Among the many types of children’s toys and playthings, ride on toys have a special place in the heart of many kids and come with a huge number of benefits. For kids, it’s mostly the fun part of riding on these toys that makes such products appealing. For parents like us, it is the knowledge that such toys will help in our kids’ physical, emotional, cognitive, and even social development. But just what are the 5 top types of ride on toys kids will love? Sit back and read on.
Wagons: The Classic
Even before there were bicycles and electronic cars, children rode on wagons that were pulled by other kids or even by their parents or other individuals. These ride-on toys are not different from the wagons or carts that we see being pulled by a horse, cow, mule, or some other domesticated livestock. Wagons provide optimum stability and balance primarily because of its wider wheelbase and sturdier construction. And since children rode on these with no effort from them to move the wagon, it’s the same as riding on any other type of vehicle as a passenger, not a driver.
But don’t get us wrong. Today’s wagons are as imaginative as their more advanced, electronically –controlled counterparts. Wagons today still retain the classic layout of the original, albeit the chassis, frame, and cart itself have been seriously redesigned for optimum comfort, durability, and stability.
Why do kids love the wagon? Well, it’s a very straightforward way to enjoy a quiet stroll down the neighborhood streets or even at the park. Just sitting there doing their own thing while mommy or daddy is pulling on the ride-on toy is simply amazing for young children. This is especially true for older infants, toddlers, and preschoolers who may not yet have the necessary skills to balance themselves on other types of ride-on toys. And with a lot of attachments in today’s wagons, it’s a moving learning center for young kids, enabling them to use their full imagination while being moved across the neighborhood.
Wagons are beneficial for older kids, too as they get to pull on it while their younger siblings ride on. This helps develop muscle strength while enhancing their coordination as well as balance.
Electric Cars: Cruising in Style
Kiddie cars in various styles, shapes, colors, and sizes remain a favorite among children. There are two types of kiddie cars: one that’s pedaled by the feet and one that is run by a motor. For the most part, many of today’s children prefer electric cars as these provide exceptional maneuverability, superb balance and stability, and modest speeds that’s just perfect for beginning masters of the wheel. Know that most gasoline-powered kiddie cars can provide tremendous acceleration and speed and as such may not really be suitable for younger kids.
On the other hand, electric cars are often underpowered and will usually have a speed limit of about 10 miles per hour, on average. There are speed limiters as well to help make sure your younger child doesn’t get a whiplash if he or she happens to drive the pedal to the floor. Speed limiters typically set the maximum speed at an average of 2 miles per hour, which is almost the same as a leisurely walk. By the time your child has grown or has learned how to take control of his or her electric car, you can easily remove the speed limiter. Nevertheless, 10 mph is still modest when compared to the 30+ mph from gas-powered kiddie cars.
Kids love electric cars because it gives them the opportunity to imagine driving a Porsche, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Ford Mustang, or any other automobile brand. Many of these kiddie cars come with realistic features that aid in children’s role playing activities. Some allow them to play sequences of their favorite computer racing game or even scenes from a movie they just saw. It’s simply an excellent tool for enhancing children’s creativity and imagination.
Read our post on the best electric cars for kids
Go Karts: The F1 Racer of the Future
Go karts are the ultimate when it comes to kiddie ride-on play sets. Most of these are essentially built for speed and they do resemble miniaturized F1 racecars – very low ground clearance, ultra-large and wide tires, spoilers and wraparound bars, and superbly powerful engines. Some come in electric versions but these mostly pale in comparison to their gasoline counterparts.
Riding a go kart requires additional safety gear. While electric cars do not necessarily require its young riders to wear helmets and protective paddings to the knees and elbows, these are absolute musts whenever a kid sits behind the wheel of a go-kart. Additionally, seat restraints are important because some performance go karts can readily exert tremendous gravitational forces on the young body that they can easily get thrown out of their seats if they don’t have seatbelts or lap harnesses to keep them buckled up. That’s why these types of ride on toys are especially intended for older children and teenagers as they already have an idea of the implications of unsafe riding.
Teens and older children love the adrenaline of racing especially when they go up against their friends. Going at top speed only to brake at the right moment, heading to the apex, before turning in full throttle as they come out of it; it really is an indescribable feeling. And when they have to jockey for position, you can almost feel the tension from the stands. You’ll see faces painted with absolute joy even though they didn’t win the plum. The experience of a really fast ride is great enough for most of these kids. Plus, they get to push their reflexes, quick thinking skills, and superb agility in their favorite go kart.
Of course, there are other types of go karts that are not specifically designed for racing but, rather for recreational or even indoor karting. Nevertheless, the principles are the same and the fun and excitement that kids can derive from it are simply amazing.
Read our post on the best go-karts for kids.
Electric Scooters: The Surfer on Land
Scooters are often the next step in the training of kids towards riding a bicycle. These are essentially skateboards with two or 3 wheels and provided with a steering column upon which a handlebar is attached. Kids step on the platform with both feet and try to balance their bodies as the scooter moves along the pavement. The only difference between an electric scooter and a kick scooter is that the former has a built-in electric motor that’s powered by rechargeable batteries. Because it doesn’t require the rider to push with one foot while the other maintains the balance on the deck, electric scooters are especially designed for kids who may have problems standing on one foot, much less maintain the balance while the platform is actually moving.
Kid’s Electric scooters are such fun to ride. They give children the sense of riding a surf board for the simple reason that they don’t need to push or kick with their foot to move. A surfboard literally moves with the waves. And while the electric motor is no ocean wave, it sure feels like that. The low ground clearance of the electric scooter also allows kids to safely dismount from it in case they lose balance, minimizing injuries. While these types of scooters are heavier than their kick versions, it provides the added element of stability.
Kids love riding on electric scooters because it gives them a sense of freedom. It aids in their imaginative plays as well. It is also beneficial in enhancing their spatial awareness, hand-eye coordination skills, and balance.
Roller Skates: Future X-Gamer
Roller skates are definitely not for everyone. Balance is key. Even adults can have difficulty riding roller skates. That’s why children who learn to roller skate at a very early age grow up to become excellent performers in professions that require excellent sense of balance and coordination such as gymnastics, tightrope artists, and even scientists. Roller skates are ride on toys that are composed of a platform that includes a shoe for placing the rider’s feet in. Underneath the platform are 4 small PU wheels with built-in toe break or stopper. Since there are no handlebars and no motors, moving with the roller skate involves shifting the body weight in the right direction to accelerate and gain momentum. It requires tremendous amount of skill especially balance and coordination of the legs, hands, and the core muscles of the body.
That’s why a lot of kids love it because it gives them the ultimate test of their balancing skills. Plus, being able to ride a roller skate can be a source of great pride among kids especially if they know that even some adults have a difficult time riding on these types of ride-on toys.
More than the thrill and excitement of being able to drive a vehicle even though you’re not yet licensed to do so, ride on toys provide a host of benefits that can play a role in the optimum development of children. That’s why these types of toys remain a big favorite among kids.
Read our post on the best roller skates for kids.