Best Pull Along Toys for Your Baby & Toddler

Pull-along toys come in so many shapes, sizes, colors, and skill levels today that it is hard for parents to choose the best ones for their kids. What do you want your child to learn? How much fun will it be? Will it be safe? These are all questions that must be addressed when choosing the most appropriate pull-along toy for your child. We help you narrow down the vast selections on the market with this list of the best-rated items by parents just like you. These are the pull toys that parents are raving about and the ones that delight their kids with hours of pleasure and activities. Simple pull-along toys can benefit toddlers in so many ways as they learn the skills of walking and crawling. Any exercise or activity will allow them to release energy levels and improve motor skills, but these toys can give role-playing and story-telling opportunities with the cute, pleasant animals that are used as the foundations. Whether your kid is still crawling, just beginning to take a few steps, or has mastered most of the basic skills, pull-along toys can be of great value to them with their many features.

Body coordination, balance, and hand-eye synchronization are childhood abilities that take much practice to perfect or even do well. As your child takes his or her new pet or friend for a walk, many things are happening at once. Kids must hold their arms behind them and pull the toy as they walk. Of course, they will look back to check on their new, interesting buddy. While moving forward, they must make sure not bump into anything or fall down. Parental guidance with this is crucial for encouragement, feeling safe, and to give praise as they proceed. Of the many pull-along toys that are popular now, we highlight some that are more appropriate for kids less than a year old because of the basic designs to ones that are more advanced for older toddlers with separate activities. They are all colorful, engaging, and educational for the user of the correct age. Come along and explore the best pull-along toys for your baby and toddler in 2018 with us!

Last Updated: August 22, 2018
Angela
By Angela:

With these toys, your kids will be able to build gross and fine motor skills, hand-eye coordination, basic movement coordination and a lot of different skills. We updated our list of the best pull toys for kids in 2018 and added brand new products that are all highly rated and reviewed. We hope you enjoy our guide.

Our Top 3 Picks

Hape Puppy Toy
  • Hape Puppy Toy
  • 5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Coordination Skills
  • Price: See Here
Plan Dancing Alligator
  • Plan Dancing Alligator
  • 4.5 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Non-Toxic Materials
  • Price: See Here
LeapFrog AlphaPup
  • LeapFrog AlphaPup
  • 4.3 out of 5
    Our rating
  • Leaning Letters
  • Price: See Here
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Criteria Used In Evaluation of The Best Pull Toys for Toddlers

Best Ages for Pull-Toys

Taking into consideration the large variety of pull-along toys that we highlight, the age ranges are very different for each item. Some of them, such as the Chatter Phone and the set of three wild animal toys are for the youngest of kids starting at six months or one year old.

These are simple, basic toys to get your child to notice beginning colors, shapes, and movements in the early stages of life. Others, such as Wonder Walker and the Drop & Go Dump Truck also offers fun, exciting activities for the kid to do while building on those walking and balancing abilities.

Overall, the majority of the pull-along items on this page are for kids in the range of one to four years old. Of course, this highly depends on the physical and cognitive level of each child. Parents should select the most appropriate toy for their special little one.

Skills/Abilities Developed

So many talents are developed and exercised with these basic toys that it is hard to go into great detail. However, at the least, kids should be able to build gross and fine motor skills, basic movement coordination, hand-eye coordination, cognitive abilities, imagination skills, and balance. Some of the items will give opportunities to work on verbal and listening abilities because they make noises or react to sounds made by the child. Examples of these are the Pull and Sing Puppy and the Quack Along Ducks.

A few of the toys will give your kid a chance to do problem-solving with the activities added, such as the Shape Sorter and the Car Carrier. Because all of the toys are brightly decorated, children will be able to name and recognize numerous colors, plus get to know shapes and numbers with some items like the Chatter Phone. The more the toy can do, the quicker the child will advance to more complicated toys in the future.

Extra Features

The extra features of some of the more advanced pull-along toys are for the older kids above the age of three. The Car Carrier, Shape Sorter and Drop & Go Dump Truck are perfect examples of this type of toy.

They include extra pieces for kids to insert or place into the body of the item for extra enjoyment. The rotary dial on the Chatter Phone provides kids with an opportunity to begin number recognition and counting talents in a stimulating way.

Material Used/Construction of Toys

The Dancing Butterflies, Pull-Along Snail, and the Dancing Alligator are some of the toys featured here that are made from organic, environmentally-safe materials that will not harm your child, even if chewed on. Others like the plastic wagons were constructed of the best chemical-free substances that will pose no dangers.

Most toys for toddlers must pass health standards because of the age of the child using the product and the possibility of ingested pieces due to chewing on the toy. When it was specified by the manufacturer of safety standards, it is noted for you in the summary and pros sections for each toy.

The Benefits of Playing with Pull Along Toys among Infants and Toddlers

For the first 3 years of life, it is crucial to provide children with the correct kind of toys for their various developmental needs. Young children, particularly infants and toddlers, require a lot of sensory stimulation as well as physical activity to help fast-track their growth and development especially the development of their cognitive skills, social skills, and emotional skills.

Pull toys help infants develop both their gross and fine motor skills which they can refine until they reach toddlerhood. Pull toys require good control of the muscles of the hand as well as the arm especially when pulling on the toy. Additionally, young children will need stronger leg muscles, a steadier gait, and stance, and excellent coordination of the body and limbs as the young child attempts to move with the pull toy in tow.

As the baby learns to master the control of his or her bodily movements, mobility and physical activity are enhanced. At the same time, the kid’s sense of exploration and experimentation is also stimulated. This leads to the discovery and appreciation of the things around the child which, in turn, can help impart an understanding of how the real world operates. This is especially true among toddlers as they already have the physical capacity for increased exploration. This generates new knowledge and new experiences which leads to social and emotional development.

Pull toys can also help in the development of inferential skills and problem-solving skills as the toddler tries to navigate his or her pull toy around obstacles. These playthings can also help facilitate creativity and imagination especially among older toddlers who may already start showing signs of make-believe or pretend play.

Pull toys are important in infant and toddler development as these toys provide the necessary sensory stimulation, physical activity, and cognitive development that will become the bases for optimum growth and development for these kids.

FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Are the strings or ropes long enough to accommodate different sizes/heights of kids, or can they be extended somehow?

A: You could always extend the cords or ropes of the pull-toys, especially if you have or can find material that is similar. However, you must keep in mind that the main reason for the short ropes is safety. If the pull cords were any longer, then they would pose a problem of tripping or tangling the child’s legs and feet as they try to walk with the toy. There could also be an issue of choking if the cord becomes wrapped around the child’s neck if left unattended to play with the pull-toy. If you do decide to extend the cords, make sure they do not cause these problems for the toddler.

Q: Do any of these pull-toys require anything extra, such as batteries or tools to put them together?

A: A few of them, such as the Quack Along Ducks and the AlphaPup do require batteries, but they are included with the toy. Nothing else is required to enjoy the toys right from the packaging.

Q: Are there any choices for any of these pull-toys, such as color, size, or different designs?

A: Most, if not all, of the pull-toys we highlight, have only one option for size, color, or design. Manufacturers, such as Melissa & Doug, do offer several types of pull-toys, but each item has only one option when buying.

Q: Will these work on carpets as well as hard, smooth surfaces?

A: Any surface that can offer some amount of traction will do better than ones that are very slick. Hardwood floors are not the best option for pull-toys most of the time. Thin carpets work the best because they offer traction, but do not impede the rolling of the wheels of the toy. Small rugs or towels can always be put down on slick surfaces to help with the movement of the pull-toy.

Q: Do any of these pull-toys have small parts that would detach or come off accidentally and cause a swallowing issue? Do any of them make noise?

A: Some of the pull-along toys do have separate pieces that fit into the main toy, such as colorful Shape Sorter and the Pull & Learn Car Carrier. These parts fit into the bigger item like a puzzle to enhance learning skills. The Dancing Alligator, AlphaPup, and the Quack Along Ducks are such toys that make click-clack sounds as the wooden pieces hit together as the toy moves or they make sounds and say educational phrases aloud.

Q: Being that most pull-toys are for toddlers already beginning to walk, are any of them okay for a child that is not walking yet?

A: Any child that is crawling may be enticed to move and begin walking with these pull-toys. As they see the toy roll along, they will be encouraged to follow. It is a great way to get them motivated into walking quickly.

Q: What is the best age of a child for these pull-toys? What age would be too young and what age would be too old?

A: Manufacturers suggest ages basically from one year to three years old for most of the pull-toys. This is based on the attention level of the child with these simple toys, the walking abilities of the child, and the length of the cord to pull. Kids younger than one will not be able to follow the toy walking, but they can do so crawling. It would be a good idea to start them with the toys before they can walk to get them walking as soon as possible. Kids older than three would be mentally too old for such toys, the cords or strings would not be long enough for their height to the toy, and these children will already have great walking abilities to go on their own.

Q: Do any of these toys help or educate the child on anything besides walking or crawling? Are there any with some thinking challenges to them, like puzzles?

A: The Pull & Learn Car Carrier and the Shape Sorter are two highlighted pull-toys that are wonderful for extra skills. They each have smaller pieces that fit into the main toy, so they promote extra abilities such as color, shape, and number recognition as well as practice with fine motor talents.

Sources

  1. Naeyc, Good Toys for Young Children, Informative Guide,
  2. Kids Health, Choosing Safe Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers, Informative Guide,
  3. cpsc.gov, Relating Children’s Ages To Toy Characteristics and Play Behavior, Scientific Study on Child Behavior,
  4. Fisher Price, Toy Safety Checklist, Informative Guide,
  5. ZERO to THREE, Tips for Choosing Toys for Toddlers, Guide,