10 Brilliant Wheeled Toys Our Kids Play With for Hours
This piece was created for Cubby, our weekly newsletter for families at home. Want more? Sign up here for a weekly splash of fun and good ideas for families with kids.
Cubby. Real solutions for unreal times.
Join us for a weekly dose of fresh, modern ideas for life at home with your kids.
We all want our kids to get outside and be active. We also long for those seemingly elusive toys that allow our kids to play while we sit back and relax. Enter: active toys with wheels.
I can remember strapping on my knee pads while my mom laced up my brightly colored roller skates, and I can still remember the feeling of riding a bike without training wheels for the first time. Now as a mom, I get to relive those exhilarating moments over again as I watch my daughter feel the pure joy and adrenaline that comes with wheeled toys.
There’s just something about toys with wheels that create strong memories we can recall decades later. From a backyard roller coaster to a ride-on Tesla, we’ve rounded up our favorite wheeled toys — and we didn’t forget to include some safety gear as well!
Ages 18 months-4 years
A ride-on toy that also promotes recycling — I’m sold. This recycling truck is powered by a 6V battery, and it only reaches 1-1/2 miles per hour. It’s fast enough for the littlest of kids to find exhilarating, but slow enough that you won’t feel the need to hover and constantly shout “be careful!”
Micro Kickboard Plus Scooter
Ages 1-5 years
I started testing this scooter with my daughter when she was about 18 months old, and it’s still one of our go-to outdoor toys now that she’s 3. The scooter starts off with a seat and a push bar, and you can take pieces away as your child matures. Because it grows with them, this is a purchase you can feel good about.
Tony Hawk Skateboard
At less than $30, this is the perfect starter skateboard. Plus, it’s backed by Tony Hawk, a skateboarding legend. It’s designed for beginners who are simply cruising down the sidewalk, but it’s also durable enough to use at a skatepark.
If you have a dinosaur-obsessed toddler, they will not be able to get over how cool this ride-on is. One of my favorite things about it is that it’s an active ride-on toy but it also promotes pretend and imaginative play.
Kids’ Balance Bike
Ages 18 months-5 years
Balance bikes have become very popular recently, with many kids skipping training wheels altogether. This bike will help them develop core strength and coordination, and it will make learning how to ride a pedal bike pretty easy.
Tesla for Kids
This miniature Tesla will provide hours of entertainment. The car even has an MP3 sound system, so your kids can cruise around the neighborhood playing their favorite songs. You can also choose add-ons like a custom license plate or an indoor car cover. This ride-on car can go up to six miles per hour.
These rollerblades can expand up to four sizes, so your kids won’t grow out of them the second they have a growth spurt. Designed with a hard shell, your kids’ legs will be aligned properly for optimum balance.
I have so many memories of roller skating in our unfinished basement as a child — it made the perfect skating rink. If you have a similar space or a garage you can pull the cars out of, roller skates are the best rainy day toy to burn up some energy. These skates come in fun colors and styles, which is of utmost importance for those older kids and pre-teens.
6-Speed Kids’ Bike
When they’re ready to move on from training wheels or a balance bike, look to this six-speed bike. It has a light aluminum frame, making it simple for kids to maneuver. It also has 2.6 inch all-terrain wheels, which will help soften the blow of sticks, rocks, and bumps in the road.
Ages 9 months-5 years
Before kids are ready for their own bike or even a tricycle, they can start riding on this ride-on that morphs into a tricycle. Another toy that grows with your child, you can push them as early as nine months, and as they get older, they can pedal themselves as it transitions to a regular tricycle. I began testing this with my daughter when she was 2. We chose the smooth ride tires, which I highly recommend.
Fat Brain Toys Plasma Car
This unique little car is powered by centrifugal force and gravity — a fun active toy and science lesson in one! The only thing kids have to do to make it move is turn the wheel. It can also hold up to 220 pounds, so the whole family can get in on the fun.
Give your kids the ultimate thrill of riding a roller coaster right in your own home. We were given this toy second hand, so it’s now on its third child and is still in excellent shape. At 3-years-old, my daughter can set up the car and push off by herself, leaving me to enjoy my coffee while I watch her play.
Recommended for ages 13+, this balance board is ideal for older kids who want to get their bodies moving or want to work on their balance. If your teenager is into skateboarding, skiing, snowboarding, cheerleading, gymnastics, or any other sport that requires a lot of balance and core strength, they can use this as a conditioning tool.
Ages 8 and up
What’s better than a scooter? An electric scooter, of course. It goes up to ten miles per hour and the battery lasts for 35 minutes of ride time. Take the kids to the park and let them feel the freedom of controlling their own “vehicle,” or let your older kids ride it down the road to a friend’s house.
Don’t forget the safety gear!
Particularly if you plan on getting scooters, skateboards, or other toys where kids are more likely to fall, elbow and knee pads are a must. This set is simple and comfortable with a padded interior.
Schwinn Youth Thrasher Bike Helmet
This is the helmet my 3-year-old uses, and I’ve found it to be very sturdy and protective. It comes in quite a few color options, too.