin?
Here are a few things to consider as you shop for the perfect ride-on companion for the child in your life.
How Much Space Do You Have Indoors or Outdoors?
It’s important to think about where the child will be playing with his or her toy. Will he or she be indoors mostly, playing in small spaces on carpeted or hard flooring? Will he or she be outdoors on paved paths? Or, maybe outdoors on grass? Larger toys won’t fit in small indoor spaces, but some toys aren’t suited for outdoor use.
The type of terrain or flooring the child will be playing on is important, as it will impact the ride-on toy you choose: small, difficult to roll wheels are not good fits for grass, while large toys designed to go fast probably shouldn’t be used indoors.
You should also consider how much space you have for storage. Room to “ride” freely and lots of storage space might not be an object, but some families find that storage space is at a premium, and that must be considered when choosing toys.
What is the Family’s Aesthetic?
If the child’s toy is outdoors, it might not matter what it looks like, but if it is indoors and out in plain sight frequently, the child’s family might want to pay close attention to the colours and materials with which the ride-on toy is constructed. A vintage or “retro” style toy might suit a home better than one with garish colours and flashy sounds.
What is the Longevity of This Toy?
Do you hope the child will be able to use this toy for years or do you hope this toy will be able to be passed down to other children? If so, construction and unisex appeal are extremely important. The trendier or flashier a toy, the less likely it will be appealing later down the road.
You should also consider the child’s height: will this toy leave him or her with plenty of room to grow? Some toys are only good for a short developmental window, while others have adaptations or features that make them beloved for much longer.
Also, the number of moving or electronic parts is something to consider. The more parts a toy has, the more likely something will break or be damaged.
Materials used in construction also indicate the longevity of your purchase. Plush materials can be notoriously difficult to clean; spills can be dabbed, but rarely completely laundered! Plastic is very easy to sanitise but must be extremely sturdy to hold up well.
Tips for Great Play
Some (if not all) ride-on toys should be used with supervision, and some even require protective headgear. Ride-on toys should never be used around vehicles.
To enhance the child’s level of enjoyment, you can add role-playing cues (such as costumes for indoor toys or sand for outdoor toys), or “stage” toys differently. If a child wakes up to find his or her toy in a new place, he or she will feel excited about this “new” toy all over again!
For very young children, you also might consider keeping the ride-on toy on a carpet or mat, to soften potential falls.
There are many types of ride-on toys, including electric, bikes and trikes, push power, pedal power, and more. The best toy depends on the child and his or her environment and developmental stages, but here are ten toys we think children will love.