Finding the best ride-on toys for your child
A ride-on toy buying guide
Ride-on toys are great pedal and push riding toys that provide kids with exercise and learning opportunities. There are different colors, styles and types of quality ride-on toys for you to choose from. How do you know which is the best ride-on toy for the child in your life? Consider some of the features of these bikes and riding toys to answer that question.
>> Why buy a ride-on toy?
The best ride-on toys provide many benefits for young children. These toys are a great way for kids to get exercise because kids must pedal or push with their feet to make them move. When children are younger, new ride-on toys can help them develop coordination for learning how to walk because the action required to power the toys resembles running. Additionally, ride-on toys are often based on real-life vehicles and themes, so they help kids process the world around them through role playing.
>> How do you want your kids to power the toy?
Ride-on toys can be powered by batteries, by pedals or by your child's feet. Take some time to look at each of these methods to find the best ride-on toy.
Many top ride-on toys are powered by 12-volt batteries with gas and brake pedals that move the vehicle forward. Kids' ride-on tractors are a type of battery-powered ride-on toy. Battery-powered toys give your child a chance to learn how to control a mechanized vehicle. However, you may need to charge the batteries for eight hours or longer. Additional batteries and chargers are available for many 12-volt battery vehicles.
On kids' ride-on toy tricycles, pedals transfer power from the rotating pedals to the wheels through a crankshaft or chain, much like a bicycle. If you buy a ride-on toy with pedals, your kid will have to move the pedals to make the toy move. Kids are often able to make pedal vehicles move faster than battery-powered riding toys, so these toys can provide just as much excitement as powered vehicles do.
There are two types of unique ride-on toys that use body power - foot-to-floor toys, also called stride-to-ride toys, and wiggle toys. With foot-to-floor toys, the child stands on the vehicle and moves his feet like he is running to move the vehicle. Wiggle toys have three or four smaller wheels in the front and two larger wheels in the back. The child moves the forward wheels back and forth and wiggles, and the vehicle uses that momentum to move forward or backward. Obviously, when you buy ride-on toys that use body power, you're buying a toy that lets your child exert a large amount of energy. These toys give kids a lot of control, which can help develop confidence and motor control skills.
>> Consider your child's age
Most of the best ride-on toys are designed for children aged from about 6 months to 5 years. Your child may want to continue to play with the ride-on toy beyond this age range, though many kids start riding bikes and playing with more advanced toys around then. Lots of new ride-on toys are built with safety in mind and have few small parts that your child could accidentally swallow and have few sharp edges or areas for a child's hand to get stuck in. Make sure that you check the weight capacity when you buy a new ride-on toy. You'll want to know when your child becomes so big that he risks breaking the toy and possibly hurting himself.
>> Consider your child's hobbies
Many of the best ride-on toys are modeled after different vehicles from real life, like fire trucks or race cars. In addition to vehicles, ride-on toys may borrow their designs from fairy tales, dinosaurs and antique cars. Even unique ride-on toys often evoke images from real life like motorcycles or scooters. Themed toys encourage children to role play, which helps them process information that they see around them. Consider the wide range of colors available as well to find the look your child wants.
>> Consider special ride-on toy features
Quality ride-on toys often come with a handle that extends from the toy, allowing you to push your child while he or she rides on the toy. With this feature, you can take the ride-on toy to parks, zoos and other places. It functions as a mini stroller. Other ride-on toys are adjustable, allowing them to grow along with your child. New ride-on toys may come with knobs and dials on them that simulate real-life vehicles. Some of these toys even come with additional toys, like an abacus, that ride along with the ride-on toy.
A new ride-on toy is a great gift to give to the child in your life. It can provide hours of fun, exercise and learning.