15 Best Car Toys for Toddlers and Kids

Featured image of boy in blue holding out toy car

If you’re looking to surprise your kid with something extraordinary, cars are never the wrong answer. Especially with young boys, but for an increasing number of girls as well cars are a true staple in their entertainment. They are not only fun to play with, but they help develop motor skills, hand-eye coordination, and imaginative play. 

Since their introduction, toy cars have been an indispensable part of any playroom worth its while. Nowadays, there is an almost infinite range of car types, models, and of course, prices.

That’s why we’re here to look at the market today and give you the fifteen best options available.

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Think Gizmos

This excellent build-your-own set has everything your kid needs to feel like an actual mechanic. It even includes the batteries, both for the toy drill and the engine. The kit consists of 30 parts in total, including some optional pieces that your little one can use to modify the look of the car to his preference. 

The car makes a realistic car noise when the engine is turned on, and that’s now easier than ever in this updated version of the toy, because the engine switch is easily accessible, unlike some previous builds. 

Aimed at 3 – 7-year-old girls and boys, this is the perfect gift for any child who has an interest in engineering. It also improves fine motor skills and cognitive development.

Benefits:

  • Builds cognitive and fine motor skills
  • Everything included in the box
  • User manual in 5 languages

Yeonha Toys Pull Back Vehicles

Up next, we have a set of 12 mini pull back car toys, ranging from race cars to construction vehicles. And you should be aware that when we say ‘mini,’ we mean it since one of the chief complaints parents have about this set is that the cars are smaller than they expected. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the cars’ size in our opinion; it just comes down to your preferences and expectations. An adult can easily hold a few of these little things in their hand, while they should be perfectly sized for a child’s hands. 

They are made for girls and boys aged three and up and should provide lots of entertainment for any child who likes cars.

Benefits:

  • No batteries needed
  • Good level of detail

KIDAMI Die-cast Metal Toy Cars

This is a set of die-cast cars made from the highest quality plastic and metal, making the cars durable and sturdy. No batteries are needed as the vehicles operate on the power of friction, meaning they only need to be pulled back and let go. 

Each toy car has an exceptional level of attention to detail put into its design. They all come with authentic decals and decorations, openable doors, and the most realistic looks possible, making them an excellent option for little gearheads. 

The gift pack includes multiple car types in a range of colors, including a school bus, hippie van, police car and more.  This set is meant for children three years and older.

Benefits:

  • High-quality materials
  • Friction-powered
  • Variety

Light Up Monster Truck Set

Is your kid a huge fan of monster trucks? If you’re looking for something extraordinary and unique, that’s going to keep your little one engaged for hours this set of Jumbo Monster Trucks will do the trick. 

The size of the toys is going to get your kid excited right from the get-go, primarily if they are used to regular-sized pull back vehicles. But the fun doesn’t end there! The cars also come with sturdy transparent wheels that light up beautifully and they are on the toys from the list that play music! If this doesn’t grab your kid’s attention and hold it for a while, we don’t know what will.

Benefits:

  • Light-up wheels
  • Larger than most car toys

LEGO Speed Champions Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Race Car

Race to the finish line with this great little LEGO set! Another entry in the Speed Champions series from the Danish toy manufacturer is the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and it is a beauty! It is a 198-piece LEGO building set for fans of the racing world and vehicle play, to build their favorite car and play with it. We were impressed with the detail that went into creating this neat little car, and your kid is sure to love it as well. 

The build features a removable windshield, a Minifigure cockpit fitted with a roll-cage and Camaro-branded wheels. It also includes a fuel canister as well as a racing driver figurine complete with a removable helmet.

Benefits:

  • LEGO quality
  • Great for creative play

Pull Back Dinosaur Cars

Here’s a set that combines a couple of the most popular options when it comes to toys – cars and dinosaurs. The pack contains a set of four dinosaur heads on friction powered wheels, and as ridiculous as that may sound, kids seem to be having a blast with the idea worldwide. 

The four dinosaurs included are a Tatankacephalus, a Dilophosaurus, T-Rex and a Triceratops. They weigh 45g each and are just large enough to fit in the hand of a child while remaining convenient and easy to carry wherever you need to go. Due to the large, sturdy wheels, these cars are also surprisingly durable and can withstand plenty of abuse on all kinds of surfaces.

Benefits:

  • Fun design
  • Sturdy
  • Non-toxic

TEMI Diecast Racing Cars Toy Set

This set of model racecars includes a soft activity mat, six die-cast cars in a variety of colors, a truck carrier, roadblocks, cones and construction signs for a total of twenty pieces. Your kid can use it on their own, or break it out when friends are around. 

The play-mat is made of soft fabric, rather than PVC, which is a big plus. The carpet is quite colorful and presents a scene of a racetrack surrounded by trees as well as a gas station, shop, mall and much more. It can comfortably accommodate two to four players depending on their age and size. 

The set is designed for boys and girls aged three and up and can be a great asset in developing hand-eye coordination, creativity, and social skills.

Benefits:

  • BPA-free and lead-free
  • Develops cognitive processes
  • Fun design

ZHFUYS 1:32 Bugatti Veyron diecast car

Another great-looking die-cast car comes from ZHFUYS, and it is a 1:32 scale Bugatti Veyron, one of the most popular vehicles of all time. It has been made using zinc alloy of the highest quality, die-cast into the proper shape through a rigorously controlled process and polished many times to create the exquisite look. 

It has been painted with water-based non-toxic paint spray and held in a ventilated environment for two months to let dry. It doesn’t contain any harmful substances like formaldehyde, making it very safe to be used by children. The hood and side doors open, and the car makes realistic sounds. It is also equipped with LED lights in the front and the back which look amazing.

Benefits:

  • Looks exactly like the real car
  • Friction-powered
  • High-quality materials

Tuko Car Toys Die-Cast Carrier Truck Vehicles

Another great set on our list comes from Tuko, and it is a car-carrier truck with six alloy cars and traffic accessories included. The collection is meant for kids aged three and up due to a possible choking hazard coming from the cars’ relatively small size. If your kid isn’t particularly well-organized and you feel like they might need to learn how to keep their toys in check, this is a great way to teach them how to store their stuff where they belong. 

The carrier is designed with see-through lids on both sides to keep the cars on display even when they are stowed away. There’s also some extra space for additional toy cars if your kid has others lying around.

Benefits:

  • Easy to use
  • Keeps the house neat
  • Cool design

Liberty Imports 3-in-1 True Hero Vehicles

Here is a set for those kids who want to celebrate the true heroes of their hometown – the first responders. This set contains three emergency vehicles: a fire truck, a police car and an ambulance, each equipped with unique sound effects and flashing lights. The sound effects include fire sounds, horn, and a police siren. 

The vehicles are all made of 100% non-toxic, safe, and durable plastic intended for long-lasting use and abuse. Batteries are included for each of the cars, so unpack and they are ready to go. These cars are designed for kids aged three and up and offer an authentic experience like no other.

Benefits:

  • Great value
  • Durable and safe
  • Sound effects and lights

RC Cars Stunt Car Toy

The next item on our list is something truly unique. The Amicool 4-wheel-drive remote-control stunt car has everything your kid needs for hours and hours of fun. Thanks to huge wheels, it can flip on its roof and keep going, do 360 rotations in the air or go entirely off-road on pretty much any surface.

It can go up to a maximum speed of 7.5 MPH which means it is no slouch and your kid is going to have to run to keep up with it. Made of high-quality materials, with thick wheels, this car can withstand all kinds of treatment and is sure to last a long while. Batteries are sold separately.

Benefits:

  • Fast
  • Durable
  • 60m range

Hot Wheels 50 Pack

Sometimes you want to give your kid a big gift, and it doesn’t get much bigger than a pack of 50 cars in one box. If you want to make your child happy get them this collection of vehicles from the OG of the toy car market – Hot Wheels. The cars feature authentic decals and realistic details, ranging from exotic racecars to popular roadsters and sleek sports cars. 

Each vehicle is individually packed, so you might want to hold on to the box and hand the cars out on different occasions. Just be careful, you might turn your kid into a collector with one of these, and that can be an expensive hobby to get into.

Benefits:

  • Excellent value
  • Hot Wheels quality

JOYIN 10 in 1 Die-cast Military Truck

Is your kid a fan of the armed forces? If the answer is yes, there’s no better gift for them than this set. It comprises of 10 military vehicles including a helicopter, jeep, anti-air vehicle, long truck, armored car, tank, and two helicopters all fitting neatly into a large carrier truck. Your kid will not only have fun with these toys but also develop some critical skills and a greater appreciation for the troops. 

The cars are made of high-quality materials, and they are very durable, so you can expect them to last a long time, even if your kid isn’t particularly careful. The carrier truck makes it easy to pack the whole thing up and take it wherever you need to go.

Benefits:

  • Great for all ages
  • Non-toxic material
  • Unique design

WisToyz Pull Back Monster Trucks

This excellent set from WisToyz features four small cars with huge wheels, meant for toddler boys and girls aged three and up. These toys will provide your kid with endless hours of entertainment while staying in one piece. They are easy to play with and fun to use for kids of all ages. 

The best thing is that these can run on pretty much any surface due to their large wheels, so your kids can use household items to improvise their track and have a race. Despite being made with sturdy materials and built to last, the cars are surprisingly lightweight and easy to pack and carry.

Benefits:

  • Solid and durable
  • Large wheels work on any surface

Melissa & Doug Pull-Back Vehicles

One of the best brands on the market of kids’ toys today seems to have done it again. The Pull-Back Vehicle set from Melissa & Doug is universally well-received by both parents and kids. This pack includes a total of four lightweight and soft vehicles: a school bus, fire truck, police car, and a family car. They are friction powered so to make them go, pull back and let go. 

If your kid is still a baby, you can do this yourself and let your baby have fun while chasing after the cars. The cars have just the right speed to make things interesting without the danger of running into a wall. When your child gets a bit older, they can play with the cars themselves, thus developing their fine motor skills.

Benefits:

  • Made of soft fabric
  • Easy to clean
  • Colorful

How to Choose Good Toy Cars

If your kid is feeling a need for speed, you don’t have to wait until their sixteenth birthday to give them their first car. Toddlers and even babies love to play with toy cars, and they are some of the best toys for developing spatial and movement skills. Pushing the cars around the floor will also strengthen your kids hand-eye coordination and muscles. 

The cars will give your child an incentive to get involved in pretend play, use their imagination, and develop their social skills. They will learn how the objects in their hands are connected to cars in the real world, which will help stimulate their cognitive development.

These are all reasons why toy cars are a smart thing to get for your child from a developmental standpoint, but we should not forget another significant factor – fun. Some of the products on our list can make sounds, or have blinking lights and other interactive features, which are going to be very interesting for many kids. Others can be used outside, in new environments, or even on self-built tracks.

Depending on your child’s age and interests, you should be able to discern which product suits them best, but this is one of those rare cases where it’s going to be hard to get it wrong because everything is a right choice.

Criteria We Used

Safety

As you know, safety is our primary concern here at Funtastic Toy. We always make sure that toys we recommend are completely safe for the age group in question, and that they don’t present any risk of injury. We select toys made with non-toxic colors and materials and try to promote products that support green living and sustainability.

Cognitive Development

As kids grow, so too do their cognitive abilities. Learning by imitation or putting sequences of events together to create a narrative are all crucial steps in a child’s mental growth. Also, there’s more practical stuff like numbers, colors, and shapes. We always try to put toys on our list that promote such growth.

Physical Development

Playing with toy cars can help children develop some key physical attributes like fine and gross motor skills, hand-eye coordination, standing, grasping, and even vocal development. If we combine cars with other creative toys, like building blocks, we can add to the immersion and sense of curiosity, which is going to drive your kid to create and develop even further.

FAQ

Should I play with my kid or let them explore cars on their own?

It’s a beautiful idea to use toy cars as a way to play with your child and connect with them even more. You can pretend to race them, or you can chase each other around the room cops and robbers style. 

Just make sure to let your kid win a few of these races; otherwise they are going to get demoralized and give up. However, that doesn’t mean you should always let them win – they should know the taste of failure, or they might get complacent.

What are some specific skills I can teach my kids while playing with cars?

There’s a multitude of skills your kid can learn from cars, but let’s take a couple as an example – numbers and colors. Most toy cars have some kind of number on them, racing cars especially. What you can do is point to a number and say it, then look for a response. Eventually, your kid will start making the connection between the symbol and the word. You can do the same thing when it comes to colors.

Conclusion

As always when it comes to picking the right toy for your kid, it’s important to remember that even though the right toy can have a very positive effect on their development, the primary focus of toys should always be entertainment. If your child is interested in the toy, they will keep playing with it, and most of the time, that is enough. 

That being said, you should always make sure that the safety of the toy is on point, and that you only let your kids play with toys appropriate for their age.

Author: Mary Lynn Holden
Author: Mary Lynn Holden

Proud mom and stepmom to an adorable bunch of kids aged 7 and up. Deeply appreciates three things in life: the help of older siblings in the house, texts on parenting, and strong coffee. Shares her stories and experiences in order to help others navigate the unpredictable waters of parenting.

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