While most kids will love any kind of ride on toy they can get their rears on, there are ways to choose the most age appropriate ride on toy for your child, so that you can feel good about knowing they are using a toy designed to challenge them, while keeping them safe. Here are a few suggestions for choosing an age appropriate ride on toy:
First and foremost, to narrow down the choices, it is always a good idea to look at the general age and weight recommendations made by the manufacturer. These recommendations are made based on averages for age groups, and their capabilities. They usually address the height, weight, and physical abilities and comfort for ages. For example, toys made for two and under usually sit very low to the ground, giving the kid the chance to sit on the toy and have their little legs still reach the ground. Toys for older kids often are a little more complex to operate, or require balance, the ability to multi-task, etc.
Always supervise your child when she is riding around.
Second, after you have narrowed down your options using manufacturer recommendations, it is time to forget that, and consider what you know about your child. Only you can really know what their physical capabilities are, and if they are mentally ready for certain ride on toys. Children all progress at their own pace, so your child might be a little behind or a little ahead of the general manufacturer recommendations, and that is okay. You just want to make sure that you select a toy based on what they are capable of and comfortable with, as this will mean the toy gets far more use. In addition, it will help you select the accessories, or specific ride on toys that will work for them. For example, if your child is struggling to stay balanced on a two-wheeled bike, you could get them a tricycle, a wider seat, or some training wheels. However, if they just can’t seem to master the pedal and steer concept, it might be good to stick with something a little simpler for now.
Third, don’t forget to consider your child’s size. Ride on toys should be easy for your child to maneuver. A bike that is too heavy will be difficult for them to ride because they will have trouble standing it up, making turns, etc. A ride on toy that is too small may be difficult to operate because their legs are getting in the way, hitting handle bars, or steering devices. So, beyond the mental side of things, just consider the size ratios. Choose a ride on toy that is comfortable for your child to use. Make sure they can reach any pedals, brakes, handles, etc. that the toy has, and make sure that they feel comfortable maneuvering the ride on toy.
If you can do these three things, you will find a ride on toy that is the perfect toy for your child’s age, and will provide them with hours of outdoor riding fun.