Toddlers are fast, and they can zoom around even faster on a ride-on toy. As your little one grows and develops, they learn how to balance, stand up, and move around on their own – ride-on toys give them that little extra bit of independence and freedom during playtime.
Not only are ride-on toys cute and great for developing fine motor skills and coordination, but they are also handy for helping parents keep toddlers active with stimulating enrichment activities.
Which ride-on toys are the best? We considered a variety of ride-on toys to come up with the finest choices for your tiny tot.
- Selecting a Good Ride-On Toy for Toddlers
- Top 10 Best Ride-On Toys for Toddlers 2021
- 1. Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike
- 2. Lascoota Kick Scooter for Kids
- 3. Little Tikes Cozy Truck Ride-On
- 4. Little Tikes Go and Grow Lil' Rollin' Giraffe
- 5. Schwinn Roadster Tricycle
- 6. Little Tikes Rocking Horse
- 7. Radio Flyer 4-In-1 Stroll 'N Trike
- 8. The Big Dig Ride-On Working Excavator
- 9. Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike
- 10. Kid Trax Marvel Spider-Man Electric Quad Ride on Toy
- Ride Into the Sunset
Selecting a Good Ride-On Toy for Toddlers
Ride-on toys come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, with a plethora of different functions available to suit each child. A few factors to consider when picking a ride-on toy for your toddler are design, size, safety, and longevity.
Toys are often reviewed for compliance with industry safety specifications – the certifications and designations are handy for conscious parents who are looking to protect their kids. Other features to pay attention to in a ride-on toy include:
- A wide base that lies close to the ground
- Any kind of harness that helps hold the child securely inside the toy
- Any pinch points, sharp edges, or parts that can hurt a child
- Toy stability to make sure the toy doesn’t tip over
For additional safety, consider purchasing protective gear like a helmet and pads to protect your child’s knees and elbows.
Ride-on toys come in two main styles: the kind that kids can pedal or push off the ground to move themselves around, or the other kind where the toy needs a power source of some kind to move. Here are some types of ride-on toys that best suit toddlers aged below five years old:
- Push toy: An adult pushes the kid around on the ride-on toy
- Foot to floor: Kids use their feet to move themselves forward
- Pedal-powered: Children use the pedals on the toy to propel themselves forward
- Battery-powered: The toy uses removable or rechargeable batteries as a power source
In general, ride-on toys made for younger children are best used indoors – they can still be used outdoors if they are made to accommodate rough terrains like grass, asphalt, and pavement.
If the ride-on toy will be used outside often, you should look for tougher tires and materials that won’t rust. If the toy will be used indoors, consider the toy’s size and ability to move on the type of flooring you have at home.
When selecting a ride-on toy, your child should be able to have their feet flat on the ground when they sit on the toy. This is important for toys with pedals so your little one can work the pedals and maneuver without too much trouble – little adventurers need to be able to explore safely!
Toy manufacturers usually list the specifications of the toy including maximum height, weight restrictions, and recommended age so you can select a ride-on toy that is the right fit for your toddler. Selecting a ride-on toy that is appropriately sized will also be good for space management in your home – if the toy is too big and unwieldy it will be a hassle to bring it out for playtime.
In selecting a ride-on toy, consider your toddler’s age, interests, and developmental stage. Very young children will not be ready for a ride-on toy that uses pedals to move forward, while older toddlers might get bored with a static ride-on toy that only lets them bounce on the spot. A great compromise will be a ride-on toy that has adjustable parts which allow the toy to accommodate your child’s growth.
Most toys have a recommended age range and reviews done by other parents who have purchased the toy for their children. Some toys are also themed, like firefighter toys, construction equipment, or animal tricycles. The last thing you want is to invest money and space into a toy that your little one outgrows too quickly, or they get bored because the toy isn’t as stimulating or interesting after a while.
With these factors in mind, let’s look at the toys that made our list.
Top 10 Best Ride-On Toys for Toddlers 2021
- Size: 21.5” (L) x 7.99” (W) x 16.97” (H)
- Type: Pedal powered
The Harley-Davidson Tough Trike from Fisher-Price is super cool and super sturdy – with rugged, durable tires and a stable wheelbase, parents don’t have to worry about their precious tot falling over as they ride in style. The fire decal on this stylish trike adds a little extra oomph to the riding experience.
We like that this pedal-powered trike has big foot pedals and easy-grip handlebars that make riding a breeze for little hands and little feet. This trike’s seat is also big and comfortable, so kids can spend as much time as they want on this fun ride without any soreness to cramp their style.
With cool Harley-Davidson styling and graphics, this Fisher-Price trike sure is eye-catching, adding to the fun factor. Underneath the seat is a secret storage compartment that can hold important gear like toys and snacks as your little adventurer goes exploring – your child can even bring home souvenirs from their foray outside.
We love that this tricycle is kid-powered, meaning that little ones who are growing and learning get to exercise and develop motor skills while also having fun. Fisher-Price products are designed to meet international safety standards like the laws enforced by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC), so parents can rest assured that their little ones are playing safely.
While the Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike is great for older toddlers who have learned how to pedal and maneuver themselves, it may be a little much for little ones who have just learned how to sit and walk unattended.
For tiny tots who aren’t quite ready to move around on their own just yet, the Little Tikes Rocking Horse is a great alternative as it allows them to get used to the moving motion, building their balance and coordination.
- Size: 36.75” (L) x 18.5” (W) x 39” (H)
- Type: Foot to floor
The Lascoota Kick Scooter for Kids is a great 3-wheeled, self-balancing, multifunctional scooter that comes with a helmet, light-up wheels, and a removable seat. We like that it accommodates little ones who are learning balance and body coordination, giving them the option to sit on the seat or to stand on the platform as they ride along.
This scooter comes with Lean-to-Steer technology, where kids can just lean in the direction they want to go and the scooter wheels will adjust accordingly without compromising stability like a regular scooter.
The removable seat is wide for your little one’s comfort, so they can scoot around all day without any discomfort. The scooter deck is also wide, with extra grip so kids can ride on the scooter without balancing precariously on a slippery surface.
We think that the Lascoota Kick Scooter’s adjustable handlebars with comfy cushion grip are great – this way, the scooter can work for tiny tots and also older children who have the physical ability to balance on their own, and nobody gets left out. Both the handlebars and the removable seat can be adjusted for height, so parents can make sure that the scooter is appropriately sized for safety purposes.
This scooter is great for tots who can sit and scoot unattended – for tinier tots who still need some help with riding around, the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike is great for kids to get used to being pushed around by an adult. Once they’re older and better able to move around on their own, they can explore and adventure all they like with the Lascoota Kick Scooter.
- Size: 36” (L) x 17” (W) x 35” (H)
- Type: Push toy, foot to floor (2 LR44 batteries required, not included)
The Little Tikes Cozy Truck Ride-On is great for little ones who want to get a taste of the driving action. With a drop-down tailgate, rugged “off-road” wheels, an opening gas cap, a steering wheel with a working horn, and a driver’s door that opens and closes, tiny motorheads get to try out having their very own car with realistic details.
This ride-on truck’s floorboard is removable – kids who aren’t ready to have their feet on the floor can be pushed around with the floorboard in to protect their feet from being dragged on the ground. When they’re ready to move the truck using their feet, the floorboard can be removed.
This toy is durable and sturdy, making it great for both indoor and outdoor use. Some assembly is required to build the ride-on truck, and it is best done with two people as the parts can be a little fiddly.
The Little Tikes Cozy Truck Ride-On is the go-to for tiny tots who aren’t ready to get into the full ride-on experience just yet, but once they are older, the Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike is a great starting point for kids who are learning how to ride a bike.
- Size: 15.5” (L) x 22” (W) x 16” (H)
- Type: Foot to floor
The Little Tikes Go and Grow Lil’ Rollin’ Giraffe is a tricycle with an oversized back wheel for extra stability – the back wheel also has a wheel guard for safety purposes, so little ones won’t have to worry about getting pinched while sitting on this toy. The adjustable seat comes with customizable spot decals – just click the seat in place and it’s good to go.
This toy helps little ones build coordination, balance, and large motor skills by pushing themselves around using their feet. The handlebars can be turned, with a controlled steer radius to prevent tipping over. The wide front wheelbase also helps with balance and stability, making it difficult for rambunctious little ones to push it over by accident.
We like that the design is cute, with a friendly giraffe face that is appealing to children. Made with smooth edges and high-quality materials that will last, any colors on this toy are finished with water-based, non-toxic stains and paints, so your toddler can safely gnaw on most parts if they are so inclined.
We especially love that this toy is good for both indoor and outdoor use – not only is it easy to clean with the use of a wet wipe or a damp cloth, it’s also quiet compared to other ride-on toys. You won’t have to worry about your toddler waking the neighbors while playing with this toy.
If noise isn’t a problem and your little one is an older tot who prefers a ride-on toy that is battery powered, this Cozy Truck Ride-On from Little Tikes allows them to zoom around with the use of an accelerator and brakes.
- Size: 26” (L) x 20.5” (W) x 21.5” (H)
- Type: Pedal powered
The Schwinn Roadster Tricycle has a low center of gravity and a wide base, making it easy to ride for toddlers who are just learning how to do so. The adjustable seat is sculpted to fit comfortably, with five positions so that the seat can be moved to fit growing legs.
Manufactured by Schwinn, a brand with a century of experience under its belt, this trike is made to last, with chrome finish handlebars and wrapped grips that make steering the bike easy and comfortable. Kids will have plenty of fun racing around on this sturdy, gorgeous tricycle.
The frame of this trike is made using heavy-duty steel, with a real wood deck etched with the distinctive Schwinn logo, while the tires are made of inflatable rubber instead of plastic. The bicycle bell installed helps little ones alert others while they’re zooming around, keeping them safe and collision-free.
We love the classic design of this tricycle! Combined with high-quality materials, the Schwinn Roadster Tricycle for Toddlers and Kids can last through multiple kids without going out of style. This trike is sturdy enough that a wagon can be attached to the back so your little one can cart their friends and toys around – fun times are always better with company.
That being said, some kids prefer feet to floor ride-on toys – this kick scooter from Lascoota is a cool alternative that can be adjusted and modified to fit kids from 3 years old and above.
- Size: 33” (L) x 10” (W) x 17.5” (H)
- Type: Foot to floor
The Little Tikes Rocking Horse is a tried and true traditional toy that all children will love. Toddlers that are able to sit on their own without falling over will be old enough to enjoy this toy – younger children may need to be rocked by an adult, but they will learn how to rock forwards and backwards on their own in no time.
This toy is made from sturdy, durable plastic, making it perfect for indoor and outdoor use. No assembly is required with this rocking horse, so excited little ones can start rocking and rolling as soon as the toy arrives.
As with all new toys, parents should pay attention to any sharp edges to prevent harm to their precious tots. If any sharp edges are found, they can be sanded smooth and modified for additional safety.
We like that this rocking horse has features that make it accessible to little ones – it’s smoothly rounded with a high seat back so toddlers can sit securely in place as they rock about. The handles are made for easy gripping, while the low saddle makes the rocking horse more stable. With its sturdy build and added stability, this toy will be able to withstand the tender loving care of an excited toddler for years to come.
While this rocking horse is great for young toddlers, older kids may want a little something more. For tykes aged 2 years old and above who can sit and walk on their own, the Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike has them looking cool as they pedal around on their sweet, sweet ride.
- Size: 19.88” (L) x 35.04” (W) x 40.75” (H)
- Type: Push toy, pedal-powered
We love the Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Stroll ‘N Trike because it can convert between four different growing stages to accommodate a wide age range:
- Toddler tricycle (1 to 2 years old)
- Steering tricycle (1 to 2 years old)
- Learn-to-ride tricycle (2 to 3 years old)
- Classic tricycle (3 to 5 years old)
The removable accessories included with this trike include a parent push handle, an adjustable UV protection canopy, a footrest, a wrap-around tray, a headrest, and a 3-point harness seat belt. With high-density foam tires, this stroller tricycle combo moves quietly and smoothly, giving both you and your toddler a comfortable ride.
For parents, the height-adjustable parent push handle with comfortable foam grip allows you to control the stroller trike when your child needs a little extra help riding at first. Once your little one is ready to start venturing forth on their own, the push handle can be removed.
The footrest included can be attached to keep little feet from dragging on the ground – when your kid is ready to start pedaling, it can be removed to allow freedom of movement.
With an adjustable high-backed seat that holds your tiny tot securely and wide rear wheels that prevent the trike from tipping over, you can rest easy knowing your kid is in safe hands.
For cool kids who prefer to go it on their own without being pushed by an adult, the Little Tikes Go and Grow Lil’ Rollin’ Giraffe is great for toddlers who like to pedal their way to freedom.
- Size: 44” (L) x 18” (W) x 32.5” (H)
- Type: Foot to floor
The Reeves International The Big Dig and Roll ride-on toy is geared towards industrious little ones who like to dig and move things around. Whether for the beach, the backyard, or the playground, this pint-sized excavator is great for digging holes and dumping sand, dirt, or snow.
Kids get to pretend they’re part of a big construction site with this sandbox digger – it can swivel 360 degrees, with a two-handed mechanism that is easy to operate. While it is made of sturdy metal, it can be disassembled to bring to the beach or the playground. It also has a wide base and a contoured seat that makes it comfortable and stable to sit in despite its size.
We love that this toy encourages kids to spend time playing outside – construction toys like these help to develop visual-spatial skills, fine motor skills, and problem-solving skills, creating scenarios that encourage imaginative role play and confidence in kids.
The Reeves International The Big Dig and Roll ride-on toy is best used outdoors since its main function and appeal lies in its ability to dig holes, whether in sand, dirt, or snow. If this construction toy from Reeves International is too big to commit to, the Little Tikes Cozy Truck Ride-On is an alternative that suits both indoor and outdoor play.
- Size: 27.2” (L) x 11.9” (W) x 22” (H)
- Type: Feet to floor
For kids who are learning how to ride, the Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike introduces them to the freedom and thrill of riding – all they have to do is sit on the bike, balance and push off to start riding.
This balance bike is super light, weighing less than 7 pounds, so little ones can maneuver the bike easily. The ergonomic padded seat and built-in footrests make it easy and comfortable for riding – kids will enjoy being able to ride for as long as they like without any discomfort.
This bike has a durable steel frame and puncture-proof tires so you can rest easy knowing that it will hold up to the loving touch of a rambunctious child. The handles have mini-grips to make it easier for little hands to grip and hold the bike upright.
We really like that the seat and handlebar heights are adjustable with no tools required – this bike can accommodate kids aged 2 to 5 years old. It can also accommodate upgrades like heavy-duty tires and a foot brake, so it can grow to meet an older child’s needs.
This balance bike only has two wheels, which suits its purpose as a toy that helps kids learn balance and coordination just fine. If your child finds that they want more wheels, the Schwinn Roadster Tricycle for Toddlers and Kids gives them the freedom to zoom about without having to worry too much about balance.
The Schwinn Tricycle is pedal-powered, too, while the Strider Balance Bike is foot to floor – kids who like to pedal about will enjoy the tricycle more.
- Size: 22.4” (L) x 13” (W) x 13.4” (H)
- Type: Battery-powered (6-volt rechargeable battery, included)
The Kid Trax Marvel Spider-Man Electric Quad Ride On Toy goes above and beyond delivering a superhero-themed experience where kids can head out to fight crime just like Spider-Man. With a forward speed of 1.5 mph, a front LED light, and foot pedal acceleration, your tiny tot can zoom around in style with maximum fun.
This bike has rubber traction strip tires for all-terrain performance – children can ride around safely without worry about slipping or falling. The traction control strips on the rear wheels of this toy mean that it can grip pavement, grass, and gravel easily so your little one doesn’t have to worry about getting stuck and cutting the fun short. The rubberized hand grips and the contoured seat on this electric bike make riding this toy a comfortable, kid-friendly experience.
This Marvel Spider-Man electric quad ride-on toy from Kid Trax comes with 1-year limited warranty and a 6-month limited warranty on the battery – it comes ready to assemble so you can put it together and your little superhero can go out and save the world in no time.
For kids who are looking for an even better outdoor experience, the Reeves International The Big Dig and Roll Ride-On lets kids dig all the holes they want whether in sand, dirt, or snow. Kids who prefer ride-on toys that are static will like the excavator toy more than the Kid Trax Marvel Spider-Man Electric Quad Ride On Toy.
Ride Into the Sunset
Ride-on toys are great because they are the perfect way to encourage movement in active toddlers. They’re fun, durable, and cool, making them a great gift for kids as young as 2 and as old as 10. We hope that you’ve been able to find the perfect ride-on toy for your little one on our list.