What could be a more perfect gift for your active little one than a toy they can ride? If you’re looking for a product that will serve as a motivator in keeping your kid busy, while at the same time getting them tired and ready for a long night’s sleep, you couldn’t possibly go wrong with a ride-on toy.
These toys are also important because they give your child a great head start in practicing safety, just make sure that there’s enough space whether your kid is indoors or outdoors.
We’ve compiled a list of the best ride-on toys sold today, spanning all levels of enthusiasm, skill levels, and ages, and it will hopefully help you get started on your quest to find the best one for your kid.
BEST OVERALL VALUE
VTech Sit-to-Stand Alphabet Train
|1 – 3 years|
Fit for all weather conditions
Little Tikes Rocking Horse Blue
|1 – 3 years|
Great for role-play
Qaba Kids Plush Ride On Toy Walking Horse with Wheels and Realistic Sounds
|2 – 4 years|
Smart Gear Pony Cycle White Unicorn Ride on
|3 – 9 years|
Develops physical skills
COLORTREE Ride-on Excavator Pretend Play Construction Truck
|3 years +|
HOVERHEART Kids Electric Power Motorcycle 6V Ride On
|3 – 12 years|
Great physical exercise
Little People Fisher-Price Music Parade Ride-On
|1 – 3 years|
Seat belt teaches safety
Step2 Whisper Ride II Ride-On Push Car
|18 months – 4 years|
Variety of color choices
Pewi Y-Bike Ride-on Toy and Walking Buddy
|9 months – 3 years|
Little Tikes Princess Horse & Carriage
|18 months – 5 years|
Practical and fun
PUQU Monster Truck DesignTravel Suitcase
|3 years +|
Little Tikes Cozy Truck Ride-On
|18 months – 5 years|
Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster Ride On
|2 – 5 years|
Works well indoors and outdoors
PlasmaCar by PlaSmart
|3 years +|
Develops motor skills
Little Tikes Go and Grow Lil' Rollin' Giraffe Ride-on
|1 – 3 years|
VTech has always been a great choice when it comes to battery-powered toys. The Sit-to-Stand Alphabet Train is no exception to that rule. This is a ride-on toy for your child to grow up with since it can be used as soon as your little one first learns to stand up, all the way until she is jumping and running around at the age of 3.
The train engine is interactive, with a voice saying numbers, letters, stories as well as singing great songs for your kid to enjoy. So, this is more than just a ride-on toy, it’s a learning tool as well. Another nice thing about this product is that it is entirely gender-neutral, so it has excellent versatility and may even serve as a hand-me-down to a younger sibling in the future.
When it comes to children’s toys, rocking horses must be considered true classics. This timeless toy will help your child develop their imagination like no other, while at the same time improving their independent movement and building motor function.
The Rocking Horse from Little Tikes combines safety and comfort by making the rocking base as well as the seat extra wide for balance and stability.
The swinging motion on this blue horse will relax your child and might even put them in the sleeping mood, or they could pretend to gallop into the sunset like an old-timey bandit. Whatever the case, this durable toy is sure to give your child and their younger siblings years of entertainment.
While we’re on the subject of horses, this product is arguably even better than the rocking horse presented above. The folks at Qaba are calling this an ‘upgraded’ rocking horse, and saying we should forget about that old rocking action since this one moves forward almost like a real horse galloping across a field. Your kid will use his feet to push himself until he reaches the desired speed before resting his little feet on the comfortable footrests attached to the front legs of the horse.
It’s super easy to use and lots of fun on top of being quite safe and sturdy. There are handlebars at the front used for steering and maintaining balance, and if you’re looking for a little bit extra, you can press the ear, and you get horse sounds as well.
What’s better than having your own pony to ride? A unicorn, of course! The PonyCycle White Unicorn from Smart Gear is a ride-on unicorn that comes in 2 sizes – small and medium, for kids 3 – 5 years old and kids 5 – 9 years old, respectively.
Unlike the rocking horse and push-action horse mentioned above, this one has a unique kid-powered system designed to mimic the motion one might experience on an actual horse or unicorn in this case.
All you have to do is get your child in the saddle, have them place their feet into the pedals shaped like stirrups, and let them push the pedals in an up and down motion to propel themselves forward. This is a really unique ride-on toy that is 100% kid-powered, so we’re sure your child would love it.
For kids interested in construction equipment, tools, and manual labor, this is the perfect ride-on toy.
It even includes a yellow hard hat just like one you would find at an actual construction site. The seat has a 60-degree rotation, and the digger arm works as you would expect, moving up and down using a simple control stick.
This great little machine can be used for all types of pretend construction work, scooping up sand, toys or other materials your kid might find scoop-able. There are three wheels on each side, allowing your little one to move around with lots of freedom in search of work. The toy is meant for kids aged 3 and older and will hold up to 66 pounds.
Probably the coolest looking toy on this list, this electric motorcycle from HOVERHEART will make any boy very happy. Just be careful, you may have some trouble getting your kid to stop riding it – some parents complained about their children not being particularly willing to part from their new favorite toy even at night.
The bike is very easy to use and rides smoothly. There’s a foot pedal to control the speed and grips to steer. It is quite stable and very safe, with an auxiliary wheel on each side not affecting the appearance much, while at the same time providing a much safer experience and letting you relax knowing that it would be tough for your boy to tip this bike over even if he tried.
This is a fun and colorful little vehicle which will be the perfect introduction to ride-on toys for any kid. It is beautifully designed and colored, with a very cheerful attitude, which reflects how much fun your child will have while using it.
As the name suggests, the Music Parade Ride-On features all kinds of music and sounds for your little one to explore and enjoy. There are various instruments like a trumpet and a drum, as well as up to five different marching tunes included. For more creative toddlers, there is a keyboard on the hood so they can compose their own songs.
The AA batteries included in the pack power the musical side of things, but don’t actually propel the vehicle; your kid will have to use their legs if they want to get moving.
Coming through! If you’re looking for a stroller replacement, that’s much more fun and fashionable, look no further than the Whisper Ride II from Step2. Push your kid along in this sleek sports car, and they will be the envy of the town.
On the practical side of things, the handle is foldable which makes the ride very easy to put in the trunk and bring with you to the mall, park or anywhere you’d rather have your child safely in their vehicle than running around tiring their little legs.
Another great practical detail included is the two cup holders at the front – one for you and one for your kid. Also, just like any car with an engine at the back, it has a storage space under the hood for toys, snacks or diapers.
This ride-on may look a bit like a 16th-century torture device, but it’s actually great fun in spite of its insane appearance.
The most significant benefit of this toy is the adaptability that it possesses, and the fact that it can grow with your child. As your kid starts walking, they can use it as a Walking Buddy, and as they get older, they can use it as a Y-Bike Ride-on.
Even though the product looks a bit unusual, to say the least, experts have given it multiple awards for its innovative design, stating that it helps develop cognitive and motor skills in toddlers as they play. It’s also quite safe, sporting a long and wide base which ensures that your little one won’t tip it over while playing.
If your little princess loves fairy-tales and magic, this is a fantastic ride-on toy meant for her. Set her down in the carriage and pull her around while she rests her royal little feet, or if she wants to move more independently remove the floorboard and let her push along all by herself.
The carriage itself has a functional door to get in and out of, as well as cup holders, and the horse will even make a realistic running sound as she goes along. As for the adorable factor, it doesn’t get much better than this – it’s an actual fairy tale ride.
The Princess Horse & Carriage from Little Tikes is perfect for imaginative role-play and will give your little girl years of entertainment and transport.
When it comes to practicality, nothing on this list beats the Monster Truck DesignTravel Suitcase from PUQU. This tough suitcase looks like and is as durable as, a monster truck.
It works well as a ride-on toy which your kid can scoot around on, both indoors and outdoors, and when you need to hit the road, it works just as perfectly as a storage space for your kids’ toys, clothing and other essential items they will need for the trip.
Once the case is fully packed, they can ride it, thus leaving your hands free for other stuff you undoubtedly need to carry. On the other hand, if you prefer to have a bit more control over where your kid is going, there’s a durable strap that you can use to pull them along.
This very stylish truck from Little Tikes is a great way for your kid to improve their hand-eye coordination and leg muscle strength.
It has a functional steering wheel, operating the stylized off-road wheels, as well as other realistic-looking details such as a gas cap and a working horn. It is also available in both blue and pink, so it’s suitable for any gender. Other features this kiddie ride has are fully operating doors, a tailgate, and a removable floorboard so your kid can push along Flintstone-style.
For active kids who always want to be on the move, the Cozy Truck is precisely what they need as their first contact with a four-wheeler – simple enough to be used by tiny kids, yet offering enough freedom to be enjoyed by anyone.
If you’re looking for something truly epic to buy for your kid, there’s no need to look any further than the Up & Down Roller Coaster from Step 2.
A theme park ride in your own home or backyard, this coaster is a gift that never stops giving.
Most importantly, it is very well built, the ramp is very secure and sturdy, allowing no room for mishaps and injuries as your kid slides down the coaster again and again.
The hills may look tiny to you, but we promise they will feel like mountains to your child. The walls on each side of the track protect your kid from falling over or riding off the trail, keeping them safely in their lane.
If you like to be outside with your child or have a large playroom or basement, the PlasmaCar by PlaSmart is the next logical step in building your kid’s toy collection.
This small tricycle-looking ride-on works in a fascinating way. In fact, due to its unique design, this toy is propelled forward using your kid’s own strength, but perhaps not in the way that you’d expect.
Basically, no pushing is required from the legs – instead, the PlasmaCar is moved forward by yanking the steering wheel left and right. This means your child never has to move their feet from the comfortable foot-rests on the front while building arm strength and muscle memory at the same time.
Does your kid like going to the zoo? If that’s the case, here’s a perfect ride-on toy for them. The Little Tikes Go and Grow Lil’ Rollin’ Giraffe is the ideal little tricycle for any kid that wants to move around independently (and we don’t know any kids that wouldn’t want to).
The dependable and safe tires and big handlebars shaped like giraffe’s ears will let your kid enjoy steering and balancing this great push-along ride-on toy. The seat is made of hard plastic as well, making it perhaps not the most comfortable seat out there, but at the same time one of the sturdiest, ensuring that it will last a long time.
The kids bike itself is going to be an excellent leg workout for your kid, while also providing hours and hours of outdoor fun.
We all know finding the perfect toy for your kid is not a simple task, especially when it comes to younger kids since their interests never seem to stick and they grow out of their toys rather quickly. We try to take all of this into consideration when choosing the best toys for our lists, but we still encourage you to think carefully before making any final decisions on the products we recommend. After all, nobody knows your child better than you, and your call is what counts in the end. A good piece of advice to remember is – keep it simple, mainly when picking a toy for younger kids, the simpler, the better since there are fewer things to get wrong.
Other than that, the most critical factor when choosing any kind of toy for your child is obviously safety. There are many toys on the market that can present a particular risk to your kid, whether it is hazardous materials, low build quality or even poor engineering choices. We’ve thoroughly tested all of the toys on this list for those types of problems, but it never hurts to check the reviews from other shoppers and see if they ran into any issues of this sort.
When it comes to children’s ride-on toys, nothing is more important than balance. If a toy puts your child at risk of falling over while using it, it should be handled with great care and supervision and is ultimately unsafe. For this list, we mainly focused on products with a low center of gravity, barring a few exceptions meant for slightly older kids. It’s also important to make sure that the wheels are wide enough and strong enough to support weight well above the weight of your child.
Another important factor we considered when making this list is the value for money. The price and quality of the toy are usually tightly correlated, meaning that the higher the price –the higher the quality, however we’ve tried to find those products that have a bit more to offer than others in their price range, since we look at toys more as investments into your child’s development than merely as gifts.
Most toys on this list are either push-action or use pedals to propel forward. There are some motorized toys, but these are mostly targeted at slightly older kids since they have better motor skills and a more developed ability to control the toy than a younger child would.
We recommend sticking with self-propelled toys for younger children since they will help speed-up your kid’s muscle development and reserving the battery powered products for later.
The main benefit of ride-on toys is motor development. By the time your kid is at the 18 months to 3-year-old range, they should be able to perform some gross-motor skill tasks and have somewhat of a sense of their bodily movements.
They should be able to keep balance and make use of their senses to understand their position relative to other objects. So, it is imperative to choose the right toys early in their development.
Among the variety of types of toys for children, ride on toys have a special place, since they come with many benefits. For kids, the main advantage, of course, is the fun they can have and the freedom they feel when riding these toys. For parents, it’s the knowledge that these toys will help their kids’ physical, and sometimes even cognitive and social development.
We always try to make sure that the products we recommend to you are not only high-quality, but also accessible and worth your money, and this list is no exception. Now it’s up to you to take the plunge!