What are the Best Ride-On Toys for 1-Year-Old?

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DadProgress reviewed six small ride on toys to figure out the best ride on toys for 1-year-old. Keep reading to find out my top picks!


Best Ride On Toys For 1-Year-Olds Reviewed- My Top Picks

  • Hape ride on toy is made of wood so it has a nice feel to it
  • It is entirely child-powered, which means that your kid can play unsupervised. It also helps to develop motor skills
  • This ride on toy is quite small so it's ideal for one-year-olds 
  • You have to assemble it, but it's easy to do
  • Your child's feet may get trapped in the back wheels at first, but children are quick learners
  • The modified tricycle layout (one wheel in the back, two up front) gives it stability, but it can tip over
  • This ride on toy is made of plastic. As a result it's lightweight and easy to clean
  • It is entirely child-powered, which means that your kid can play unsupervised. It also helps to develop motor skills
  • Little Tikes ride on toy boasts a controlled steering radius. This feature helps those with developing motor skills feel in control. It can be a "con" for older children though
  • It's quite small so it's perfect for one-year-olds. Although the weight limit is 50lb, the small size makes it less fun for older kids 
  • It has an adjustable seat
  • You have to assemble it. Although you don't need to use any tools, it can still take up to 30 minutes to get it done with
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    While it is great indoors or out, this friendly giraffe doesn’t like to move freely on high pile carpet. If you don’t have hardwood or laminate flooring, it might not be the best option for you
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    Giraffe spots are stickers and you can't find many of them in the package
  • Scoot-About ride on toys is made of metal. As a result it's quite heavy, but very durable. Your kid can play indoors because it has a front bumper to protect walls and furnishings  
  • This toy is entirely child-powered and it helps to develop the motor skills of your little one
  • It's quite small so it's perfect for one-year-olds. Although the weight limit is 42lb, the small size makes it less fun for older kids 
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    Radio Flyer is a Chicago based firm and over 100 years old. They must be doing things right if they have lasted this long so it's a trustworthy company
  • Your child may hit his or legs against the back wheels
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    You'll need a hammer and a screwdriver to assemble it. It takes about 30 minutes
  • You don't have to assemble it so it's an effortless present
  • This rocking horse is entirely child-powered so your kid can play alone with it
  • All kids are different, but in my experience, rocking horses are more fun for older toddlers. A one-year-old may find it a little boring
  • It's made of plastic and the seams may be rough. It's worth checking this toy before giving it to your little one
  • This toy car is made of plastic, so it's not hard to push
  • It has an easy to fold handle for storage and quick transportation
  • The Whisper Ride has a spacious trunk and two cup holders for your one-year-old
  • You have to assemble it following bad instructions and you need tools for that
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    You have to push it so you can't leave your kid to play alone with it
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    The steering wheel comes off easily
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    If you are a tall person, then the handle may be too low for you
  • This smart scooter is made of plastic, so it's lightweight and easy to clean. For a plastic toy, it has good stability
  • It is entirely child-powered. As a result your kid can play alone with it and it helps to develop his motor skills
  • This is an interactive toy that has many buttons and switches. Your kid can listen to over 50 songs, tunes and phrases and you can choose between three levels of play (content changes with each level). That said the second and the third level are too advanced for a one-year-old
  • Some older children may find this toy already boring, but my two year old still loves to play with the sounds of the ride on toys. So you can expect to get at least two years of play time out of it
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    You don't have to assemble it which makes it a nice effortless present
  • Wheels do not roll smoothly, and they do not turn. That said, if you're looking the best ride on toy for a one year old, then it's actually a good thing that it doesn't go too fast
  • The "turn off" switch should be hidden, but your kids can easily turn the sounds of this ride on toy back on. But you can always take out the batteries if everything else fails

What To Look For In The Best Ride On Toy For A One-Year-Old Boy Or Girl?

Where Is Your Kid Going To Play With It?

You should decide if you're buying a ride on toy for inside or outside use.

All the reviewed ride-on-toys for one-year-olds could be perfect for playing outside. That said, if your little one is going to play on grass, then my recommended Smart Stages scooter may not be the best because the wheels don’t run that smoothly.

In my experience, bigger plastic wheels work quite well on grass though.


One Year Old With a Ride On Toy Outside
If your kid is mainly going to play inside, then you have to decide if you have room for something with wheels or opt for a rocking horse.

It’s also worth pointing out that plastic wheels may not run smoothly on soft carpets. So if you have many carpets at home, you may want to buy the wooden Hape scooter (also sold on Amazon) or the Radio Flyer (also sold on Amazon).

Is It Stable?

You don't want the ride-on toy to tip over with a tiny tot on board, so the stability is crucial.

The best ride-on toys for 1-year-old shouldn't dip over every time your child decides to take support. One-year-olds are just learning to walk, and they try to use every object as a stabilizer.

Is Assembly Required?

Every father agrees that assembling things can be frustrating. The best ride on toys for 1-year-old should be easy to set up and not take too much of your precious time

If you buy it as a gift, then check if the assembly requires any tools. Nothing is worse than having a crying kid near an opened present that the parents can’t put together because of a missing screwdriver.

Although the truth is that a one-year-old will probably be just as happy playing with the unassembled parts:)

What Is It Made Of?

Toys made of plastic may dip over more easily, but your one-year-old toddler is unlikely to get hurt because it's a lightweight material. 

That said, wooden items can also be lightweight. For example, the Hape Scoop weighs only 5.6lb.

Wood and metal are generally more durable than plastic but these toys usually also cost more. 

Items made of small children are usually easy to clean regardless of the material.

A toddler playing with a plastic ride on car

Manage Your Expectations About The Longevity Of Use

The best ride on toys for one-year-olds are quite small so you shouldn't expect your kid to play more than two years with them.

How Is The Ride-On-Toy Powered?

Is it powered solely by the child riding it? Do parents have to push it? Are there batteries involved?

Electrical ride-on-toys aren't best for one-year-olds as the may not understand the concept. It's also beneficial for development of motor skills if your kid has to actively move the toy.

That said some ride on toys have features that encourage play and learning and these may need batteries.

Cost Of The Toy

You can see that the best ride on toys for one-year-olds cost between 25 and 100 dollars. You can always check the latest price on Amazon by clicking the affiliate links.

It’s understandable that parents don’t want to buy too many big expensive toys and wonder if they should instead invest in a proper tricycle.

All ride-on-toys are great for muscle development, coordination, and just plain old fun. That said, a tricycle requires more muscle strength than one-year-olds typically have. They are also meant for outside play.

It means that if you want your kid to start having fun with riding toys as soon as possible, then it’s better to buy a smaller ride-on-toy right away.

To Sump Up

The Fisher-Price Laugh and Learn Smart Stages Scooter (check the price on Amazon) is probably the best ride on toy for one-year-olds if you want to play inside.

With one-year-olds it's actually a good thing that the wheels don't roll so easily. Extra features make this a fun learning and developmental toy for smaller children.

That said, if you have many carpets, then the Hape scooter and the Radio Flyer ride-on-toy are better choices (all links take you to Amazon to check the latest price btw). 

If you are looking for a fun ride on toy for a 1 year old, then click to read my article. I reviewed the best ride on toys (my top pick wasn't a wooden rocking horse btw:)

The later is also perfect for outside play.

A rocking horse by Little Tikes is ideal if you don’t have a lot of room, but it may be a little boring for one-year-olds.