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Good, better, best: Ride-on toys your preschooler will love

Before you know it you’ll be nervously handing over the keys to your car, but for now you can breathe easy while letting your kids “drive” ride-on toys. Ride-on toys help children develop motor skills, spatial awareness, balance, and independence. They’ll be thrilled to cruise along on one of these three riding toys for kids below.

We’ve searched for the best ride-on toys for a spread of ages and stages, and these three are perfect for different ability levels and price points.

Good: YBIKE Pewi Walking Ride On Toy

This ride-on toy lets little ones from 9 months old to 3 years old up to 44 pounds walk along instead of dealing with pedals. Pedaling can be frustrating, but this toy lets your child sit at the appropriate position to get ready for a tricycle while feeling completely sturdy on the four wide-set wheels. They can practice steering in a way that some other ride-on toys don’t allow because this rider has multidirectional 360 caster wheels, so the rider is completely free to wheel around and easily turn in any direction instantly. And, there are no handlebars to hit, so there’s also nothing in the way of their legs while moving them.

The lightweight frame, nonmarking rubber wheels, and comfortable seat make this a favorite for kids and parents alike.

Better: Radio Flyer 500 with Ramp

Zoom! This racing car with two footrests will thrill kids ages 3 to 5. The ride-on toy can be used without the ramp, and the ramp can be used for toy cars without the ride-on toy, so you’re getting two toys in one.

Kids up to 50 pounds can swoosh down the 6-foot ramp on the Flyer 500. The ramp has two grooves for miniature toy-car racing, as well. Put aside any concerns about the large ramp taking up too much space because it folds up! The ramp folds into a box that the car fits inside for storage, and the box even has two back wheels for rolling along like a suitcase. The car works perfectly as a stand-alone ride-on toy, so if you can’t get outside to use the base, you’ve still got plenty of fun wherever you are.

Best: Best Choice Products 12V Kids Ride On Truck Car

This top-of-the-line product has it all: A parent remote control, LED headlights, lockable doors, adjustable seatbelt, and even an AUX port to play music from a plugged-in device like a phone just like you’re playing the radio. Every bell and whistle is included in this realistic ride-on for kids ages 3 and up who want the full grown-up experience. There is a weight limit of 61 pounds.

Your child can drive manually, or you can safely take control and steer them around yourself via remote. Either option lets you move the car forward or reverse. The maximum speed is 2.8 miles per hour for a safe ride, and there’s even spring suspension. The wheels are plastic with traction, so they’re durable and will never deflate. This is the ultimate realistic off-road driving experience for kids.

Whether your child is just learning to balance on a pre-tricycle ride-on toy or are ready to jet off on a realistic car of their very own, these options are all safe and fun. How much storage space you have and your child’s age and weight will factor in to your decision, but whichever of these is the right fit for your family, you’re sure to all enjoy the ride before you have a teenager asking for the real car keys.

Sarah Prager
Sarah is a writer and mom who lives in Massachusetts. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, National…
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