For this week’s installment of the Becoming Mamas’ Gift Guide, we’ll share our favorite toys for pushing, pulling, and riding!!
I’m not sure we can go a week without mentioning Plan Toys! This push toy is a nice alternative to plastic poppers or mowers. Little wooden balls inside the roller provide the noise that kids love – but not obnoxiously so! The roller is very smooth which makes it nice for beginning walkers. Callum was able to use this as soon as he took his first steps – and still plays with it over a year later. It’s a vacuum, mower, whatever you can imagine all rolled into one (he’s even been known to “iron” the bed with it!).
For those first steps and beyond, this walker wagon is a great investment. Callum has played with it daily since he got it around 10 months or so. The handle adjusts to two different positions; the one position provides a bit more stability for those first steps. The wheels also have adjustable tension. I will say that it may not be as stable as some walkers out there; children just learning to pull up may have trouble with it. But it’s perfect for those who are good at pulling up and just need a bit of help. Callum still loads this up and pushes it everywhere around the house. Even after lots of heavy use and abuse, it still looks great! The wagon comes loaded with a nice set of wooden blocks as an added bonus.
Callum received this last Christmas, right as he was turning one. It’s the perfect size for a young toddler and quite stable. He had no trouble climbing on it himself and riding right away. He still enjoys it now at almost 2. Like other Plan Toys, this rocking horse is well made and attractive; ours still looks brand new after a year of use. It is fairly small and lightweight so easy to move around as needed. Some assembly is required but I put it together in just a few minutes. A great first rocking horse for an active toddler!
This was another first birthday gift that has gotten lots of love at our house! The seat is adjustable which makes it accessible for little toddlers but still fun for bigger ones. Callum loves taking his “scooter” for rides around the neighborhood – or the house! The streamers and bell are a big hit and the classic Radio Flyer look makes this scooter one you don’t mind leaving out in the kitchen. This is a great ride on choice for a toddler who isn’t quite ready for a tricycle but who wants to hit the road in style.
This wagon is perfect for the toddler who is just beginning to walk. The wheels have a resistance feature so the wagon doesn’t go zooming ahead of a wobbly toddler. It provides support for the baby/toddler who is becoming steady on her feet. The handle is a perfect height for little ones to hold on. At almost two years old, now, Gavin still likes to push this wagon around the yard (or the house). It is sturdy and has weathered rain, sun, and many other elements and came out just fine. My most favorite and least favorite thing about it is that the wheels do not swivel or turn. This is great for the early walker and the toddler who rambunctiously runs through the house pushing his toys. However, it has also been a source of frustration for him. Ulimately, I think it is a good feature, but I probably wouldn’t choose this toy for the older toddler/preschooler.
Gavin received Retro Rocket for Christmas the year he turned one. It was the perfect toy for a one-year-old. He was the perfect age to figure out how to make the rocket go by using his feet. He easily grew into the toy and rode around on it regulary. He still pulls it out to play with it now. One of the best features was the buttons with flashing lights and noise. Although we typically don’t recommend loud, flashing toys, Gavin was really into pushing buttons when he received this toy so he would push the buttons over and over. You can always disable the feature if you don’t like that aspect. Or leave it out in the rain, which is what we did on accident 😉 This toy is best for the young toddler.
Gavin received this rocking snail for his 1st birthday. We both loved it! Even my 6-month-old niece could use it with some help. I liked that it was cushy, which made me feel a little less panicky when Gavin was climbing all over it. He was a little daredevil, even at 1, so it was nice to know that he had some padding on his rocking snail. I think this would be a perfect gift for a baby, starting as young as 6 months old. It is also a cute addition to nursery. Gavin used this up until he was about 18 months when we put it in the garage to make room for other toys. He still wants me to bring it in the house for him. It also plays songs if you push the buttons on the back of the snail’s head, and the snail’s feelers have a squeaker in each one. If you don’t like the snail, the company offers other creatures like Rockabye Rocking Danny Dinosaur and Rockabye Rocking Elijah Elephant.
Are you noticing a pattern in the brands we recommend? I guess we both tend to have a little bit of brand loyalty, but it is hard not to when a company just makes good products. We actually don’t own this wagon yet, but it is on Gavin’s wishlist for this holiday/birthday season. For us, this will be more than just a toy. We never use our stroller, but there are times when we just need something extra to either tote around Gavin or tote around our extra stuff (for example, at the park, the zoo, the fair, etc.). This wagon has seats that flip up and it even has seatbelts. It even has cup holders! I especially like it because it holds two toddlers, and we are always going somewhere with a friend or my niece. This wagon will be perfect. When the kids aren’t in the seat, they flip down and the wagon can be used for storage. I’m not a big fan of plastic, but I’m willing to compromise on this product because I haven’t found a wood or metal one that offers comparable features.