Is your tot ready for a push toy? Many classic kids toys, including baby strollers and corn poppers (remember those?!), fall into this category — and there are lots of reasons to love them, and to consider adding one to your kiddo’s growing collection of playthings. For starters, push toys can provide younger walkers with a welcome bit of steadying support as they toddle, push and play. The support they get from walking helps with gross motor skills and helps them develop strength and balance. Push toys also offer rich opportunities for imaginative play (“Mama, I mowing the lawn!”). And many of them — those classic corn poppers included — make fun sounds (or at least, fun sounds for a toddler) as they move.
Simply put, the right push toy can help your toddler have fun and develop new skills while she explores — and expands — her world. If you’re ready to purchase a push toy for your little one, make sure you pick one that’s age-appropriate for your child, and of course, always supervise her play. We’ve rounded up five great push toy options, from battery-operated toys to classic wagons, that are sure to be new family favorites. So push — and play — away!
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1. Little Tikes Gas ‘n Go Mower
Mowing the lawn may not be fun for you, but your toddler will likely get a kick out of the “chore” with her very own toy mower. The Little Tikes Gas ‘n Go Mower works and out (though kids may have a hard time pushing it through really high grass) and doesn’t require batteries for its fun sound effects. Popping beads simulate a revving mower as it’s pushed, and a key clicks as you “turn on” the lawnmower. A mini gas can completes the effect. Recommended for kids ages 18 months and up.
2. Fisher-Price Corn Popper
The Fisher-Price Corn Popper is an enduring kid favorite — even in the age of battery-operated toys and screens — for good reason. It relies on toddler-powered movement to “pop” the colorful balls, and the faster kids push, the faster the balls pop. While it isn’t the quietest toy out there, it’s still a far cry from the whizzing and beeping and lights of other toys. The Corn Popper is appropriate for kids as young as 12 months to use.
3. Little Tikes Classic Doll Buggy
Just like with the lawnmower, a doll stroller gives kids a chance to pretend to be an adult. “Playing house” is also great for kids’ social and emotional learning. This sturdy stroller, which can hold dolls up to 18 inches, is great not only for playing mommy or daddy but also for new walkers. The wide wheels and large plastic structure provide a bit of extra stability as kids push it along. Built to last, it can also be used outside as well as inside.
4. Bright Starts Giggling Gourmet Shop ‘n Cook Walker
Many push toys also have interactive portions that kids can enjoy even if they’re not walking. This stroller from Bright Starts is a “sit to stand” model with a removable panel that babies can play with before they’re walking. Once they can pull themselves up to stand, the activity table can be placed in the cart. The four wide-set wheels keep the cart stable as they stand and play and when they are ready to push. The cart can also be used without the activity table for playing groceries or for carrying toys. Designed for ages 6 months to 36 months, it’s a push toy that will grow as they do.
5. Radio Flyer Classic Walker Wagon
A fun new push toy-take on the classic Radio Flyer wagon, kids up to 35 pounds can push and ride in this version. The wood sides are removable, and the wheels provide enough resistance that new walkers won’t lose control as they begin to push it along. AS an added bonus, a bumper also protects corners and furniture during collisions. Kids can play with it inside or outside and use it to cart stuffed animals, toys or whatever they want.