Why do remote control cars have such enduring appeal to kids (and let’s be honest: kids at heart)? Maybe it’s that our littles, still years away from getting their own license, get to briefly “drive” a car. Or maybe there’s something magic about a toy that moves feet or even yards away from you with the flick of a thumb. Maybe it’s the beeping and lights — or just the fact that they’re, you know, in control of something. Maybe it’s all of the above.
Whatever the reason, it’s a safe bet that a remote control car is going to delight any little kid who gets their hands on one. They might just delight you, too, because besides teaching kids how to “drive” (ha!), remote control cars can also help with fine motor skills, and they provide hours of imagination-driven — no pun intended — fun, as kids can create obstacle courses for their cars, pretend they’re professional race car drivers and race their friends. (As a side project, you can encourage them to craft their own black-and-white checkered finish-line flag!)
There are plenty of affordable remote control cars on the market that beep, whir and zoom, so if you’re ready to give your kiddo the thrill of remote-control fun, consider these five great options.
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1. JEYPOD Remote Control Car
Designed to go fast, this car can maneuver over different terrain with ease, and is designed to be durable and even water-resistant. Two battery packs allow you to always have some extra power on hand as well. Each pack charges for about 90 minutes and provides around 30 min playtime. The car comes with all the batteries you need to get started, including for the remote control. A great first remote control car, it can be operated from up to 80 meters.
2. PALA PERRA RC Stunt Car
Talk about a win-win: This PALA PERRA RC Stunt Car offers lots of fun — for not a lot of money. The front wheels spin for flipping and stunt action and the car can even be operated upright on just two wheels. A simple remote control operates the car with four buttons: up and down and left and right. While this is good value for the price, it does have one drawback: a range of just about 25 yards. However, if you don’t plan on racing this outside, the range might not be an issue.
3. ORRENTE RC Cars Stunt Car
With wheels that spin a full 360 degrees, this car can flip off walls, climb over small obstacles and spin in circles. The unique design, which has both tires on a spinning axis, also allows it to move over a variety of terrains. The design also means there isn’t really a “front” or a “back” to the car: it can move backward and forwards with the same mobility. The car also comes with all the batteries you need, including two rechargeable ones so you can always have a spare on hand.
4. Holy Stone RC Cartoon Race Car
Designed to be a starter RC car, this has an easy-to-operate remote and big pieces designed for toddler’s hands. The remote only has two buttons — forward and reverse, both in bright colors — that are easy for small hands to use. The car also plays music and comes with a removable driver that can be played with separately.
5. 6 in 1 Remote Control STEM Building Blocks
If your kid is ready to take RC cars to the next level, this set actually lets them build their own cars — and so much more. The toy comes with one engine and instructions on how to use the pieces to create six remote control toys, including a car, crane and forklift. The remote control also lets them operate basic front/back movement. The only limit is their imagination after that: the pieces are also compatible with Legos if kids want to add on even more.