Parent's Guide to Outdoor Ride-On Toys and Bicycles

  • 01 of 09

    Parent's Guide to Outdoor Ride-On Toys and Bicycles

    Parents teaching kids how to ride bikes
    Peter Cade Getty Images

    Gone are the days when the only options for riding a bicycle outside is a traditional 2 wheeled bike, with or without training wheels. Starting at 12 months of age, up until children are at least 10-years-old, there are several categories of outdoor ride on toys and bicycles.

    Ride-on toys and bicycles are a great way for kids and families to fight obesity and engage in outdoor activities. There are many options for bikes, scooters, cruisers and Power Wheels ride-on toys that appeal to kids of all...MORE ages and abilities. 

    Irregardless of age, children should always be supervised and wear a bicycle helmet for safety.

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  • 02 of 09

    Baby Walking Toys

    Baby Walking Behind Toy
    Thomas Vogel / Getty Images

    While it is not necessarily a ride-on toy, the first type of bike kids are exposed to, before they can sit and scoot is a baby walking toy. These large toys offer new walkers a wide base of support, allowing them to stand and walk behind the toy as they push it forward. Many walking toys are versatile and can  convert into a ride-on toy. This is a great first option for kids ages 12-18 months.

    Purchase baby walking toys on

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  • 03 of 09


    Little boy wearing helmet rides tricycle
    Roderick Chen / Getty Images

    Tricycles are one of the first bikes available for young children with pedals. Tricycles have  one large wheel in front, and two smaller wheels in back. They are low to the ground and are more stable for kids learning to pedal and steer.

    There are even 3-in-1 tricycles, that include features where young children can first sit on the bike as their parents push them forward using a long handlebar.  As their skills improve, they will eventually pedal themselves forward while steering.

    Children should...MORE always be supervised on their bicycle and wear a helmet for safety.

    Purchase tricycles on

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  • 04 of 09

    3 Wheel Scooters for Preschoolers

    Boy Riding 3 wheel scooter demonstrating scooter safety wearing helmet
    Keri Wilmot

    3 wheel scooters are best for preschoolers, young kids ages 2-5. Kids stand with one foot on the baseboard, then propel themselves with their other foot, steering with both hands placed on the handlebars.

    While new riders enjoy moving forward and backward, older children will enjoy the smooth ride and ability to maneuver around obstacles, by shifting the handlebar side to side.

    For children who have not mastered the balance required for riding a bicycle, they will love the speed of a scooter.

    Custom...MOREizable scooters allow kids to personalize their ride with their name, a storage case, handlebar streamers and a bell. 

    Riding a scooter is great for children of young ages, but parents need to keep these important scooter safety tips in mind, as scooters ride differently than traditional bicycle.

    Purchase 3 wheeled scooters on

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  • 05 of 09

    Cruiser Bikes

    Mobo Cruiser Bike

    A whole class of ride-on toys for kids and adults are cruiser bikes.

    Riding a bicycle is challenging for many kids as they have difficulty pedaling and balancing at the same time.  Cruisers operate just like a low-riding tricycle, with a large wheel in front and 2 smaller wheels in back.

    This is the perfect first option for kids learning to pedal but who are fearful of being up high while riding. Cruisers have air-filled tires, which are great for longer rides. They are eye-catching and and...MORE attention getting as kids cruise up and down the street or the beach boardwalk. 

    Purchase cruiser bikes on

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  • 06 of 09

    Balance Bikes

    Kinderfeets Kids Balance Bike

    Do you have a preschool aged child who is showing interest in riding a bicycle? The first step to riding a traditional bike is learning to shift their weight side-to-side, which can be difficult for young children to master. Balance bikes are another great ride-on toy option.

    Do not be fooled into thinking that because there are pedals that balance bikes can not perform for long rides. They are amazingly fast and a lot of fun. Children only have to master one skill, which is shifting...MORE their weight while balancing to move themselves with their feet on the ground. The bike provides a low center of gravity, also making it less scary for younger children.

    As children develop their balance skills, many by-pass ever needing to use training wheels. Many are able to hop onto a traditional bicycle and pedal away quickly. 

    Purchase balance bikes on

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  • 07 of 09

    Traditional Bicycles for Kids

    Dyna Craft Bike
    Dyna Craft Bike. Mattel

    Traditional bikes with and without training wheels are recommended for children ages 5 and up. These bikes come in a variety of sizes and can be purchased in specialty bicycle shops, as well as the aisles of toy stores.

    While some will easily hop on-board a bike and ride away, learning to ride a bike can be frustrating. Families with children who are having a hard time learning to pedal a bicycle may want to consider cruiser bikes and balance bikes.

    Purchase kids bicycles on

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  • 08 of 09

    Power Wheels and Power Ride-On Cars

    Little girl wearing costume in power wheels car
    Ben Bloom / Getty Images

    I haven’t met a child yet who is not in love with the idea of a motorized ride-on toy such as Power Wheels or power ride-on cars. These battery operated jeeps, luxury cars, dune racers and ATVS, for boys and girls, allow kids to explore gentle terrain in the yard, forward or backward, at speeds up to 5 mph. 

    Parents should be aware of weight restrictions when buying these expensive motorized toys. They often require a few hours for assembly, so consider buying these toys used at garage sale in...MORE order to save time and money. Once the battery charges for 14 hours, the child will get 1-3 hours of ride time.

    Buy Power Wheels and other power ride-on cars and toys at

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  • 09 of 09

    Crazy Carts, Coasters and Drifters

    Razor Crazy Cart
    Amazon / Razor

    Crazy carts, coasters and drifters are like power wheels for the big kids. They have more speed, can spin and glide forward, backward and sideways at speeds up to 12 mph. The toy has a 120 lb. weight limit, and requires assembly after purchase.

     Buy the Razor Crazy Cart on