If you want to learn quickly about my best overall recommendation, I would suggest that you go for the Chromo Bouncy Inflatable Real Feel Hopping Cow as the best ride-on toy for kids.
A major milestone in the life of your kids is when they turn one year old. By now, they have started walking and they try to talk. They are all excited about the fact they can now use their legs and they want to run around the house as much as possible. They have a lot of energy but just letting them run around or crawl gives you some limited options. This is where ride-on toys come handy. They let kids use their legs in a different way than before. I will discuss in this post why this toy is a great option, what you should look out for when buying one, precautions to take and finally, I will suggest six choices you could consider.
My Top Picks
- Best Overall – Chromo Bouncy Inflatable Real Feel Hopping Cow
- Best with Extra Storage – Radio Flyer Scoot 2 Scooter Ride On
- Best Animal-Themed – Little Tikes Go and Grow Lil’ Rollin’ Giraffe Ride-On
- Best All-Terrain – Ride-On Truck w/ Remote Control by Best Choice Products
- Best Trike – Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike
- Best Ride-On Wood Bike – Hape Scoot Around Ride On Wood Bike
Why You Should Buy A Ride-On Toy For Your 1-Year Kid
You might be wondering why you should buy one. Here are some benefits below.
It provides your young kid with the opportunity to exercise. We all know that we should exercise regularly. Most of the reasons also apply to kids. Another benefit which is particularly important for me is that after a good exercise they simply way better. My daughter sleeps definitely better when she’s moved a lot during the day. A ride-on toy provides them the opportunity to exercise their hands while doing steering motions and their legs while they try to pedal.
Fun and bonding
Children love to have fun. They are always attracted to anything they can play with. Considering you can also push or pull them while they are on the toy, both of you can have some bonding time.
A ride-on toy can help your 1-year kid to start getting used to trying to maintain balance. This mostly applies to ride-on scooters.
As they move their ride-on toy around the room, they will start to develop a sense for exploration. This is very important since they develop faster when they feel confident about exploring their surroundings. This way they learn how to navigate through obstacles and they learn how to use the first way of transportation at a young age.
Things To Look Out For When Buying
Consider buying a durable ride-on toy so that you don’t have to buy new ones in case it breaks down. This way you also minimise the chance for the toy collapsing under your kid and injuring them.
You want your kid to learn balance by using their ride-on toy. But a one year old by definition has little skills to find their balance. Therefore you might want to give them a toy that has some balance on its own, without your child on it.
You should consider a toy that can be adjusted. This way, you can continue to adjust the size of the toy as the kid grows.
It is important to make sure that the toy is safe to use. There should be no sharp parts on the toy that could pose injury to the child.
Consider buying the right size that they can comfortably sit on. This way, they will be comfortable playing with the toy.
Children are attracted to colorful items, especially when there are a lot of bright colors. You might want to get them e.g. a colorful bicycle that will have their favorite color.
It’s important for your kid to be more than 1-year old and able to walk before you buy such a toy. He should have some sort of balance to be able to use the toy. If your kid is still below a year or yet to start walking, then you might want to go for a baby jumper in the meantime.
There are some precautions you should take. Apart from the fact you need to make sure it is of the right size and provide some balance as already discussed, here are other precautions you should take.
An Adult Should Watch Them
Ensure that you or another adult is around them as much as possible when they use the ride-on toy. Just like when we as adults use some means of transportation, we need to be careful not to fall, not to get into some accident. With kids, the difference is that they cannot take care of themselves the same way as adults can and children are less aware of dangerous situations. If an adult is around, they can simply intervene in critical moments..
You should get also a helmet for them. I am a big proponent for usage of helmets. Hard to replace or fix our heads. If my word is not enough, you might also want to check out this guideline:
“In general, ride-on toys are not recommended for use without proper protective gear, especially helmets” – US Consumer Product Safety Commission
They should always wear one whenever they are using their ride-on toy. This will significantly reduce or eliminate an impact to the head when they fall.
Best Ride-On Toys For A 1-Year Old
Best Overall – Chromo Bouncy Inflatable Real Feel Hopping Cow
Does your kid or kids like animals? I bet they do. Mine lives cows. In fact that was one of the first animals my daughter has imitated by saying “moo”, shouting this word all the time with a big smile on her face. Do most children like animals that look like real ones but they’re actually stuffed ones? Again, that’s another yes probably. This toy by Chromo is such a toy. This inflatable cow provides a real-life inflatable buddy for your kid. It is easy to inflate and use. After use, it can be deflated to reduce the space it needs. The fact it can be deflated also makes it easier to carry along while traveling or going out on a picnic. It also contributes to helping your kids develop balancing skills. Here’s a video if you want to practise your Spanish where you can get a feel for this product.
And this is how the product looks like fully inflated.
- Weight: 3.6 pounds
- Size: 12.8″ x 8.1″ x 4.5″
- Age: 1 to 3 years
- Comes with a two-way hand pump
- Provides bouncing and ride-on fun
- Has the right height to teach them how to balance
- Long ears that your kids can grasp
- Allows the kid to play with close to real animals without the risks of playing with a real animal
- The cover can be washed with machine
- Adult supervision required so you cannot go away to do other things
Best with Extra Storage – Radio Flyer Scoot 2 Scooter Ride On
This toy provides your child with the opportunity to play on two different types of toys in one. They could use it to ride on, probably starting from the first birthday until they are about 18 months old. What’s brilliant about it is that without the use of any tools, you can convert it from a ride-on to a scooter. They can continue switching between both options at any point in time. The four wheels of the scooter provide balance for the kids, thereby reducing the chance of a fall. The handle height can also be adjusted as the child grows.
- Weight: 22.1” x 13.8” x 24.8”
- Weight: 5 pounds
- Age: 1 to 4 years
- Easy conversion from ride-on to scooter and vice versa
- Has 4 wheels which gives extra balance which is especially good for toddlers
- Storage under the seat in ride-on setup
- Sturdy frame
- Adjustable handle
- No caution in the manual about something important: do not hammer axle nuts during construction as it will affect the free turning of the front wheels
- Complaints about the seat being too low for kids above 2 years
Best Animal-Themed Trike – Little Tikes Go and Grow Lil’ Rollin’ Giraffe Ride-On
A lot of times animals tend to appeal more to kids than automobiles. Most will fall in love with the colorful animals considering them as their buddies. If you prefer to buy a scooter that looks like an animal, then this ride-on toy is one of the best options you can find. And who doesn’t like the giraffe, the yellow creature with extra long necks and legs? This toy’s foot to floor design makes it easier for kids to ride. Thus, all they need to do is use their legs alongside the handle to move the ride-on toy. The seat can be adjusted as the child grows.
- Weight: 5.22 pounds
- Dimension: 16.6” x 22” x 16”
- Age: 1 to 3 years
- For outdoor and indoor use
- Wide back wheels offer extra stability
- Wheel guard on back wheels provide safety
- Wide base for front wheel that provides balance
- Adjustable seat
- Friendly look of a giraffe
- Easy to clean and assemble
- Double-check seat as you might sometimes think it snapped and actually it didn’t
Best All-Terrain – Ride-On Truck w/ Remote Control by Best Choice Products
There is no way your child is not going to fall in love with this monster, especially if you have a boy. The rugged appearance of the car, its size, and features could make your kid feel like having a real vehicle to handle. Unlike with actual trucks, your child just doesn’t need a license to drive this toy. Its features are amazing. It is drivable, has different speed limits and you can even play music on it. What else would you want to ask for from a ride-on toy?
- Weight: 65 pounds
- Dimensions: 45” x 31” x 31”
- Age: 3 to 8 years
- Needs rechargeable battery
- 3-speed options
- Can be manually driven and also an adult can remotely control it with the kid inside
- Aux outlet built-in for music connection
- Bright LED lights for playing even when it gets somewhat dark
- Seatbelt that can be adjusted for safety
- In green, black and red colors
- Wheels provide traction when driven on dirt, grass, and sidewalks
- Expensive, but hey, this is how close you can get to a real car
Best Trike – Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tough Trike
If you would prefer a 3-wheeled ride-on scooter for your child, then you might want to opt for this toy. It is a tricycle with Harley-Davidson design. It has rugged, durable tires that can support the trike and also your kid in moving around in a stable way. This bike has some space under the seat that you can use to store toys, food, and other items for your kid. However the balance provided by this trike will not be as much as the ride-on toys with four wheels. This on the other hand helps kids build the power to find balance.
- Weight: 8.5 pounds
- Dimensions: 29.5” x 22.5” x 22”
- Age: 2 to 5 years
- Secret storage space under the seat
- Its wide pedals can be moved with the feet to propel the trike
- Cycling helps to exercise leg muscle
- Easy-grip handlebars
- Stable wheelbase
- Most 2 years old cannot reach the pedals, thus, best to buy for your kids when they are 3 years or older
- A bit difficult to assemble, but once done, it won’t fall apart
Best Ride-On Wood Bike – Hape Scoot Around Ride On Wood Bike
This toy can be actually used starting with the age of 1. It is made of wood and other materials including metal. The wheels are made from rubber that is durable and would not pose the risk of damaging your floor. The toy can be driven over a wide range of surfaces. As kids use their legs to move the bike, the strength of their muscles will be enhanced, just like when they have to pedal on a bike. Your kid can use the toy within the house or in the park. The bike has won several awards that testify its functionality, durability and kids-friendly design.
- Weight: 5.6 pounds
- Dimensions: 18.4” x 4” x 14.2”
- Age: 1 to 3 years
- Seat and other parts mostly made of wood
- Water-based paint
- Four rubber wheels
- Safe to play with
- Improves strength of kids
- Contributes to development of motor skills
- Durable wheels
- Non-toxic paint and materials
- Requires assembly by an adult
- When not assembled, some parts can pose a hazard to kids so they must be kept out of reach of kids when diassembled
After evaluating the best ride-on toys for 1-year olds, I recommend the Chromo Bouncy Inflatable Real Feel Hopping Cow as the best overall. It is safe to use, easy to move around as it can be easily deflated and inflated. It is durable, its cow shape will probably appeal to your kids (to mine for sure it did) and last but not least it is affordable. If price might not be your major concern, and you might want something your kid can drive anywhere and move automatically, then you might want to consider the Ride-On Truck w/Remove Control by Best Choice Products.