Although we grandparents may believe it’s good for kids to pedal and push their riding toys under their own power, there’s no doubt that a battery-operated ride on toy will bring oohs and aahs from your grandchildren.
And there is a vast variety of ride on vehicles to choose from including cars, jeeps and motorcycles, ATV’s, scooters and tractors. You’ll want to find the right toy according to your grandchild’s age, size and personal preferences.
In general, you’ll want to find ride ons with 6 or 12 volt batteries for younger children and move up to 24 volt batteries for older children. Other safety issues to keep in mind include a safe accelerator and steering mechanism, a safe and relatively flat riding surface and proper clothing with a helmet.
Keep in mind that a riding toy will most likely be the first real motoring experience for your grandchild and it needs to operate at a slow speed. Seatbelts may be included.
Another safety issue is continued maintenance on the vehicles as they’re used over time. Be sure adults in charge check for worn or damaged parts, sharp edges that may appear after damage of any kind and exposed wires that could pop up after a period of time. Encourage the grandchildren and their parents to do a safety check on a regular basis.
And now to the fun part—which ride on vehicle is right for your grandchild? There is a huge price range in these toys so you’ll want to do some research.
For children 18 months to 3 years
Choose from a John Deere tractor with a frontloader, a snazzy pink Hello Kitty sedan or a cherry red motorcycle. Toddler ride ons.
For ages 3-8
Choose a Minions Car with a 6 volt battery and molded bucket seat. It also has an MP3 socket and travels at a maximum speed of 2.5 miles per hour. Or choose a Kid Trax Audi with real working headlights and rubber traction strip tires. This one cruises at a maximum of 3 miles per hour.
For ages 9 and up
The ride ons for older kids are something special. For instance the Peg Perego XP850 Polaris Sportsman model comes with two speeds, 31/2 miles per hour and 7 miles per hour. It features an accelerator and automatic brake with four wheel suspension. It’s designed to run on grass, dirt or hard surfaces and has a flip up rear seat for a second passenger.
Your older grandkids may enjoy a Razor Dune Buggy that operates at up to ten miles per hour and comes with 8 inch tires, bucket seats and seatbelts and can support up to 120 pounds.
Fair warning. These larger battery-operated vehicles can come with some hefty price tags. But there is a large variety of ride ons from which to choose.
If you make the decision to purchase a ride on toy for your grandchild, be sure to attend the grand gift opening. You’ll want to take some photos of the smiles you see when they take their first ride.