From big to small, the options for ride-on toys are many! Here is a guide to sort out the best options for kids of all ages.
Rides Ons for Toddlers and the Under Five Set
Scoots, or simply ride-ons, have no pedals and are perfect for toddlers who are coordinated enough to sit and scoot around on these wheeled rides. They come in three or four wheel versions and are built with a low center of gravity to reduce tipping. Some are shaped and stuffed like stuffed animals for a cozy ride.
Powered rides for young children include the Power Wheels brand which ranges from name brand cars and licensed characters to over-sized SUVs and quads. Seat belts tend to be standard with most models and ease of use is appropriate for the preschoolers that fit in these fancy rides.
Tricycles come in varieties ranging from old fashioned red metal trikes with steps on the back to sleek modern creations made of metal, wood or plastic. Most of the models offered today have seat belt options and poles that attach to the back so that adults can push younger children with a minimum of back pain.
Adjustable seats on tricycles offer room to grow, allowing the toy to fit for more than one season. Some models have the ability to fold up for storage, flip to become low-riders, or come with attachable wagons.
Wagons these days are way more detailed than the flat metal options of years past. There are molded plastic versions with seats and cup holders and optional canopy add-ons creating a shady cozy place for a ride through the zoo or a trip to the beach.
The classic versions are available, and have additional options like slatted rails above the metal base. There are also miniature wagons perfect for stuffed animal rides.
Bikes and Scooters for Older Kids
For bigger kids there are bikes for every age. Not long ago there was one basic choice in a bike: training wheels or no training wheels. Now there are options for street bikes, mountain bikes, BMX bikes, and even motor powered bikes for kids big and small. Training wheels can be added to bikes at any point, but are standard options on smaller bikes aimed at preschoolers.
Bike stores will have a buying guide to show just what measurements should be considered when investing in a bike. Many bikes, especially those for young children, will have adjustable settings for handlebars and seats.
When alternate transportation is desired, there is the scooter. Classic models that are foot powered have been eclipsed in recent years with kids’ motorized scooters. Some of these powered toys are electric scooters and others are fuel driven.
Fast electric scooters are not suitable for all ages, though, so if you are buying for a younger child consider children’s electric scooters or the non-motorized versions.
Skateboards Develop Balance and Agility
Skateboards are a great option for those who’ve mastered the scooter with balance and ease. Skateboards in the 70s were very narrow and short, while models these days are wider, longer, and have developed a more elevated or angled tail and nose.
These wonderful toys can be found more and more places since gaining popularity in alternative sporting coverage. Skate parks have been built in many communities to give children interested in skating a safe, friendly place to ride.
Safety First For All Ride on Toys
Remember that helmets should be worn to protect those growing brains. Be sure to try on many different ones to find the best fit or ask a professional for help. If a helmet is cracked in a fall it should be replaced.
Knee and elbow pads are usually a good idea too, especially when first starting a new learning process with one of these toys. Professional bike shops will usually fit a person for the bike being purchased and often with purchase they offer a discount on regular tune-ups to keep the bike in safe operating condition.