Best Ride-On Toys for Toddlers and Preschoolers

Give kids toys with wheels and most will go, go, go! Try these fun choices.

Whether she's learning to walk, ride a bike, or maneuver her first scooter, your child will get a kick out of these cool ride-on toys. From baby beginners to capable kindergartners, there is something here for every little one. Play in the backyard or take them to and from preschool or the park to add active play to your child's day.

 Little ones as young as 18 months (and all the way up to 44 pounds) can master this sturdy, low-riding ride-on. They just sit on the seat and put their feet on the foot rests. Then they wiggle the foam-wrapped handlebars to make their Twisti Turtle go. Its eyes follow along as kids move. The Twisti is also available in blue and pink bug styles. 

Every toddler needs a push toy and this wagon is a nice option for girls and boys. Kids can put toys or other treasures in the cargo area, or you can remove the wooden sides if they prefer. This classic walker even has bumpers to protect your furniture. For ages 1 to 4.

As the name implies, this little trike has three play modes that grow with your toddler. Starting at 18 months, kids can sit on the seat and use as a rocker. Then, when they're ready to hit the road, convert the rocker base into a parent handle so you can help roll the trike along. Finally, remove the handle so your child (up to age 5) can ride on his own.

This toddler-friendly ride-on has three wheels and an adorable face (pictured is a ladybug; there is also a blue dragonfly, a pink butterfly, and a green grasshopper). Similar to a balance bike, it helps little ones learn how to push with their feet and balance on the seat. They can also steer the front wheels with the handle. And then the whole thing folds flat for storage or tossing in the car.

This friendly-looking fire truck has a surprise: A hose that really squirts water. The truck's tank holds two gallons of water for lots of firefighting fun. Requires some simple assembly; suitable for kids 18 months to five years old.

This is just one of several brands of "balance" or "walking" bikes on the market. Many, like this one, are made of sturdy, stylish wood. Parents are turning to these pedal-free bikes to help young children master balance in preparation for learning to ride bigger bikes. Also check out balance bike offerings from Skuut and Kettler.

This colorful take on the balance bike/trike has a wider front wheel for increased stability and a smoother ride. The seat is placed so that kids can extend their legs fully to propel the YBike along. It's made of lightweight, sturdy plastic.

Help little ones scoot like their big sibs with a scooter made for preschoolers. The Mini-Kick has 3 sturdy, quiet, polyurethane wheels and a rear spoon brake. Its low profile and large deck (wide enough for two feet) make it a good starter for kids 3 to 5 years old (up to 60 lbs).

Once you see this clever ride-on toy in action, you won't be able to resist its charms. It's easy for kids to operate—just rotate the steering wheel to make it go—and moves fast enough to exhilarate kids. (But not fast enough to terrify parents.) It's even strong enough for Mom or Dad to give it a whirl!

For little ones (ages 4 and up) who want to board like big kids, try this adjustable skateboard. There's a detachable handle, and the wheels can be set low for extra stability. Move them up to traditional skateboard height when your child is ready (it's simple—they just slide into place).

The classic ride-on toy has been reintroduced for a new generation of kids, but still has the same cute face and jaunty red hat you might remember from your childhood. Kids bounce in the ergonomic saddle to make the inchworm move forward.

Whatever ride-on your child chooses, make sure she is protected with a helmet. One way to encourage helmet wear is with these cool helmet covers. There are many designs available—everything from princess crowns to dinosaur spikes to dozens of different animals and insects. Tail Wags covers fit over all makes and models of bike, ski, skate, and equestrian helmets. Or, check out the fun helmet designs from Raskullz.

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