How to Find the Best Scooter for Kids
There’s no one type of scooter which is best for every kid. Instead, scooters have a variety of features which will appeal to different age groups and ability levels. The key to finding the right scooter is understanding what the rider is comfortable with and capable of. Here are some important factors to consider:
Kids as young as two or three are usually ready for a simple, age-appropriate scooter. Scooters can be an important way for a little one to develop balance and coordination. Also, you can start building up a mindset that exercising outdoors can be fun and rewarding.
Many kids learn to ride a scooter before eventually switching over to a skateboard, roller blades or bicycle. However, there’s no specific age when this should happen. Kids can ride scooters well into their teen years, or they might switch to a bike much earlier.
New parents are often surprised at how even young kids will thrive on a scooter. For example, here’s a little guy who seems quite comfortable on a scooter even though he’s clearly a beginning rider:
Number of Wheels
Scooters can actually have more than two wheels. A third or even fourth wheel is often a great benefit for younger kids and toddlers.
Extra wheels provide support and help with balance. Kids can learn to ride safely without the threat of falls and injuries. This promotes confidence and stability on the scooter.
If you’re looking for a scooter used strictly for teaching purposes, you can get one with three or four permanent wheels. But another option is a scooter where you can add or remove wheels as necessary. When the child becomes comfortable on the scooter, you can simply remove the “training” wheels and have a traditional two-wheel scooter.
Handlebars will be either fixed or adjustable. While fixed handlebars can be a bit more solid, adjustable handlebars allow the scooter to adapt to your child as he or she grows up.
Typically, a training-type of scooter will be fine with fixed handlebars. As toddlers grow into older kids, they’ll simply become too big all-around for a smaller scooter. The height of the handlebars is just one of many components the child will outgrow.
If you’re buying a scooter for a kid between the ages of five and ten, you might be more interested in adjustable handlebars. This lets the child keep the same scooter even as they grow in height. Sometimes adjustable handlebars are a bit more expensive, but you save money in the long-run because you don’t have to buy a whole new scooter later on.
You’ll want a reinforced deck for the scooter which is strong enough to support your child. Avoid any scooter which buckles or bends when the child stands on it.
Each scooter will have a suggested weight limit which roughly corresponds to age. Generally speaking, you want to buy a scooter with a weight capacity which is at least 20 pounds more than your child’s current weight.
The larger the wheels, the better the scooter can handle rough terrain. Keep in mind that for a kid’s scooter, “rough terrain” can include cracks and pebbles on the sidewalk.
Large wheels are generally safer because they’re more likely to roll over obstacles. At the same time, you don’t want the wheels to be too large, either. Small wheels will limit the total speeds, which is often the best option for very young children and other inexperienced riders.
Not all scooters have brakes. In fact, scooters for toddlers usually have no brakes at all. While this might sound dangerous, brake-less scooters typically have small wheels and built-in speed limits. Young ones simply can’t get these scooters up to any speeds which might be dangerous.
However, faster scooters for older kids need a reliable braking system. You’re looking for a rear wheel fender brake. These will usually be operated by a foot pedal, which is usually more intuitive for a child to use than a handbrake.
Generally, wider brakes are better. They provide more coverage and control when stopping. You probably want to avoid thin, aluminium brakes. They can lose friction if the wheel becomes wet.
You want a stable scooter. Stability is determined by a few different factors. If the scooter has two wheels in the front, look at the width between them. A wider gap will provide more stability.
The width of the standing deck is also an important factor in stability. A wider platform is more stable. At the same time, you don’t want a platform which is too wide. That can impact speed and performance.
You want the deck to be just a bit wider than the child’s foot. If the child can fit both feet on the scooter side-by-side, then the platform is too wide. You want to find that perfect width.
Riders of every age should always wear proper safety equipment. This includes shoes, elbow pads, knee pads and, of course, a helmet. The vast majority of scooter injuries involve the head, but a helmet can reduce the risk of injury by as much as 85%.
You might not have a solid idea about a scooter until your child has a change to ride it for a few days. So you want to pay attention to any satisfaction guarantees. If the scooter isn’t going to work out, you want to know you can return it without a hassle.
Also, pay attention to any warranties related to parts. Finding replacement parts on your own can be difficult. You want to know the manufacturer can help you replace and repair any damaged components.
Finally, don’t forget about style. You want your child to enjoy using the scooters, and most kids prefer a scooter they think looks cool.
There are plenty of design options out there. You can find bold, bright colours for both boys and girls. Try to involve your child when shopping for a scooter. They’re far more likely to ride a scooter when they feel involved in the selection process.
One cool style feature many kids love are flashing wheel lights. As the scooter moves, the wheels light up with a variety of colours. Not only does this look great – especially at night – but flashing wheel lights actually increase visibility and safety on the road.
There’s a lot to like about all of the scooters on our list. Some are great for older kids who are more experienced riders while others are better for toddlers and other youngsters as they develop balance and coordination.
Always choose the best scooter for your child’s needs. This includes their needs both now and in the future. While a child won’t use the same scooter at age two as they would at ten, scooters with adjustable handlebars can adapt to the changing height of a growing boy or girl.
You also want to pay attention to braking power and speed. The faster the scooter can go, the more reliable the braking system should be.
Finally, don’t forget design. There’s no reason your child shouldn’t have a scooter he or she thinks is cool looking. Some options include exciting paint designs as well as wheels which light up when on the go.
If you’re looking for the best all-around scooter we recommend the Razor Junior Folding Kiddie Kick. The three-wheel design allows for plenty of stability for new riders, but the scooter is still fast enough to be fun.
The Kiddie Kick isn’t really a scooter for toddlers although it can still be considered a beginning scooter for older kids. Razor is a brand name we trust. Plus, like all Razor scooters, the Razor Junior Folding Kiddie Kick is foldable for storage.
Scooters are a healthy alternative to video games and other sedentary activities. Plus, they’re a lot of fun! Surprise the child or grandchild in your life with a scooter today.