Best toddler ride-on toy

Ride-On Toys

A ride-on toy for toddlers is a great way for them to develop their muscles and coordination while supplying their own foot power.

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Which toddler ride-on toy is best?

Ride-on toys differ from toy cars in that batteries don’t power them. Ride-on toys may be push toys, toy vehicles that kids propel with their own two feet or toys that kids pedal.

If you’re looking for a classic ride-on toy, you can’t beat the iconic red tricycle. Take a look at the Red Rider Trike by Radio Flyer. This brand was made famous by its little red wagons, but now it makes a classic tricycle designed to grow along with the young rider.

What to know before you buy a toddler ride-on toy

Kids outgrow favorite toys but never seem to tire of ride-on toys that are kid-sized versions of full-sized cars. Ride-on cars allow kids as young as toddlers to play at driving just like parents do in the family car, truck or SUV.

Safety first

Look for ride-on toys for toddlers that are sturdy and unlikely to tip over. Heavier gauge plastics should have no rough or sharp edges.


Toddler ride-on toys should be no bigger than your toddler can climb on and off easily. Check manufacturers’ specs for maximum rider weights and heights. 

Power source

  • Push-along toys: Push-along toys for toddlers to ride on are powered by the kids themselves. Some ride-on toys have handles for the child or the adult to push the vehicle. 
  • Foot-powered toys: An entire class of toddler ride-on toys power via the kid’s feet. Some are propelled by kids scooting the vehicle along with their feet and some by pedaling. Either way is great exercise that helps kids develop strength and coordination. 

Scoot-around ride-on toys are powered by toddlers and little kids who sit astride this type of toddler ride-on toy. They power it by scooting their feet along the ground. This is the perfect way for kids to develop leg muscles as they are developing their walking skills.

What to look for in a quality toddler ride-on toy


Better toddler ride-on toys are designed to grow with your child. Look for handles, seats and floorboards that adjust and can even be removed to accommodate your growing child.


Kids are hard on toys and ride-on toys are no exception. Look for a toddler ride-on toy made with heavy enough plastic to be long lasting and to stand up to frequent bumps and sideswipes.

Parental control

Toddlers tire easily, so parents should consider toddler ride-on toys that have a handle at the back. The handle allows parents to push when they need to take control or when the child tires out. The added benefit of having a handle at the back is that toddlers can push their toddler ride-on toy when they want and ride on them when they choose to.


Little kids like to take their favorite toys and figures along with them. Check out toddler ride-on toys that have storage areas that are easy for little hands and fingers to open and close. The storage tubs or bins should be sturdy and easy to access.

Sights and sounds

Some of the more sophisticated toddler ride-on toys have lights and sounds built in. Your toddler can use buttons and knobs to activate flashing lights and sounds. Some toddler ride-on toys have FM radios and ports to plug in audio players like MP3s. 

How much you can expect to spend on a toddler ride-on toy

Small push and pull walker carts start at $20. Scoot-arounds can be found in the $30-$50 range. Pedal-powered tricycles run $50-$100.

Toddler ride-on toy FAQ

How quickly will your little one outgrow a toddler ride-on toy?

A. It is impossible for one size to fit all, so there are ride-on toys made for toddlers, preschoolers and school-aged kids. You could buy a toddler ride-on toy for each phase, or you could choose one that adjusts to grow along with your child to take them through the early phases of childhood.

What’s a good choice for a first toddler ride-on toy?

A. If this is your child’s first vehicle, you may want to choose one with a handle so you can take over when your child struggles with distance and direction.

What’s the best toddler ride-on toy to buy?

Top toddler ride-on toy 

Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike

Radio Flyer Red Rider Trike

What you need to know: This toddler ride-on toy is made for kids ages 2 to 5.

What you’ll love: The seat on this toddler ride-on toy is adjustable to grow along with your youngster. It comes in your choice of pink or classic red and white. This tricycle has a storage bin in the back for bringing along toys and other items. The tires are quiet instead of like trikes that are designed to be noisemakers.

What you should consider: Toddlers need to ride this trike under adult supervision until parents feel they can ride on their own.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top toddler ride-on toy for the money

Lil’ Rider Scoot and Ride Car Walker for Toddlers

Lil’ Rider Scoot and Ride Car Walker for Toddlers

What you need to know: This 4-pound, 20-inch long ride-on toy is made especially for toddlers.

What you’ll love: Toddlers move their feet while sitting to propel this car and can also push it from behind while walking. The frame is durable and the ride-on toy rolls smoothly over most surfaces. Kids love the interactive lights, sounds and music activated by multiple knobs and buttons located on the large steering wheel.

What you should consider: The required AA batteries aren’t included.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

The Original PlaSmart PlasmaCar

The Original PlaSmart PlasmaCar

What you need to know: This product’s simple design is made to be especially safe for younger children.

What you’ll love: This ride-on toy has no batteries, gears or pedals. Kids put their feet on the footrests and turn the steering wheel to move. This sturdy and durable ride-on car weighs only 2 pounds and is great for toddlers, but children of all ages and even adults can use it because it can support up to 220 pounds.

What you should consider: This ride-on toy is best for use outdoors or on carpet because its plastic wheels may scratch hardwood floors.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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David Allan Van writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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