Scooters have been around for over a century. And while the very first scooters were made of wood, today’s advances in materials technology have led to the development of more lightweight, safer, and more durable scooters. It is therefore not surprising to learn that it is one of the most common gifts given during the Holiday season as well as during birthdays.
However, more than being a very simple mode of fun transportation, scooters are beneficial toys when it comes to the optimum development of toddlers. It is instrumental in the development of toddlers’ psychomotor, social, cognitive, and emotional skills. It is therefore, important to choose the best scooters for your toddler.
Here are the top 12 scooters we have researched and which we are positive you and your tot will love.
Our Top 3 Picks
How We Chose the Top Scooters in Our List
Choosing the top scooters required our team of researchers to scrutinize every available scooter and ride-on toy that is leg-powered in the market today. We had to consider the overall safety and durability of the scooter. This is important as we all recognize the fact that toddlers’ sense of balance may still not be fully established by this time. And while we strongly believe that scooters can help toddlers develop their balance, it still pays to get a scooter that provides optimum stability for young children. We also looked at the other features of the scooter as well as what consumer reviews are saying about the product. We then had to consider the reputation of the scooter manufacturer as this can play a very important role in ensuring quality and safety.
This is how we came up with our list of the top 12 scooters for toddlers. We are thus, hopeful that you will find our list very useful in your own search of the perfect gift for your toddler.
Scooters – More than Leg Power for Toddlers
It is a well-known fact that riding a scooter is a fun way to help encourage toddlers to increase their physical activity which can then help enhance the development of their motor skills. However, this is actually not the only benefit they can get from playing with a scooter.
For the most part, riding a scooter helps toddlers develop their sense of balance, muscle coordination, and direction. While it is true that kicking their feet off the ground can help propel the scooter, it is actually their sense of balance that is keeping them cruising along. This also helps establish coordination as toddlers must be able to time their kicking with one foot and balancing on the scooter on the other foot. This can become a very important developmental milestone for them because this provides the foundation for all other physical activities that will require balance and coordination of the different parts of the body especially the limbs.
Maneuvering the scooter also requires a sense of direction. Turning the handle either left of right helps young children these two fundamental directions. While it may not actually be readily apparent, this can actually help toddlers develop their pre-reading skills. Western books are always printed from left to right and as such, having a sense of which is left and which is right can help children master the art of reading. There are certain societies where they read from right to left. Children in these societies can likewise benefit from the pre-reading skills afforded by the sense of direction.
Now, everyone knows that one of the most easily understood benefit of riding a scooter for toddlers is the development of their gross and fine motor skills. Toddlers need to develop stronger leg muscles to help them kick and propel the scooter along the pavement. They also need to have excellent psychomotor control of their hands and fingers as they hold onto the handle bar of the scooter. Their arm muscles must also be well-toned to steer the scooter away from obstacles as well as other obstructions in the path of the scooter.
Riding the scooter also helps improve the integration and processing of sensory information. Since riding a scooter requires visual and proprioceptive input, these pieces of information must be processed by the growing brain of the toddler. This enables the brain to make the necessary decisions on which particular path to take or the right amount of pressure to apply on the handle bar or even the correct amount of pressure adjustments needed to maintain balance. For example, a kid sees that there is an obstacle in his path. This visual information is processed by his or her brain to command the muscles of the arm to steer the scooter left or right or to command the muscles of the legs to apply the brakes. All of these happen in a fraction of a second.
Proprioception can also help train the brain of toddler to make minute changes in the body. For example, standing and riding on one leg may give the impression that the body is already leaning on one side. Our proprioceptive sense tells the brain of the position of certain parts of the body relative to the body itself. If it is already way too far astray, then it needs to be corrected. This helps toddlers maintain balance while they are in motion.
Because of the improved psychomotor skills of toddlers, they are better equipped to explore their world. With improved leg and arm muscle strength, they are able to perform other tasks that would otherwise be impossible for them to accomplish. They can pick up objects with ease and dig through their pile of toys for their favorite. This helps in their cognitive development as the greater the number of things that they discover, the greater is the opportunity for them to learn. Their curiosity is fueled by their ability to move about their surroundings.
This can then lead to language development. Toddlers will be asking the names of the different objects that they see. This expands their vocabulary which, in turn, can help them better express themselves especially when communicating with Mom and Dad. The more they are able to communicate their thoughts and feelings, the lesser is the occurrence of the dreaded temper tantrums that have become the highlight of toddler emotional development.
Consequently, because their curiosity is satisfied, they feel a lot better about themselves. This helps toddlers to begin understanding the importance of cooperative play. While riding a scooter does not really entail cooperation, it does provide the opportunity for toddlers to interact with other children of their age. This social interaction is key to helping them develop their social skills as well as pragmatic skills. In cases where there is only one scooter, they learn the value of sharing and of taking turns. This becomes a very important foundation for healthier and more mutually-beneficial social relationships.
You see, riding a scooter is not all about leg power, balance, and coordination. It can also have an effect on the other aspects of a toddler’s growth and development. What is important to understand is that toys are very important instruments for children’s optimum development. That’s why it’s crucial to choose only the best and most developmentally-appropriate toy for them; in this case, the scooter.
We are thus, highly optimistic that our list of the top scooters for toddlers will empower you to make the right buying decision. These scooters are, after all, designed primarily for your toddler’s welfare.
Scooting vs. Pedaling
Bicycles, tricycles and scooters are all excellent means of transportation, exercise and entertainment for young children, but they should not be treated as equals. While they all have certain advantages and obvious differences, we’ll highlight those of scooters since they are what we’re focusing on here;
- Compared to bikes and trikes that work by pedaling, scooters…
- Get more muscles moving because the entire body is used to propel itself
- Hone one-foot balancing and weight-shifting skills
- Do not tire ankles as quickly
- Are less bulky to maneuver
- See less frequent (and less forceful) falls
- Are smaller and lighter to handle
- Seem less intimidating
- Are easier to ride side-by-side with friends
- Can be used on narrower paths
- Are more compact and easier to transport and store
- Develop fast reflexes
- Are more affordable
- Are more hip (according to the majority of preschoolers)
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Where can I get warranty and repair information for the Micro Kickboard Mini Kick Scooter?
A: All Micro Kickboard scooters come with a two-year warranty. Be sure to register yours here. The company can also send replacement parts. For additional info, you can call them at 888-236-5657.
Q: I can’t decide whether to buy a two-wheeler or three-wheeler. Any tips?
A: The advantages of the three-wheel (“kickboard”) variety are more stability and surfboard-style steering. Traditional two-wheel scooters, on the other hand, allow for quick, defined turns and more movability. Additionally, two-wheelers are more portable (although they can’t stand alone as can the three-wheelers). Ultimately it comes down to the athletic ability and balance of the intended user. If there is any doubt about his or her competency and level of confidence, then the three-wheel kickboard scooter is probably the better bet. Or, consider getting a convertible model, such as #12 on our list.
Q: Will a kick scooter rust if left outside?
A: It can. Depending on the type of material(s) they’re made of, some are more susceptible to rust than others. It’s best to bring scooters indoors after use (garages are perfect) to prevent the elements from shortening their lifespan. Rust and mud in the wheels/bearings can lead to tarnish, as well as a slower, uneven ride. Although wheels and bearings are replaceable, keeping a scooter clean and dry is the best way to give it a long, healthy life.
Q: Don’t Radio Flyer products come with a warranty?
A: Yes, Radio Flyer scooters are eligible for a free two-year warranty if you register your purchase here.
Q: My two-year-old really, really wants an stand-up scooter and I’d like to buy her one, but how can I make that she won’t hurt herself?
A: There’s always a potential for kids to get hurt whether they’re riding bikes or scooters, or simply running down the sidewalk. However, for optimum scooter-riding safety, we recommend that kids wear properly sized knee pads, elbow pads, and helmet, along with closed-toe shoes with rubber soles. We also advise riding on smooth, even surfaces to minimize the possibility of spills due to bumps in the road. Three-wheeled scooters (two wheels in front, one in back) with wide bases offer the most stability and are therefore the safer choice for beginners. Even with all these precautions, parental supervision is a must for young children learning how to navigate a scooter.
Q: How can I get streamers for my daughter who really wants them for her scooter (which didn’t come with any)?
A: You can either make your own by using wooden golf tees, eye screw, thumbtacks and ribbon; or, you can purchase them on Amazon.
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