Ride-On Toys And Development
The success of an individual begins with very small steps. And by small steps we mean growth and developmental activities performed in childhood. It is for this reason that child developmental psychologists recommend choosing developmentally-appropriate toys for kids as are very important instruments in the development of the child’s motor skills, social and emotional skills, as well as cognitive skills.
One of the most useful forms of toys are ride on toys. These are playthings which children can literally ride on such as a rocking horse, a kiddie bike or trike, or even a pedal- or motor- powered kiddie car or truck. These are known to provide absolute fun and enjoyment for kids as well as help foster their sense of freedom and choice. More importantly, however, is the range of other benefits these kinds of toys provide children of all ages.
Here are 10 amazing benefits of buying a ride on toy for your child.
1. Helps Develop their Gross and Fine Motor Skills
Ride on toys helps develop children’s gross and fine motor skills. These toys help children to develop and master their handing or grasping of the steering wheel, the hand rail, or even the joystick to maneuver their ride on toys over rough or smooth terrain.
Some ride on toys have fully functional components such as opening and closing doors and vehicle compartments and switches and other buttons that turn on a specific function or operation. Dashboards may have to be manipulated. Attachments and accessories may have to be placed. And in instances where the ride on toy does runs on pedal power, kids will have to learn how to push with their legs and steer with their hands.
All of these will help them gain a better understanding of how muscles and bones can be commanded by the brain to initiate these movements.
2. Encourages Physical Activity and Exercise
Pedal-powered ride on toys require strengthening of the muscles of the leg. Tricycles or even bicycles that depend on pedal power will never move unless the child is able to push on the pedal with all his might. This helps tone the different groups of muscles in the legs. Even electronic ride on toys can be excellent instruments to encourage increased physical activity and exercise among children.
For example, driving a ride-on ATV, although powered by a lithium battery, will require the muscles of the arm to maneuver the vehicle over rough and uneven terrain, avoiding obstacles, and maintaining control of the vehicle regardless of the surface it is running on.
Of course, children won’t realize that they are in fact performing exercises. That is why it is also crucial to help them understand the implications of what they are doing.
3. Fosters their Sense of Exploration
While some ride on toys can be played with indoors, a great majority of these are best enjoyed outdoors. And this can help children foster their sense of exploration and adventure. They learn that they can move a lot better, cover more ground, if they are on wheels. They also learn to appreciate certain things that can either make their ride bumpy or smooth.
This helps stimulate critical thinking and lead them towards the path of discovery.
This is particularly true for the toddler who is naturally curious about his or her surroundings. Toddlers, fresh from being totally dependent from their parents while they were still infants, would love to learn as much as they can about the different things around them. When they go for a ride using their ride on toy and they wander in a part of your backyard they have never been before, their curiosity automatically sets in. This forms the foundation for logical reasoning and critical thinking later in life.
(Hey! Check Out Our Article On The Best Ride-On Toys For Toddlers)
4. Helps Develop their Sense of Balance
Bicycles, pogo sticks, and scooters are excellent ride on toys to develop children’s sense of balance. These can help young children for other sports that require absolute balance later in life such as skiing, skateboarding, roller skating, rollerblading, surfing, and even ice skating, just to name a few.
While one of the inherent concerns of parents regarding these ride on toys that require balance is the risk of falls and injuries, these can be minimized by providing children with age-appropriate safety gear. It is also important to choose a ride on toy that is appropriate for the child’s developmental age. If the child can barely walk straight, then it simply means that he or she is not yet ready to take on a balancing ride on toy.
Nevertheless, ride on toys are very important instruments in child development if you want them to develop their sense of balance.
5. Fosters Independent Play
One of the most crucial developmental tasks of toddlers and young children to accomplish is the establishment of a sense of independence. This can be fostered by giving them ride on toys to play. As many of these toys are primarily built to be played by one child at a time, it provides the necessary opportunity for them to develop a sense of independence.
They can manipulate any of the switches that turn on the lights or operate the unique sounds of the toy or even tinker with some of the inherent components and features of the toy. This greatly helps them enjoy the freedom they require and helps cement the belief that they are indeed separate and highly distinct entities from their parents.
7. Enhances their Spatial Intelligence
Many child development psychologists believe that toys help develop children’s spatial intelligence. This refers to their understanding of space and the objects contained within that particular space. When children play with ride on toys, they begin to have a clear understanding of the space within which their toy can be used to explore. While driving and they see an obstacle – a hump or a piece of furniture or even a tree – from a distance, they will know when to turn the wheel to avoid hitting the obstacle.
Of course, they will not be able to understand that this has something to do with spatial intelligence but it does provide the necessary foundation for its development and mastery. This is almost similar to shape sorter toys where children are expected to insert shaped blocks through their appropriate holes. They have an idea of the empty space upon which the block can go through.
7. Encourages Group Play
There are also ride on toys that can help encourage group and cooperative play. A see-saw or a 3-man rocker is best enjoyed if there are at least 2 children playing. Ride on toys can also be a great way to instill competitive spirit in kids. They can race with their fellow kids and see who can cross the finish line first. Or, they can simply ride their toys as a group. This can help foster better communication as well as cooperation especially in the achievement of a particular goal.
(Hey! You May Want To Read Our Article On: Ride-On Wagons For Kids)
8. Helps Build Confidence
Children who are allowed to be independent and explore their surroundings by themselves are bound to develop more positive self-esteem and self-confidence. They know that they can do it. If they can drive their ride on toys across a certain bumpy and rough terrain, they will feel a sense of accomplishment and pride.
This helps them feel more confident about themselves. Confidence is needed to excel in different things. It is this belief in one’s capabilities that children have to learn early on. Of course, you can boost their self-confidence by providing them with positive reinforcement like praises and reward.
9. Sparks Creativity
Have you seen how your kid’s face light up every time he or she gets behind the wheel of his or her favorite ride on toy car or get on the saddle of a rocking horse? They are already in their dream lands.
They are now playing make-believe which is a crucial building block for creativity and imagination. They can pretend to be running to the store on an errand or rushing someone to the emergency room or even plowing the fields just in time for planting season. This make-believe play is very important as it stimulates their critical thinking skills as well as problem-solving skills.
10. Helps with Social and Emotional Development
Overall ride on toys help children develop their social and emotional skills. The fun and excitement of being able to live one’s dreams, even as a child, can do many wonders in the child’s emotional state. He or she will feel a lot better about himself or herself. And because he or she feels good he or she naturally interacts well with other kids and other people around him or her. This is the foundation to a healthy childhood.
There are many other benefits of ride on toys in terms of developing the child to become a better person once he or she grows up. The most important thing to remember when buying a ride on toy is to choose one that is safe and is highly recommended for his or her developmental age.
(Hey! Check Out Our Article On Electric Cars For Kids)