For kids, there’s nothing more exciting than riding something that’s fast and fun, so what could be better than zooming around in a ride-on toy? Whether it’s a car, a jeep or a mini motorcycle, it’s sure to be a hoot to drive. Of course, as a parent, your main consideration is safety. No one wants a toy vehicle to tip over, not stop or otherwise endanger precious kids.
We’ve gathered a list of several exciting ride-on toys that do different things, are suitable for children of different ages, let parents adjust speed settings, and include unique features for fun and safety. They’re colorful and come in a wide range of prices. You put these toys together yourself, although some manufacturers offer assembly for an extra cost. The toys operate with electric batteries, and some provide surprisingly long play time per charge. Further, some ride-on toys come with fun extras like headlights, horns and engine sounds.
Fisher-Price Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler
There’s nothing like a Jeep for sheer power, and the 12-volt battery in the Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler keeps the vehicle zooming along for three hours. Like the grown-up version, this Jeep can handle different kinds of terrain, whether it’s blacktop, grass, gravel or mud, so your kids can have a ball riding just about anywhere. This fun vehicle has two speeds, 2.5 miles per hour and 5 miles per hour, and it can also back up. What’s more, it includes a working FM radio.
There also are some reassuring features for parents. For example, you can lock out the higher speed, and the Jeep is designed with a nicely responsive power brake system. Two youngsters can safely ride in this vehicle at a time.
The Power Wheels Jeep Wrangler doesn’t include extras such as a battery life indicator, plastic windshield or adjustable seats. Still, overall, it is a powerhouse toy that can give your youngsters hours of fun.
Mini Cooper Ride On
This British-style Mini Cooper Ride On car has a 6-volt battery and goes up to 2.5 miles per hour. It can also reverse and comes with nifty extras such as working LED headlights, a horn and engine sounds, so it seems like the real thing. In addition, it’s equipped with a plastic windshield and folding mirrors. The car comes in bright yellow, red or pink and makes a style statement with its racing stripes and emblems.
This toy is intended for children ages 3 and up who weigh up to 77 pounds. Only one child can ride in the Rollplay Mini Cooper at a time, and it needs to be on a hard surface. Parents will be happy to know the tires have rubber traction strips. It takes between eight and 12 hours to fully charge this toy, and it operates for up two hours on a single charge.
Power Wheels Ford Lil’ F-150
The Power Wheels Ford Lil’ F-150 is a good choice if you want to ease your youngster into playing with ride-on toys. This is a modestly priced kids’ vehicle, but it’s strong enough that two children weighing 130 pounds total can ride around in it.
This 12-volt vehicle can travel at 3.5 miles per hour going forward and in reverse, and you can adjust the forward speed up to 5 miles per hour after your young driver acclimates to handling it. The reverse speed cannot be changed.
The Power Wheels Ford Lil’ F-150 feels like it’s a real truck, with its truck bed and tailgate. It also has thick, wide tires with Monster Traction that can go on- or off-road. The steering wheel is fun to operate, and the power lock brake brings this vehicle to a full stop.
Power Wheels Ford Mustang
The sporty Fisher-Price Power Wheels Mustang is ready for a drive around the neighborhood. Its snazzy design includes chrome wheel caps, “seat belts” and a cup holder as well as pretend air vents, GPS and a radio that plays music. The car’s exterior has details that make it look like the real thing, including a metal mustang logo on the front grille, doors that open and close, a nifty looking dashboard, and power brake locks. It also comes with decals, though they need to be carefully applied to look realistic.
This car runs on a 12-volt battery. Young drivers can go 2.5 miles per hour or 5 miles per hour going forward and 2.5 miles per hour in reverse. It is a good choice for youngsters who weigh more than 30 pounds, and two kids can ride in it at once.
Fisher Price Power Wheels Dune Racer
The Power Wheels Dune Racer can provide off-road fun for up to two youngsters. This vehicle has a Monster Traction drive system, which means young drivers can take on tough terrain, wet areas, mud, bumpy spots, gravel, and regular hard surfaces. The Dune Racer comes with pretend seat belts, metal sidebars for hand supports and a power locking brake system that stops the car as soon as the driver lifts a foot off the gas pedal.
Two children weighing up to a combined 130 pounds can zip around in this vehicle, which has a strong steel frame and an open cockpit. The 12-volt battery lets the driver go 2.5 miles per hour or 5 miles per hour, and the Dune Racer can drive in reverse. Parents who want to safely ease their child into playing with this kind of vehicle can lock out the higher speed until they think it’s safe to permit it.
Kid Motorz Hummer H2
The powerful-looking Kid Motorz Hummer H2 looks just like the real thing, and its husky size adds to that appearance. This is a fun vehicle for younger children since it can’t be used for off-road riding or rough terrain – its plastic tires simply lose traction on gravel, wet grass or mud. However, your explorer can enjoy this vehicle on hard surfaces and dry grass to his or her heart’s content.
This also is a good choice for a younger driver because it has only one speed – 2.5 miles per hour – for going forward and in reverse. It is best for youngsters ages 2 or 3, so it’s good to keep in mind you’ll probably need to upgrade to a bigger vehicle eventually. Some owners have encountered problems with the 6-volt battery running low and needing recharging sooner than it should.
Safety Considerations for Ride-On Toys
Any vehicle can be dangerous, even ride-on toys. Kidswheels.com has a great article about safety tips and ways you can help your child enjoy their driving time the most. Some of the tips that we found especially useful include:
- Create a Safe Environment - Not only should you supervise when your kids are driving their ride-on toys, clearing an area where they can safely play is essential. Take the time to remove large obstacles, hoses, sharp objects and make sure your kids know the limits of their play area such as the end of the driveway, neighbor's yard, etc.
- Guide Your Child - Just like a teenager getting their learners permit, children need to be taught how to handle driving as a beginner. Taking the time to teach your child about steering, accelerating and braking will help them gain confidence and the right skills needed to have fun.
- Lock out the High Speed - Most ride-on toys have two speeds for going forward, and a lower speed for reverse. Be sure to start off at the slower speed until you are confident that your child can handle the higher speeds.