As parents, it can be challenging to find toys that bring our children joy and also aid their developmental journey. However, ride-on cars strike this balance perfectly, encouraging growth, mobility and independence through hours of fun.

Although your baby or toddler might not be ready for the speed and power of an electric ride-on, they can still experience the excitement of driving their own vehicle. Push along cars provide a thrilling yet secure way for young adventurers to explore their surroundings under your watchful eye and guiding hands. But which car is best for your mini motorist?

From highlighting essential safety features to suggesting creative ways to enhance playtime, this go-to guide is here to help you confidently choose your little one’s first set of wheels. Let’s jump in!

What’s in this guide

Part One

What’s the Difference Between Push Along Toys and Electric Ride-On Toys?

The main difference between push along ride on cars and electric kids cars is the mode of operation and intended age group. Push-along cars are manually powered by a child’s feet pushing off the ground (building leg strength and encouraging physical activity!) or by a parent safely steering the toy with a handle. Electric ride on cars are powered by a 6v, 12v or 24v battery and can reach top speeds of 8mph. They more closely mimic actual vehicles with extra features like digital monitors, forward and reverse modes and even USB MP3 inputs. However, this increased power and complexity requires the wannabe racer to understand basic safety concepts, such as stopping and steering, making electric ride-ons better suited for older children.

Pink Push Along Car
Part Two

What Age Group is a Kids Push Along Car Suitable For?

Push along cars are generally suitable for toddlers aged between 1 and 3 years old. Choosing a suitable ride on for a toddler is not just about picking the most colourful toy or the car with the most sound effects and buttons. Of course, these considerations are still key for finding a toy that will become a cherished part of playtime! But put your child’s safety first and place age appropriateness front and centre of your push along selection process.

Toddler Roller Coaster
Push Along Motorbike
  • Push along ride on toys for 1 year olds:

    For the youngest adventurers, safety and stability are number one. Look for push along cars with broad wheels, low ground clearance, and comfortable seats with back support. Plus, at this age, push toys that double as walkers can also encourage those precious first steps.
  • Push along ride on toys for 2 year olds:

    Two-year-olds, with their improved balance and coordination, can handle more dynamic models. Cars with steering features encourage the development of these fundamental motor skills — although parent handles remain vital for control and safety!
Part Three

How to Keep Toddlers Safe When Riding a Push Along Car

When it comes to toddlers and their boundless energy, push along cars are a fantastic way for them to explore the world around them. However, as with any activity involving young children, safety must always be the top priority. Here are a few tips to keep your child safe while they drive their push along car:

  • Use parent handles: these are indispensable for maintaining vehicle control, especially with younger kids or when using the toy in a busier area. They allow you to steer the car away from potential hazards while your tot enjoys the ride.
Push Along Excavator
Part Four

Where Can Your Child Drive a Push Along Car?

Push along cars can be driven both inside and outside in the garden. However, before your child takes their push along the car for a spin, assess the area for dangers first, as hidden hazards can lurk both inside and outdoors.

Create a safe circuit at home by covering sharp edges on furniture with baby-proof corner guards and moving breakable objects out of the way. Open-plan areas like living rooms and playrooms are ideal as they usually have ample space for babies to buzz about without bumping into things and soft carpeted floors to cushion any tumbles.

Push Along Tractor

If heading into the great outdoors, stick to enclosed spaces with flat grassy terrain, such as back gardens, playgrounds and park paths. Also, avoid crowds, water and roads, and always keep the car within easy reach in case you need to steer your child out of harm’s way.

Part Five

What Types of Push Along Toys are Available?

Push along toy models range from race cars to roller coasters, here are a few of the most thrilling and fun types currently on the market:

Push Along Cars

Classic push along cars come in an assortment of styles, colours, and themes and often replicate Mercedes Benz, BMW, Lamborghini and other iconic brands for an authentic driving experience.

Red Push Along Car

They’re perfect for indoor and outdoor play, with sturdy wheels, comfortable seats and backrest support. Some even include interactive features, like realistic steering wheels, flashing headlights and horn and engine sound effects.

Push Along Diggers

For the budding builder in your family, push along diggers, bulldozers, and excavators offer the rush of a construction site in the safety of your back garden or living room.

These toys often feature working front loaders that move up and down and can be operated by your child so they can dig in sand or loose soil. They’re great for developing problem-solving skills and encouraging imaginative play, whether they’re doing a hard day’s work indoors or outside!

Push Along Motorbikes

Push along motorbikes add a touch of cool to your tot’s ride-on collection. Adorned with bright lights and dynamic racing stickers, they typically have three wide wheels for stability, easy-grip handles and pedals for propulsion.

These toys not only help children develop a sense of independence and confidence as they pretend to zoom through race tracks or city streets, but they also act as a stepping stone paving the way for an effortless switch to two-wheeler bikes.

White Push Along Car

Push Along Tractors

Is your little one fascinated by farm life or big machinery? Then watch them harvest a whole heap of fun with a push along tractor! These robust toys have chunky anti-slip wheels suitable for bumpy terrains and a strong metal frame, providing extra durability.

Some models also include detachable trailers for hauling toys and sand, inspiring creativity as they pretend to care for crops or feed farm animals.

Toddler Roller Coasters

Take the concept of push along toys to the next level with an exhilarating toddler roller coaster! These toys include a small, child-friendly coaster car and a sloping track that you can quickly assemble in your garden or playroom.

Brightly coloured and made from durable plastic, your tiny thrill-seeker pushes the car up the track, sits on the snug seat and enjoys a gentle ride down. It’s an excellent way to introduce them to concepts of gravity and motion while having a blast.

Part Six

Making Memories: 6 Creative Play Ideas for Push Along Cars

Push along cars are a blank canvas for creativity! Use the following ride on games to make cherished memories and bond with your little one. And remember, the joy is not just in the play itself but in the laughter, learning, and love shared along the way.

Mini Road Trip Adventure

Organise a short “road trip” through your house and garden with designated stops, each with a mini activity, such as a snack break, a quick storytelling session, or a simple puzzle.

Push Along Bulldozer

DIY Car Wash

Set up a car wash station outside with sponges, water, and non-toxic soap. Perfect for summer days, this provides excellent sensory play and encourages children to care for their belongings. Plus, it ensures your child’s push along car is sparkling clean and ready for their next adventure.

Push Along Digger

Traffic Light Game

Teach your child about the highway code with a simple stop-and-go game. Use coloured paper or toy traffic lights to signal red (stop), yellow (slow down), and green (go), testing their reaction times and understanding of safety cues.

Obstacle Course Challenge

Create an obstacle course suitable for push along cars, using cushions, toys, and other non-breakable household items. The course can include areas where the driver needs to manoeuvre carefully, speed up, or even get off and push their car, enhancing motor skills, planning, and problem-solving abilities.

Role-Playing Scenarios

Introduce role-playing by turning the push along car into different vehicles like a fire truck, ambulance, or delivery van. You can create scenarios where your child has to “respond” to emergencies or deliver packages around the house.

Speedy Scavenger Hunt

Arrange a scavenger hunt with clues and treasures that your child can collect in the push along car’s storage compartment. This game boosts cognitive development, as they’ll need to solve hints or use a basic map to find the locations and prizes.

Part Seven

What are the Development Benefits of Push Along Cars?

From enhancing your child’s physical abilities to nurturing cognitive and emotional growth, push along cars can make a huge difference in early development. Let’s explore the multifaceted advantages of these engaging toys:

  • Fine-tuning motor skills: when babies and toddlers steer their push along car, they learn to coordinate their actions. Plus, many ride-ons have movable parts and interactive features like buttons or levers. Manipulating these elements helps them refine their motor skills, which are essential for tasks such as writing and self-feeding.
Red Push Along Motorbike
Black Push Along Car
  • Encourage problem-solving: encountering obstacles during play teaches children to think creatively and solve problems. And, as they steer through different spaces, they gain more spatial awareness and learn to judge distances and sizes.
  • Boost confidence and independence: mastering the control of a push along car and successfully navigating their toy around obstructions gives the driver a sense of accomplishment and encourages them to take on new challenges.
  • Spark social interaction: ride on toys aren’t only for children to enjoy by themselves — they’re also excellent for adding an extra element of fun to a play date or for siblings to share. In group scenarios, these toys enhance communication and negotiation skills.

Choosing a push along ride on car for your baby or toddler is more than selecting a toy — you’re investing in their development and joy! By understanding the different options available, adhering to safety advice, and engaging in creative play, you will provide your child with a foundation for growth and a treasure trove of happy memories.

About the Author

Hannah

Hannah Hill

Entrepreneur, and mother of three. Hannah is a toy expert with 20+ years in the online toy industry, founding the Kidaroos website that sells 10,000+ toys per year. Hannah is always looking for new, innovative ways to keep everyone's kids active and energised in a world full of screens and social media and has been featured in publications such as Authority Magazine.

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