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Which ride-on toys for 1-year-olds are best?

Whether your 1-year-old is already walking or still crawling, they likely love to move around and explore their surroundings. Ride-on toys help kids do it safely and with a lot more fun. They can help your toddler balance, stand up and walk with confidence. With its fun songs and ability to help your child learn crucial developmental skills, the Stride to Ride The Lion Toy by Fisher-Price is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy a ride-on toy for your 1-year-old

Looking for a ride-on toy can quickly become overwhelming. They come in every shape and form, with some resembling animals (real and imaginary) and others replicating cars and motorcycles. Not every toy will be the right fit for your little one, so it’s important to consider a few different factors.


Before purchasing a ride-on toy, consider how you want it to move. Do you want the child to be able to use it to walk around or do you simply want them to be able to rock or ride on it? The simplest ride-on toys are rockers, but these toys cannot move around. Others can have pedals, work as scooters, or have a tall handle for adults to push or pull little riders around. Some toys are battery-operated and can move on their own.


Ride-on toys are made to look like almost any creature or object in the world. Consider your child’s interests in choosing the best toy for them. Do they get excited when reading “The Very Hungry Caterpillar”? If so, maybe a caterpillar-shaped toy would be a good choice. Do they already make “vroom-vroom” noises when around cars? A tiny ride-on car of their own might be just the ticket.

Electric ride-on toys

Battery-operated electric ride-on toys can have a remote control or be steered or pedaled by a child. Check if the battery can be recharged and how often or if the batteries will have to be replaced when depleted.

Indoor and Outdoor

Ride-on toys can be made to use either indoors or outdoors. Some have features that let them do both. Regardless of the use, all ride-on cars should be stored inside to make sure they last longer and are not affected by the weather.

What to look for in a quality ride-on toy for a 1-year-old

A ride-on toy might be one of the first really large toys that the child has. It is important that it’s age-appropriate, made of safe materials and is easy to use and care for.


Like any big toy used around a young child, ride-on toys have the potential to be dangerous. Make sure the toy is sturdy and has no small details or parts that can detach and become a potential choking hazard. Some ride-on toys have harnesses and seat belts to keep the child in place. Always make sure that the toy is being used in a safe and supervised environment. 

Quality of materials

Check the labels and make sure there are no potentially toxic plastics or paints used in production. While it is hard to find at times, aim for toys made from natural materials like wood and metal. Make sure they are durable and have a finish without sharp edges.


It is not always easy to determine what age the ride-on toy is meant for, even though most respectable brands should have clear guidelines. They are not recommended for babies under 10 months old, but every child is different.

How much you can expect to spend on a ride-on toy for a 1-year-old

The prices for simple ride-on toys without controls or the battery start at $30, while more sophisticated battery-operated models with multiple functions can cost up to $600.

Ride-on toy FAQ

Why use ride-on toys for toddlers?

A. Ride-on toys can help with the development of motor skills, coordination, and balance. They promote physical activity and encourage the child to explore. Some ride-on toys play music and have other functions that help kids learn numbers, letters, and shapes. 

I am not sure if I want a moving toy for my 1-year-old. What should I consider instead?

A. A classic rocking ride-on toy can be a good choice. They still allow some movement while keeping the child in one place.

What’s the best ride-on toy to buy for a 1-year-old?

Top ride-on toy for a 1-year-old

Stride to Ride The Lion Toy by Fisher-Price

Stride to Ride The Lion Toy 

What you need to know: This multifunctional toy is intended for kids ages 6-36 months and offers three ways to play.

What you’ll love: This lion toy can be your child’s favorite toy for years. They can start in “Sit and Play” mode that teaches fine motor skills, numbers, letters, and phrases and then move on to pushing the toy to assist walking and eventually scooting around on top of it.

What you should consider: Some buyers say kids get confused by the buttons having both colors and numbers on them. The toy also requires batteries.

Where to buy: Sold by Macy’s and Amazon

Top ride-on toy for a 1-year-old for the money

Prince Lionheart Wheely Ride-On Toy for Kids

Prince Lionheart Wheely Ride-On Toy for Kids

What you need to know: This ride-on toy comes in two sizes — a smaller one intended for children ages 18 months to 3 years old and a larger one for children ages 3 and up. It also comes in seven different styles of animal shapes, including a mouse, a piglet, and a tiger.

What you’ll love: Sturdy and durable, this toy is made from high-quality materials and has a soft padded seat and smooth corners. The design is minimalistic and every detail is thought through and executed well. The toy has over 1500 positive reviews.

What you should consider: Some parents say the sizing might be a bit off for some children and not the most comfortable to sit on.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Skip Hop Zoo 3-in-1 Ride-On Unicorn

Skip Hop Zoo 3-in-1 Ride-On Unicorn

What you need to know: This 3-in-1 toy will grow with your child and offer different ways to learn and have fun. It is suitable for kids ages 1-3 years old. 

What you’ll love: Three stages of play include walking or pushing the toy, riding on it, or using it as a scooter. The adjustable handle helps ensure the toddler is comfortable, while the center button plays fun sound effects and melodies when pressed.

What you should consider: Some users say the toy is too light and tips over when used as a walker.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Agrippina Fadel writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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