10 Best Ride-On Toys for Toddlers Reviewed in 2020
What’s the perfect toy to get your busy toddler? Something that they can ride on! If you’re looking for something to help motivate and keep your active tot busy, ride-on toys are the perfect toys for them. While it also gives them a head start to practice safety, parents will want to make sure that wherever their child is riding these toys that they have enough space without having to worry about bumping into anything. We’re here to help you get started with some of the best ride-on toys on the market, spanning on all kinds of ages, skill levels and enthusiasms.
In a Hurry? The test winner after 18 hrs of research
Safe for toddlers
Grows with your child
10 Best Ride-On Toys Reviewed
1. Little Tikes Cozy Truck
Safe for toddlers
Grows with your child
Some reports of missing parts
Some found it difficult to assemble
With a very distinctive truck styling complete with fully functioning steering wheel, horn, gas cap, and intricately designed off-road wheels, the Cozy Truck by Little Tikes is one great and fun way to help toddlers strengthen their leg muscles and master hand-eye coordination. Available in blue or pink, kiddie ride comes with a drop-down tailgate, fully functional doors, and a removable floorboard for absolute riding fun.Read more
The truck is simple enough to be used at a young age, yet grown-up enough that they feel as though they can propel themselves forward and backward without the aid of an adult.
For those toddlers who get up and go, the Cozy Truck may be just what they need to have their first taste of four-wheeled freedom!
While this toy isn't battery operated, it is still a great item to kids. It may not be as realistic as other ride-on toys but its design is perfect for kids from 18 months to 5 years of age. Just remove the floorboard and your toddler can be pushing the truck with his or her own two feet.
2. Step 2 Up & Down Roller Coaster
Easy to assemble
Younger children might get their feet stuck under the cart.
Toddlers need to be constantly supervised with this toy.
If you’re looking for the epitome of an epic gift for your toddler, look no further than Step 2’s Up & Down Roller Coaster! Get your kids ready for the big kid theme parks, and give them the gift that keeps giving: Their very own backyard roller coaster.Read more
After riding down the slide of their life. For a toddler, these tiny hills will feel like mountains, and they’ll feel like they’re reading a real roller coaster in no time. The track itself has walls on either side so that they’re safe and steadfast in their own roller coaster lane, and the accompanying car affirms that they will be sitting safely inside with no chance of falling over or slipping out.
This toy is something they’ll run back to again and again, and they’ll be super excited to invite their friends over to play on in their very own theme park! This toy will encourage physical play while also being a sensory activity. Since it is a weather resistant toy, this toy will be the ideal choice to play with indoors and outdoors.
Once again, this item isn't battery operated, but it is powered by fun! It is easy to assemble, and kids will love the mountains and hills to go over on the ramp.
3. PlasmaCar Ride On Toy
Easy to use
Able to support a higher weight
Wheels need to be replaced quite quickly
Some reports of missing parts
If you have a basement or a large playroom, the PlasmaCar is the next great addition to your child’s toy collection. This tiny scooting car somewhat resembles a tricycle and works in a similar way. The difference is in the tires, and that’s what makes this ride-on car perfect for the indoors.
If your child is old enough to want to roll around on their own but too young to venture outdoors and near the street and sidewalks, this car is a wonderful precursor to big wheels. This durable and sturdy toy will keep your toddler entertained for some time. It’s good to ride on several floor types, including wood, linoleum, asphalt, and cement floors.
With a comfortable form-fitting seat and shoe grips on the floor of this car, your child will feel secure riding their PlasmaCar around a concrete basement or low carpeted playroom. They could even practice their steering skills in the kitchen while you’re making dinner!
This is sure to be a favorite with your toddler(s). It’s easy for your toddlers to ride this toy indoors and outdoors. While the top three ride-on toys are not battery operated, this toy is a great way to prepare your kids for battery operated toys.
4. Kiddieland Mickey Mouse Plane
Light up action
Fun engine and radio sounds
Plays Mickey Mouse March
Propellers function and are soft
A little smaller than some customers expected
A few planes experienced malfunctioning batteries
Your kid can co-pilot this spiffy little plane with their favorite mouse: Mickey! The Mickey in the cockpit moves along to the music while your child enjoys realistic engine and flight sounds or the famous Mickey March! The propeller lights up and rotates during take-off and landing and there’s even a handle in the back so adults can help push their little ones along or kids can practice balancing as they move.Read more
You don’t have to worry about pinched or battered fingers with this plane. The propellers are made from a nice, soft material and they stop upon impact so little ones won’t hurt their hands if they jam their fingers into the fray when the blades are rotating. The plane can safely support the weight of most toddlers but isn’t designed to hold older children.
The Kiddieland Mickey Plane is the perfect size for tots. It’s roomy enough that they can comfortably sit and steer, but not so large that they have trouble reaching the ground to help propel themselves. Children can also use the handle on the back to push or pull the plane around. The plastic is durable but still soft enough to make a comfortable seat and it’s easy for parents to clean.
Some customers reported issues with the lights on the propellers or wings after a few weeks of normal use. These seem to be the exception rather than the rule, though. The battery compartment is easy to access when you need to change the batteries out and the product only requires two AA batteries so you won’t have to go hunting for oddly sized and expensive batteries.
5. Power Wheels Thomas & Friends Thomas Train
Easy to assemble
Works on and off the track
Push start and stop
Can be used unsupervised
Extra tracks can be purchased separately.
Push button needs to pressed down continuously for the train to start
Takes up a lot of room
Children love Thomas and Friends. Now they can live the life of Thomas chugging around their very own circular train tracks. The train set comes with a single easy-to-use push button for stop-and-go operation. If your toddler doesn’t like going around in circles you can just remove Thomas from its track and your kid will be enjoying it like any other motorized ride-on toy.Read more
There are many reasons why the Power Wheels Thomas the Train is so popular among kids. Though it can be a bit loud, you can rest assured that this product is safe for your child to play with. It has a very durable construction and high-quality finish. Its safety features are superb as well. It runs 1-mph on the track and 2-mph off it so it is safe even for smaller kids.
For those toddlers that are still too young to grasp the concept of steering, this Power Wheels Train is the ideal choice. It allows younger toddlers to ride it without needing to steer it as it’ll just keep going in circles. Plus, the seat is nice to sit on.
This option provides a durable ride-on toy with excellent battery life. It also has several speeds, so you can safely monitor your child and the battery.
6. VTech Sit-to-Stand Alphabet Train
Educational yet fun
Grows with your toddlers
Design could be improved
High battery consumption
When it comes to electronic toys, VTech is always a popular choice. Its Sit-to-Stand Alphabet Train is a ride-on toy which your kid will use from the time he or she learns to stand up at 12 months up to the time that he or she is running and jumping about at 3 years.Read more
Since this option does not come with a motor, it is easier and safer for kids to use. The toy comes with an interactive train engine that has the alphabet, numbers, stories, and fantastic songs so your kid will be able to find more learning activities with the train and not just to ride on it.
This gender-neutral toy is sure to be educational while still being fun for your toddlers. The play phone is great to get them started with conversations, even if it is just for themselves. The play blocks are great for your toddler to learn spelling and words. While they’re learning, it can also be used as a riding and push toy.
While this train doesn't have a motor, it does have multiple features that require battery life. This item holds a decent charge, so your child can spend time learning with a variety of activities.
7. John Deere Tractor
Awesome realistic design
Truckbed can fit lots of little toys to tote around
Adjustable seat with folding armrests
Wheels have good traction
Battery wears fast in second gear
Hood can be a little difficult to pop to charge the battery
Your little one is ready to hit the fields in this heavy-duty tractor! The John Deere Tractor by Peg Perego is a larger ride-on toy with two speeds and a 4.5 MPH lockout to ensure beginners don’t get in over their heads. An adjustable seat allows kids of all sizes to enjoy and the tractor bed allows them to pick up toys or other objects and drive them around the house or yard.Read more
This tractor is appropriate for children at the tail-end of toddlerhood. It only goes up to 4.5 MPH but driving even at that speed requires a little bit of autonomy and coordination. You can also set it to the 2.5 MPH speed if your driver needs a little more time on the learning curve. The wheels are textured to provide traction on all kinds of surfaces, from grass to concrete to gravel.
An adjustable seat allows you to customize the fit of the tractor to your child’s legs. They can flip the armrests up or down and the FM radio will keep them cruisin’ in style. The flatbed is not recommended for other children to ride in but they can use it to clean up and haul their toys, dirt, or other kid-friendly construction materials.
The batteries on this vehicle do wear faster than its competitor, the Power Wheels models. You can choose to upgrade the battery if you’re handy, but the normal battery it comes with does wear down twice as fast in second gear as in first, and the whole motor overheats on especially warm days. It’s a good start for young kids but once they hit 5 or 6, they’ll probably want something with a little more durability and momentum.
8. Step2 Easy Steer Sportster
Easy to use
Handle might be too low
Soft tires cause rocks to get into the tires
There’s a certain appeal to driving a sports car or even a roadster and kids know this. Now, you can help them realize their dreams while at the same time ensuring their safety by getting the Easy Steer Sportster from Step2. It comes with a fully retractable caster wheel for a more comfortable ride over rough terrain. This can also easily swivel for a full 360-degree turn.Read more
This car is sturdy and safe. Because of its small, nimble size, you don’t have to worry about bumping into precious furniture or people around you. Your little ones are sure to love it.
The Easy Steer Sportster Car by Step2 is a bright and cheerful car that is sure to be a hit with your toddler. It’s easy to steer, even for little hands, and comes with a cup holder. They can even use it inside the house. It’s best used on a surface that doesn’t have gravel as it will get stuck in the tires.
This item isn't battery operated, but it does operate with fun! Both kids and parents can power this item accordingly.
9. Little Tikes Rocking Horse
Easy to clean
Reports of it sliding on floors
Middle seam might irritate your toddler.
Do you remember your first rocking horse? Nothing fosters imaginative play like the introduction of a toy that provides independent motion into your child’s life, and oftentimes a rocking horse is just that toy.Read more
The Little Tikes Rocking Horse combines comfort and safety, by making the seat as well as rocking base extra wide for stability and balance. Your child will love the relaxing, back and forth motion of this bright blue horse.
Whichever play they choose, this rocking horse is sure to last for some time as well as being a favorite for generations to come. It’s an extremely lightweight and low to the ground toy, making it perfect for younger children.
It’s made of one solid plastic so there’s no danger of it breaking apart. It’s going to be more of a race on who will tire first.
10. Mega Bloks Caterpillar with Excavator
Working excavator's arm
Comes with ten building blocks
Easy to steer, powered by little feet
Steering wheel functions make realistic construction noises
Not height adjustable; tough for taller kids to ride comfortably
Got a mess that needs picking up on your construction site? Send your little one to get the job done on this Mega Bloks Ride on Caterpillar. An excavator arm with a functional scoop pivots 360 degrees to be able to pick up messes wherever and whenever.Read more
The construction theme is a total hit, and the functional excavation arm will keep kids excited and give them an extra activity to do along with their daily rides. However, some of the smaller pieces may be a choking hazard.
The truck features realistic sounds controlled by buttons on the steering wheel, and ten different preschool friendly building blocks accompany the set, to give your child somewhere to start, and debris to scoop away. Lift the seat for a small storage compartment, so you have somewhere to keep the construction blocks when your little worker bee isn’t using them.
With loud noises, this option does take a decent amount of battery power. However, it promotes fine motor skills, building muscle, balance, coordination, and it teaches children to pick up messes in a fun, lively way.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Safety is always the #1 priority when it comes to children and toys. Most toys in the market can pose a form of risk to your child, including tipping over, colliding with obstacles or even falling. However, you can minimize these risks if you know the safety features of the products before you can purchase them. Most of the simpler toys (non-motorized) won’t require or feature brakes as they are mostly stationary, and children are able to stop the toy themselves.
Balance is incredibly important when it comes to ride-on toys for children. If a toy has any risk of tipping or falling over while your child is on it, the toy is not safe. For that reason alone, you should choose products that have a low center of gravity. When doing this there are several ways to check the balance of the ride-on toy which includes making sure that the wheels are wide enough to support your child’s weight. By checking the width of the wheels you can ascertain the toy’s stability. Another test is to push the toy gently from side to side to check to see if it stays upright. Parents should check the safety and balance of the toy before your child uses it.
Most of the toys on our list are either powered by battery or require your child to pedal/ push the toy by using their feet. The motorized toys are suited for slightly older children since they are able to control and handle the toy a little bit better than a younger child. Self-propelled toys tend to wobble or tip over if your child can’t balance themselves while steering.
On the other hand, there are battery-operated toys on our list that your child only has to steer to move the toy into the direction they want to go. No matter which one parents choose, your child should still be supervised during use. This will prevent your children from driving into any obstacles and avoid any mishaps from occurring.
With battery/motorized toys, your child’s knee should not touch the steering wheel. The toys that can be adjusted are perfect for your child to continue playing with as they get older. All in all, you should consider your child’s height when choosing a toy.
No matter how advanced toys get, classic toys have proven to be timeless. Though these toys are generally not known for their complexity or their functionality, they are still able to provide your child with endless hours of fun.
Other Factors to Consider
Aside from the stability of a toy, the size is the next important thing. A child won’t play with or ride-on toy that they cannot reach or feel stable on. It’s important for your child’s feet to be able to reach the floor comfortably. This will encourage them to try to get on the toy themselves as well as feel safe getting on and off.
Age appropriateness is something to consider when choosing a toy for your child. Some of the toys on our list are suited for younger children while others are best for older. On top of that, you should also consider your child’s balance and coordination skills when purchasing a toy because that will play into effect as well.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: Where can I find these ride-on toys?
As with most of our lists, we strive to ensure that the products we recommend are accessible to you. As such, all the products that are listed in the list above, are available for purchase on Amazon. If you want to find the best deals for a specific toy, we recommend you do a thorough search so that you are able to find the best prices. The first step to finding the best prices though is to know what your budget is. After you know that, there is a large range of appropriate ride-on toys that are available at different price points.
q: What is the maximum weight capacity of these ride-on toys?
Though each of these kids’ ride-on toys has different weight capacities, the average weight limit is 50 pounds. For more information on each different toy’s weight capacity, either look above on our list for the information or visit the company’s product pages.
q: How can I ensure that the product I purchase is authentic?
We try our hardest to only list products that have great reviews and ratings. If you are looking elsewhere, the best place to look for the authenticity of a product is through the comments and reviews made on the product page. If all else fails, the best place to buy if you are unsure is to buy the toy from its own manufacturer’s website.
q: Why do the motorized ride-on toys only go at slow speeds?
The slower speeds are to ensure your child’s safety. If they go any faster, they become a hazard to your child. They would also not pass safety standards if they were higher.
q: Why is there such a difference in prices among these products?
As these toys are all from different manufacturers, the price points are also all different. The price also varies depending on the quality of materials that were used or how/where it was made. The higher the strength, durability, and supply costs are, the higher the sale price of the product. This also means that there is a wide range of price points to suit any budget. So, no matter what your budget it, you’ll still be able to find a toy that suits your needs and your budget.
q: What do I do if I need replacement parts?
The availability of replacement parts for these products solely depends on the manufacturer. If parts are available, they will be available on the manufacturer’s own website or through third-party sellers. Buyers only need to research to find the best quality and priced replacement.
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