best ride on toys for 1 year old kids of 2018 & Buying guide

Congratulation on having your baby! One of the most exciting things about raising a child is helping them get through the initial stage of learning to walk. You’re watching your baby evolve!

This can also be a difficult process and is always guided by trial and error – learning to walk is a bit like learning to ride a bike. It may not be easy and there may be some bumps and bruises involved, but in the end, you’ll never forget how to do it!

It can be a good idea to help your children learn how to walk by providing them with a toy. Different toys have different structures and allow your child to focus on different areas of dexterity and mobility. We’re here to help tell you how to choose the best toy for your one-year-old.

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What makes a toy suitable for a one year old?

There are a lot of toys out there that are made for toddlers to ride on – bikes, trikes, scooters, you name it. The market seems to focus, however, on children who are older than a year old. That doesn’t mean you’re out of options, though. It just means that you have to take care of a few preliminary decisions before making a purchase.

What does the toy provide?

The toy you purchase should provide a few benefits – both cognitive and physical. These should include

  • Improving your child’s dexterity through a series of motions, either repetitive or fluctuating
  • Improving your child’s stability, mobility and range of motion by allowing them to explore new physical concepts and stretch/use their bodies in ways that they’ve never done before
  • Improving your child’s focus and ability to multitask by charging them with the task of not just moving a toy but paying attention to what’s going on around them (avoiding obstacles) and making sure they don’t fall off at the same (multitasking.)
  • Some toys include voice mechanisms that speak to or sing to your child while they’re using it. These can improve their vocabulary and encourage them to develop healthy speaking skills.

Children will eventually learn these things on their own but it’s a great idea to speed up the process. Providing them with a sense of adventure by giving them toys and the opportunity to explore the world around them will greatly improve their dedication to learning.

Is the toy safe for my child?

One year olds aren’t nearly as able-bodied as two or three year olds so their toys are going to require enhanced safety protection.

  • Check the toy is stable by using your own weight or hands to test their balance. If they’re too wobbly, chances are your child will fall off and they might become afraid of using similar toys in the future
  • See if the toy has additional safety features or if you’ll have to purchase them separately.
    • Knee pads or helmets are necessary for more active toys but might not be required for anything you’d plan on getting for a one-year old
    • Bells, whistles, alarms, you name – anything that your child can ring or ding to alert you of their presence is a good safety investment.
  • Does the toy have a storage compartment or an area to hold a drink? This can encourage your child to develop healthy hydration habits and also allows you to keep baby wipes or bandaids near your child at all times when they’re riding their toy.
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What type of toy are you considering?

There are a lot of different toys out there and many of them use different mechanisms to power their movement.

  • Foot-to-floor toys are great for kids just learning to walk, but they may require a little extra support from mommy or daddy to help your kid gain confidence. Learning to use a toy like this on their own will give your child a huge burst of confidence and likely inspire them to learn other things.
    • Make sure the area both in front and behind are clear – kids tend to learn to push backwards before learning to move forwards.
    • These are great opportunities to enhance your kid’s vocabulary by teaching words like stop, go, and directional words (left, right, forward, backwards.)
  • Rocking horses and other rocking toys are a great way to introduce your child to momentum, using and adjusting their center of gravity, and perfecting their balance. Some rocking horses are convertible in rollable, foot-powered mobile toys.
  • Scooters could be considered a form of foot-to-floor entertainment but are generally a bit more difficult to master. However, because of this they also provide a greater chance for your kid to improve their dexterity and balance.
  • Trikes are bicycles with three wheels – you knew that. Bicycles are not recommended for young toddlers because they’re dangerous and a one year old isn’t going to have the necessary mobility skills to use one. Tricycles, however, often come in toddler-friendly models that are meant to introduce the youngest to the world of moving on wheels.
  • Battery powered toys are another choice but are typically recommended for kids at least two years old. That doesn’t mean there are no battery powered toys for the youngest toddlers – just that you’ll have to look a bit harder. The reason they’re recommended for older kids is because they’re able to go much faster without a lot of effort which can contribute to a dangerous situation.

Another good thing to consider is the adaptability of the toy. Are you planning to have your child continue using it as they grow up? Examples of toys that have limited adaptability are the iconic, foot-powered cars pioneered by Little Tikes. They’re great for teaching your kid a lot of things about movement but they aren’t going to be usable once your child reaches a certain height.

Some toys like the convertible rocking horses we mentioned earlier can be adjusted to fit older children. This way you’re basically buying two toys in one – a rocking horse for when your child is newborn and a rolling, foot-powered toy for when they begin to grow up.

Read Also:
Best Ride on Toy For 2 Year Old of 2018 & Buying guide

So which are the best toys for one year olds?

The choice is up to you and is a matter of what you want your child to focus on and experience. Some toys may suit certain parent/child duos while others may not.

Regardless of what you want, we’ve compiled a list of what looks like the best overall, good valued and entertaining toys that your one year old could have. They include a variety of different styles of toys, so you’re sure to find one that suits you and your little tike.

Best Ride On Toys For 1 Year Old Kids Reviews

1. (Ride-on) Step2 Whisper Ride II Review

This is a toddler toy that takes a bit of effort from mom or dad’s side – the child won’t be able to accurately move it themselves, but there’s a large handle on the back piece that the parents can use to steer their child. This is good for a few reasons.

  • You can introduce your child to the concept of moving atop wheels without actually having them try it out themselves. This means when they move on to trying their own foot-powered toys they’ll be significantly more confident.
  • You have complete control over your child so you won’t have to worry about them getting injured or going too fast.

There’s quite a bit of storage space on this unit for drinks and snacks so you can encourage your kid to develop healthy habits. The wheels are slick and turn easily, the handle easily retracts into the rest of the unit, and it’s quite easy for you to use.


  • Great way to introduce your time to wheeled movement
  • You’re in control so you won’t worry about danger
  • Retractable handle
  • Ample storage space for both you and your tike


  • Minimal control is actually given to your child

2. (Rocking / Ride-on) Trumpette Howdy Bouncy Rubber Cow Review

This is a great example of the power of convertible toys. You can use it initially as a rocker which your child will sit upon and begin to understand the basics of momentum and weight shifting. As they grow older, the unit can be converted into a ride-on foot-powered device that they can use to build their own physical movement skills.

The ears can be used as a form of handle for your kid to grab on. They’re rubber so they have good grip. Since it’s an adjustable toy it’s compatible with up to 110 pounds of weight – your child can continue using this as they evolve into a healthy, dextrous young individual.

This device is also specially capable of supporting disabled children with muscular issues, autism or other similar conditions. Its simplicity and adaptability make it a great choice for babies who need extra support.


  • Easily adjustable unit that allows for your child to learn different skills
  • Handles with a solid grip make using it simple
  • It’s inflatable so can be stored or moved easily
  • Teaches your kid about mobility and weight shifting


  • You have to pay close attention lest your baby leans too far forward or backwards and falls off
  • Not the most durable

3. Smar Trike Spark 4 in 1 Baby Trike Review

This would probably be the best example of adaptability in a toddler’s toy – instead of just being convertible from a rocker to a foot-powered toy; this beast can be foot-powered, parent-powered, or powered by the pedals provided.

Read Also:
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This makes this one of the best options for parents who are hoping to buy a toy that will last their child all the way through their development. It constantly changes and adapts alongside the developments your child makes.

It comes with a bottle holder to ensure your child stays hydrated and a number of other detachable accessories that can be added or removed in accordance to how they are needed.


  • Extremely adaptable unit that can grow and change with your child
  • Made of durable material
  • Has a number of attachable and detachable accessories
  • Can build a ton of different dexterity and mobility skills


  • A bit of a high price

4. Prince Lionheart Wheely Bug Review

This is a very simple toy that encourages your kid to learn some of the finer aspects of movement while maintaining a kid-friendly appearance. The handle is easy to grip and the wheels can be directed quite easily, providing a simple range of movement that allows your child to build their skills.

The seat is padded; the toy has few edges and is generally smooth enough to prevent injuries. It’s also made with kid-friendly designs that will attract the child to the toy. It’s made from a non-toxic set of PVC free materials that are long-lasting, durable and effective. The base is made from renewable wood from organically supported companies. It’s certified by a number of international toy safety guidelines – where can you go wrong?


  • Super cute and attractive design that appeals to your child
  • Made out of renewable materials that supports the economy and the world
  • Easy to ride and smooth design ensures your kid won’t get hurt


  • Doesn’t adapt with your child

So which is the best?

As far as we’re concerned, smarTrike’s 4-in-1 is the best unit. It may be a bit expensive but the fact that it’ll last your child more than half a decade is an assurance that you’re getting your money’s worth.

It starts out with an easy-to-access toy that your tike will be able to use easily, as well as a handle that allows you to control their motion. As they grow you can change it into a foot-powered scooter-like toy and eventually a tricycle that allows the further development of skills.

A lot of other toys are convertible but very few are adjustable to this degree. Most toys are intended for toddlers of at least two years old but this one is made for the youngest kids around and is made to stick with them as they grow up.

There’s not really much more you could ask for in a tike’s toy, is there?