It’s no wonder kids want a car as soon as they turn 16 – they’ve had wheels for most of their lives. Think about it. As infants, they ride in strollers, free and easy, as Mom and Dad wheel them around the mall or park. When they’re old enough to sit up on their own, we’ll put them in the specialty carts that look like a killer whale or dinosaur. As soon as they can walk, we put them behind some kind of push toy that rolls along with them. Then comes a tricycle and a bicycle. So, with all of the possibilities out there, what are the best ride-on toys for children?
Believe it or not, perhaps one of the best ride-on toys you can get for your little one is a hobby horse. Called a rocking horse by some, a hobby horse is a great way for the little one to develop a sense of balance in a safe and exciting way. As soon as a toddler can climb upon a hobby horse, his fun begins as he learns to grip the hand holds. The rocking back and forth motion builds excellent balance and upper body strength, as well as working the torso and legs. If the hobby horse is on springs, the additional bouncing motion can add to the challenge, and to the development. There are variations of the hobby horse idea that adapt to just about every age and level of development.
Walkers are a great way for little ones to get around. Of course, you need to make sure there is no safety issue with stairs or sunken living rooms. But, walkers have gotten a bad reputation for a couple of decades for interfering with a child’s ability to achieve right/left crossing of the body axis. The truth is, if your baby crawls, a walker will not be bad for his development. The act of crawling, regardless of the inventive way in which he does it, builds the coordination necessary to develop properly. By allowing the baby to stand up in or behind a walker, he is building back and leg strength, and developing the ability to balance himself. As long as you make sure the baby has plenty of practice crawling, and the left/right development will come. Besides, many walkers these days have learning tools attached that can promote fine motor skills and dexterity, as well as color recognition and other stimulus.
These are the type of toys that the baby can sit on and scoot himself along. Usually, he’ll use his feet to push forward or back, building lower body strength and improving balance. These push along riding toys come in many shapes, from cars and airplanes to miniature trains and trucks. To boost more brain development, make “roads” through the house, so the child has to push with one for or the other to maneuver. This contributes to brain development, building problem solving skills and coordination.
Jack Dunsworth enjoys writing about childrens products, when he isn’t writing articles on parenting tips and advice, you can usually find him working for Hippychick who sell their own range of ride on toys.