With so many sorts of toys for toddlers, the shopping process might be quite overwhelming. As parents, we have to consider the price, safety, longevity, and age appropriateness. The best toys are the ones that are not just fun but can benefit our kids’ progress, too. Of course, we want to get our money’s worth.
One type of toy that is progressive and beneficial are ride-on toys. These are toys that children can hop onto and ride on, like a rocking horse, a trike, bike, scooters, bikes, and so on. Ride-on toys for kids have more than just physical benefits. Here’s some of them
Benefits of Ride on Toys
1. It promotes physical activity and exercise.
Many ride-on toys require the child to use legs for movement. For older children, they can strengthen their legs even more with pedaling. Steering strengthens their upper limbs.These toys encourage the child to be active without them even knowing it.
2. It hones fine and gross motor skills
Some of these sorts of toys allow children to grip, grasp, and steer. Some even have small knobs or “keys” they can turn, a joystick to maneuver, and components to open and close.
3. You can teach rules
There are so many activities you can do to reinforce rules in general, as well as familiarize them with traffic rules. This develops their sense of responsibility, as well as cooperation. You can get creative, and make a traffic route to emphasize traffic signs, and encourage “responsible driving.” Eventually, as they grow older, following rules will not be so hard, especially when they learn why they exist in the first place.
4. It ignites creativity
Ride-on toys have a lot of room for a child to be creative. The child can pretend to be a policeman, or a fireman, or even pretend to be a “daddy” driving the car. He or she can also pretend to drive to the beach or a friend’s house, or through a drive through. The list goes on! Creative children are critical thinkers and problem solvers because they aren’t placed in a “box.”
5. You can widen vocabulary
Teach words like lever, pedals, break, emergency, etc. You can teach more words according to how your child is pretending. For instance, if he says he’s riding a race car, you can teach words like speed, safety, etc. You can also talk about the concept of fast and slow.
6. It fosters independent play
Though children, especially the younger ones, should be supervised, ride-on-toys foster independent play. Children learn to move on their own. A sense of independence is good for self-esteem and intrinsic motivation. A strong sense of independence can also build confidence within the child. Through independent play, a child a can explore and recognize their own thoughts and emotions.
7. Spatial Awareness
This refers to a child’s understanding of space between the objects in their surroundings. You can further hone this by giving an obstacle course. This skill also helps them to pay attention to details.
8. Develop Sense of Balance
Operating or playing with ride-on-toys can significantly improve a child’s sense of balance. They can learn to distribute their weight in such a way that keeps them upright. Some of the ride-on toys that promote balance are scooters, trikes, bike, and practice bikes (the ones with no pedals).
When they do fall, you can always encourage them to get back up. This fosters resilience in a child.
9. Encourages exploration and adventure
While many ride-on toys can be played indoors. But they’re also a great excuse to be outdoors (provided it’s safe, of course!). Being outdoors instills a love for exploration and nature. It can teach them to appreciate their surroundings, nature, and the world.
Exploring encourages a child to think. The outdoors can promote for a child to ask questions, find answers, makes solutions, and decisions.
10. Group Play
Ride-on toys aren’t limited to independent play. Together, children can explore, pretend, and play. They can also learn things together, and learn from each other.
A ride-on toy is a great way for children to make friends and develop socio-emotional skills. If there’s only one toy, they can learn to share, take turns, and wait. They also learn to be sensitive to each other’s feelings.
Children can learn so much from each other. Empathizing, emotions, leadership, teamwork, among others, are just some of the many things they can learn. Of course, you might need to supervise them, especially if they are younger.
Tips for parents when buying ride-on toys
There are a lot of ride-on toys in the market, but what should a parent look for? Here are some things to consider before buying a ride-on toy:
1. Age Appropriateness
Most toys have age recommendations provided by the manufacturer. However, your gauge should be based on your observations of your child. For instance, can he or she sit up? Fortunately, many ride-on toys have back support to prevent younger children from falling backward.
2. Safety Considerations
Safety is on top of the priority list when buying a ride-on toy. Are the screws tight? Are there parts that are choke hazards? Most toys have age and weight suggestions or limits.
How much weight can the toy carry? As we mentioned earlier, the younger the child is, the more supervision you should give. Another way you can provide safety is having an enclosed space for them to “drive” around.
3. Maintenance and Warranty
Good toys should be easy to handle and easy to maintain as well. This might seem trivial, but consider the types of screws that put the toys together. Is it compatible with the screwdriver or other tools you have? You want a toy that’s durable but also something you can try to maintain on your own.
For electronic ones for older kids, what are the safety features? Does it heat up after some time? How fast can it go? Consider these things to help you decide about electronic ride-on toys.
Ride-on toys are great toys for a well-rounded development in your kid. It has benefits for most of the aspects of development: intellectual, physical, social, and emotional. You can see it in the way a child plays. It sparks a lot of creativity too! It’s also very progressive – rocking chairs for the younger kids all the way to bikes and even some driving for the older ones.
Thomas Roberge is a founder of RepairDaily.com.This website was created and is supported by a person who has been in the business of working with power tools, dedicated to home improvement projects both professionally and for the do it yourself type of person.