Buying your child’s first ride on toy is guaranteed to be an exciting experience for you as well as your toddler. Ride on toys offers young children the opportunity to develop their curiosity and explore their surroundings playfully while building their self-confidence and independence. They’re a great pick for both summer and winter alike, meaning kids can play all year round and are also a good outlet to burn off any excess energy.
However, there are many factors to consider when selecting a ride on vehicle. Some cars that a 5-year-old may love may not be appropriate for a 2-year-old toddler. There’s also a plethora of different styles and brands - from mini Mercedes replicas to foot-to-floor tricycles - with varying weights and manoeuvrability.
This extensive guide covers how to select an age-appropriate toy for your child and what type of vehicle they’ll enjoy the most. Read on to help you find your child the ride on toy of their dreams!
What is a ride on toy?
A ride on toy is a small vehicle in which your child can drive or scoot themselves along. These can include cars, bikes, scooters, tractors and motorbikes - some toys are even designed to look like animals.
Ride on toys come in several different forms:
- Battery electric
- Manual/push along
Where can they be used?
Ride on vehicles can be used both indoors and outdoors, however, hard floors are best for the smoothest operation. While the garden path is a great place for your little ones to practise their driving skills, make sure busy roads are avoided.
What additional features do ride ons have?
Ride on toys, particularly cars, often include bonus features to enhance the overall play experience.
While some children will be content with playing with the toy itself, others will be excited by the options of buttons, gear sticks, sound and light to keep them entertained. Some vehicles will have these features on a removable pad for standalone use - if your child is playing a beeping horn sound a little too enthusiastically every five minutes, you might want to check if there’s a mute button!
What kind of toy is appropriate for my child’s age?
When it comes to purchasing a ride on vehicle for your child, the one-size-fits-all approach is unlikely to work. A 5-year-old is likely to quickly grow bored of a toy designed for a toddler. You’ll also have to comply with age and weight guidelines, to ensure your toddler can play safely with a toy that appeals to them. It’s important to evaluate if the vehicle is a good physical fit for your child - such as checking if their legs are able to touch the ground and that they don’t exceed the weight limit.
To guarantee maximum fun, read on and discover which ride on toys are age-appropriate for your child.
18 months to 2 years old
You should proceed with extra caution when selecting a ride on vehicle for children who are still very young. At this stage of their lives, they are in the process of developing their sense of balance and motor abilities, making them susceptible to tumbling and falling.
These factors make manual options the more appropriate choices for children aged 18 months to 2 years old. Push-along foot-to-floor ride ons as a whole are great for allowing your toddler to exercise while playing, and balance bikes in particular can be great for helping your baby learn to build their sense of balance.
For kids turning 2, some ride-on cars may begin to become appropriate - but make sure they have additional safety features, such as powerful parental remote-control systems for electric vehicles.
3-5 years old
For children in this age bracket, electric ride on cars are a great way to channel their energy and curiosity. At a stage where your kids are constantly asking questions and taking a more active interest in the world around them, ride on cars are perfect for exploring both their inside environments and the wider outdoors.
It’s a good idea to raise your child’s engagement levels by selecting a toy with in-built entertainment features. The Audi R8 is a great example of this - with a working horn, LED lights and MP4 player, your little one is unlikely to leave it alone!
While it’s worth noting that electric cars can accelerate in speed considerably faster than manual models, this can be countered by parental remote controls for added safety. Additionally, if you’re concerned about the speed limit of your child’s toy car, consider capping it (at 5 km/h for a 12v ride on car).
What brands and styles are available?
Before selecting the bright red Jeep that your child has been begging for, it’s important to consider factors such as weight, portability and manoeuvrability. How heavy is your potential toy and how often will you be forced to lug it around town and your local parks? It’s also useful to remember some toys will be less suitable for outdoor use and rough terrain.
However, the range of ride on toys available to purchase is extensive and therefore you’re bound to find a toy that meets your needs. Here are just a few of the many options you can browse when searching for the perfect toy:
Ride on cars
Ride on cars are perhaps the most popular ride on kid's toy. After all, who hasn’t pined for a car at some point in their childhood? Electric cars are great for developing motor skills and independence, in addition to promoting outdoor activity. They’re also safe - most models consist of durable material, include seat belts and feature parental remote control systems.
Furthermore, there’s something for everyone. From Bentleys to Lamborghinis, you’ll find a real variety of pint-sized replicas of real brands and models. Ride on car accessories are an exciting bonus, with sticks, music and lights designed to stimulate your child’s early learning development.
When choosing your ride on toy, it’s useful to consider your child’s personal taste. If your toddler is already a huge fan of glam, opt for something that reflects this. Ride On Carz 4 Kidz stocks the new official licensed Mercedes classic 300s 12v Kids Ride On car in pink, a must-have for kids who appreciate the finer things in life.
Ride on range rovers
Ride on range rovers are a certified hit with kids. With miniature versions of authentic cars, your little ones can be assured they’ll be cruising the streets in style.
Many range rovers also come as 2 seaters, meaning siblings and friends can join in on the fun.
At Ride On Carz 4 Kidz, we stock a variety of range rovers in an assortment of colours. From the Range Rover HSE Sport to our new officially licensed Range Rover Evoque, you’re guaranteed to find a vehicle your child will love. Our cars come equipped with cool logos and badges, rechargeable batteries, LED lights, working horns and great speaker systems - it’s like you’re driving the real thing!
Tricycles are another great option when searching for a ride on toy for your toddler. Particularly suitable for younger children who might not be able to use an electric ride on car yet, the push-along element of many of these vehicles creates a prime opportunity for exercise.
Some tricycle vehicles are multi-functional and can also be used as baby strollers. A great example of this is the 3-in-1 Tricycle, available at Ride On Carz 4 Kidz. With pedals, footrests and a comfortable seat coupled with a protective wind cover, your little one can explore the outdoors at their own pace.
Ride on toy animals
Ride on toy animals can also be an appealing option for your toddler. From dogs and cats to ponies and creepy crawlies, many young children love the idea of travelling around on their favourite animal. Ride On Carz 4 Kidz features a charming ride on animal collection where your child can meet their new furry friend.
Find a ride on toy for your child today
At Ride On Carz 4 Kidz, we’re dedicated to making sure your little one finds the toy of their dreams. Our showroom boasts over 50 cars on display you can try before you buy. From buggies, jeeps and tractors to 2 seaters perfect for siblings, we’ve got you covered. Get in touch today to discover our amazing collections and find the best toy for your child.