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Which ride-on toy is best?

Learning to control a ride-on toy can be an exhilarating adventure for a child. However, the benefits go far beyond mere fun.

When using a ride-on toy, a child learns the fundamentals of balance and coordination while developing gross motor skills.

Each year, we scour the market in search of the best products for your particular needs to make shopping easier. If you would like to learn what makes a great ride-on toy and see our top-three choices for 2020, keep reading.

Top ride-on toys

  1. Rollplay Nighthawk Electric Ride-On Toy: A battery-powered adventure for the boldest kids, this model soars to the top of our shortlist for 2020.
  2. Little Tikes Cozy Coupe: This classic toy from a trusted brand remains on our favorites list year after year.
  3. Kiddieland Toys Limited Minnie Dancing Ride-On: This fun, interactive Disney-themed ride-on toy for younger kids makes its debut on our 2020 list.

Jump to the bottom of this article for more information on each model.

What you need to know before buying a ride-on toy

When shopping for a ride-on toy for your child, the first thing to consider is if it is age-appropriate. A ride-on toy that is for older kids may be dangerous for a younger child and lead to injuries. If, on the other hand, your child is too old for a ride-on toy, that means he or she will not be able to easily operate it and it might not support their weight. Again, this could lead to injuries. It is important to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for age and weight restrictions.

When it comes to fuel, ride-on toys can be powered in a number of ways. Some models may need a parent to push the toy, while others require the child to perform some action, such as walking, peddling, or even wiggling from side to side, to propel the toy forward. There is also the option to purchase a ride-on toy that runs on battery power, so it can be driven like any other motorized vehicle. This last option is usually best for older kids.

It is important to realize that some ride-on toys are just vehicles while others have a plethora of features such as lights, sounds, storage space, and more. The number of extras you need will vary from child to child as some will be fascinated by beeps and honks while others will just want to ride.

While we’ve already mentioned size as it applies to the child’s age, parents also need to consider size as it pertains to storage. Some smaller models can easily be stashed away in a closet, but larger models may take up a considerable amount of room in the garage. Be sure you have adequate storage space for the ride-on toy that you are considering.

The last feature you will want to think about is the cost. While it is possible to find a durable child’s ride-on toy for $50, these models will be for the youngest kids, something that may be better suited for a playroom than the playground. As kids get older, their toys become more expensive. It is possible to spend $300 or more on a motorized vehicle that is suitable for an older child.

Ride-on toys FAQ

Q. Can I leave my child’s ride-on toy outside?

A. Leaving your child’s toys outside is not recommended because it exposes them to UV rays that will hasten the deterioration of the build materials. It is best to store all ride-on toys inside whenever they are not in use.

Q. How do I know if a ride-on toy has been recalled?

A. The Consumer Products Safety Commission has a website that features a searchable database. For peace of mind, you can visit the website and do a search for your particular ride-on toy to quickly determine if there have ever been any recall notices issued.

Best ride-on toys

Best of the best

Rollplay Nighthawk Electric Ride-On Toy

Rollplay Nighthawk Electric Ride-On Toy

What we like: This ride-on toy arrives assembled and can support kids who weigh up to 110 pounds. It operates at speeds up to six mph and is highly maneuverable.

What we dislike: There is a slightly steeper learning curve for this model.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Best bang for your buck

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe

What we like: With the removable floor, this toy can quickly change from something the parent’s control to a vehicle the child drives. The rugged design supports kids up to 50 pounds, and there is a small storage space in the rear for convenience.

What we dislike: The assembly of this unit can be quite challenging.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Kiddieland Toys Limited Minnie Dancing Ride-On

Kiddieland Toys Limited Minnie Dancing Ride-On

What we like: This interactive ride-on toy features a dancing Minnie Mouse as well as a number of buttons that trigger lights and sounds. It is brightly colored and has a rear bumper that provides additional stability.

What we dislike: This toy is best for kids who have already mastered walking.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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