Toddlers are by definition, on the go and toddling around. You know all about it, since you’re one step behind them, keeping them safe. While many toddlers have mastered getting around, how do you know if they’re ready for a ride on toy? The best way to determine if your child is ready is by assessing the physical development of your child and also being aware of the age appropriate guidelines of the toy.
After your child has reached certain developmental milestones, they are likely ready to play with ride on toys. The American Academy of Pediatrics lists several movement milestones for toddlers, including:
- He / she can walk unassisted
- He / she can kick a ball
- He / she can climb on furniture and other objects
- He/ she can climb stairs
- He / she is beginning to run
The other important factor in determining if a ride on toy is appropriate for your toddler is to understand the age appropriateness of the toy. Pay special attention to the age guidelines listed on the packaging of toys and evaluate every toy’s compatibility with your own child’s development. By making sure your child is old enough to play with a certain toy and meets the developmental readiness of toys, you will help avoid injury.
We’ve put together a few tips to help recognize if your toddler is ready for their very own ride on toy and ways to keep them safe while riding:
- Make sure the ride on toy is used in a safe environment – one free of stairs, streets, water and sharp hills. By noting your child’s environment while they are on an age appropriate toy, you ensure their safety while in your care.
- Read the manufacturer’s guidelines for safe use, the information there can help alert you to potentially unsafe situations.
- Make sure your child is using the ride on toy properly. By keeping your child positioned on the toy correctly, you decrease the chance of injury. Additionally, make sure your child holds on to any handles properly. The handles on Patches the Rocking Horse are a good example of this.
- If restraints are provided, as in some wagon toys, utilize them to keep your child safe while the ride on toy is in motion.
- Provide constant supervision. We all know children love to explore, and they like to do it quickly! Stay in an area where you can easily supervise your child on their ride on toy. For example, while your child is on the Extreme Coaster, make sure you are there to to help them get on the toy safely and stay on the toy until the ride’s end.
If you find that perfect toy, the one you know your child will love, make sure she’s old enough to understand how to use it safely, stay with her while she rides and enjoy the time you get to spend with your child having fun! Kids only have one childhood – celebrate it with Step2!