Ride on Toys: A Balance of Fun and Development

Remember that red and yellow toy car you scooted around in as a kid? Or that classic wooden rocking horse handed down from your grandma? Well, ride on toys like these are staples in any kid's childhood. Nowadays, kids ride on toys have evolved in style and design, but their overall functionality and benefits have largely remained the same.

How Ride on Toys Teach Kids Important Skills

From rocking horses to balance bikes, ride on toys can teach kids essential skills for their development. Introduce these fun, mobile toys early on in life to help promote balance, motor skills, spatial intelligence, and social skills.

Motor Skills

Kids ride on toys can help little ones develop gross motor skills -- the larger movements of the body and limbs. Ride on cars, balance bikes, and other foot-powered ride on toys can teach young ones to use their legs and feet to cause movement, while riding horse toys encourage kids to rock back and forth. Kids riding toys also promote fine motor skills by inviting little ones to grasps handlebars, steering wheels, and other elements.

Sense of Balance

Ride on toys promote the development of balance and coordination. When kids mount, ride, and move with riding toys, they're learning to distribute their body weight and maintain balance. These skills will prove invaluable when your tike learns to ride a bike, rollerblade, or skate.

Spatial Intelligence

When your little one shuffles around in a ride on toy, they'll develop greater awareness of their surroundings. By developing spatial intelligence, or an understanding of the space around them, kids will learn how to navigate different environments and avoid obstacles.

Social and Emotional Skills

Moving around on a ride on toy can help youngsters develop confidence as they improve balance and stability. Ride on toys for kids can also promote sharing and social skills amongst young siblings at home or friends on playdates.

Types of Ride on Toys and Age Recommendations

Ride on toys for babies and kids come in all sorts of designs and styles. Here are some popular types of kids riding toys and their age recommendations:

Rocking Toys

Simple and easy to use, rocking toys encourage kids to sway back and forth to cause rocking movements. Designed with rocker bottoms, rocking toys range from traditional wooden rocking horses to plush musical rockers. They're great for children between 9 months and 2 years old, and are generally safe for kids who can comfortably sit up and balance on their own.

Foot-Powered Toys

Foot-powered toys like balance bikes and foot-to-floor ride on cars teach young ones to use their feet to move around. Foot-powered ride on cars usually keep kids' feet inside but planted on the floor, providing safe, manual control of the car. Foot-powered toys are easier to use than pedal-powered toys, making them ideal for younger riders aged 1 to 2 years old.

Pedal Toys

Pedal-powered ride-on toys like bikes and trikes require kids to pedal and steer to get around. Kids that have already used foot-powered toys like balance bikes will often find it easier to balance on pedal-powered toys. Because they entail a higher level of balance and coordination, pedal ride on toys are better suited for toddlers aged 2 and up.