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Mother and Baby

The best ride-on toys for toddlers

Section: Shopping Ideas
The best ride-on toys for toddlers

Choose a ride-on toy for your toddler that will encourage your little one to exercise, develop balance and co-ordination and, best of all, have fun!

We’ve never met a child who doesn’t love to play on a ride-on. Once he can safely sit up confidently, he’ll enjoy sitting on it while you gently push him around, but it will really come into its own once his legs can reach the ground and he can propel himself forwards. They’re great for the winter, as they’re a brilliant way for a toddler to burn off excess energy indoors.

Is your toddler ready for a ride-on toy?

You’ll need to follow the minimum age and maximum weight guidance for the toy to ensure your toddler can play safely, and also so it’s appealing and appropriate for his age and stage of development. Check he has the physical capabilities needed to use the toy properly and safely at the moment – and that his legs can reach the ground.

Can a toddler ride-on toy be used as a walker too?

Many ride-ons can be converted to a walker. This extends the age-range that it can be used from, offering better value for money if your little one is still young enough to get the benefit from a walker. Even when he’s older, occasionally converting it from a ride-on to a walker and back again can spark his interest in playing with it more.

What other functions do ride-on toys have?

Some children will be perfectly content with scuttling around on the ride-on itself, others will enjoy having lots of buttons, gear sticks, sounds and lights to keep them occupied. Some ride-ons feature a removable panel with buttons for music and lights for stand-alone use. And while your little one might love a beeping horn or engine noise, you might find it annoying, so check if there’s a volume or mute button.

Where will you use a ride-on toy?

Think about whether you have enough space inside for it to be played with. And have a look at your floors too: smooth, hard flooring is best – if you’ve got thick-pile carpet, even the strongest toddler is going to struggle to get about. Most ride-ons are designed for gentle dry-weather outside use too, so check whether the wheels look easy to clean. 

Make sure your toddler ride-on toy is robust

Toddlers aren’t the best drivers, so it needs to be robust enough to cope with being crashed into walls and furniture on a regular basis. Avoid thin plastic components which can snap easily.  

We've tested six toddler ride-on toys - click through below to read our reviews in full.