Get About Toys for Toddlers
Building Big Motor Skills
Tags: toddlers, active play, push toys, ride-ons
Posted: 2012-09-27 09:54:45 By:


From their wobbly toddling days to their runabout stage, building their big motor skills is a developmental imperative. This season some of their best playthings will include push toys and ride-ons that match their active play style. Mobility is key and any playthings that support toddlers' on-the-go style of learning will get miles of enjoyment.



2012 Award
Hape Rainbow Push & Pull Toy
(Hape $24 Score: )

For the toddler on the go, here's a tot size push toy that has a quiet but very pleasing clacking sound. Made of wood, this is one of those classic kinds of toys that is short lived, but matches the beginning walking stage. It is not for kids who are still wobbly on their feet. It is just right for the upright tot who is steady but likes holding on to something. The fit-together handle has licks of orange and big yellow wheels with a rainbow of color pieces that click as they turn. This kind of push toy comes before the pull toy that involves looking over the shoulder as they go. With a push toy the action is in plain sight and not too distracting. Unlike too many wooden toys, this one is smoothly and beautifully finished! Also cute and pleasing, the Hape Lawnmower; same idea with a slightly different sound and a more pastel look. 

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on




2012 Award
Around the Yard Push Mower
(Manhattan Toy $42 Score: )

Our testers loved the clicky-clack sound of this old-fashioned handsomely crafted wooden push toy. This is intended for steady on their feet walkers who will enjoy their new found mobility. The three wooden balls are safely enclosed in the open slated drum. Can be used both indoors and out. Marked 12 months & up, but only if your one year old is completely steady on his feet.  It goes way to fast for children that are still wobbly.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on




2012 Awards
Rattle Rumble Push Toy
(Melissa & Doug $69.99 Score: )

One of the first weighted push toys we've seen in years. The wooden frame is smooth and finished in bright primary colors. Three see-though rollers turn as it is pushed forward. The primary colored balls and blocks inside rumble as they tumble. We can picture a toddler racing this from room to room delighting in the action and sound. This is a great choice for toddlers who like using their new found locomotion to make things happen. They also like holding on as they get used to walking on their own. You may need to tighten the screws on the side of this from time to time or at least heck them to be sure they are staying secure. We usually prefer hardware not to be exposed, but these are nicely encased, but we are simply suggesting you check them as the toy gets used. For beginning walkers.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012.




2012 Award
Wonderworld Red Buggy Car
(Wonderworld  $99 Score: )

Toddlers can't wait to climb on board this wooden red ride-on with four-wheel drive for stability and a steering wheel for maneuvering. Low to the ground this pedal free ride on is powered by foot to the floor action. It has rubber tires for better traction indoors or out. This is one of those basic toys that older toddlers, with their new-won mobility are going to enjoy for a short but important stage when they are not ready for pedals or complicated ride-ons. This has a small beep-beep horn in the steering wheel and will be good for early pretend play as well as satisfying the need for using those big leg muscles. 2 & up.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on




2012 Award
MegaBloks CAT 3-In-1 Ride-on
(Mega Bloks $49.99 Score: )

Finding a low-to-the-ground ride-on that actually steers but doesn't tip over is not so easy. At last, we have good news! This yellow construction truck is a combo fun for beginning walkers it can be used as a push toy and for foot to the ground riding. Sound buttons on the steering wheel will make a hit with toddlers and happily for adults, it has a volume control. It also comes with a detachable toolbox for beginning pretend play-for the older tots. The seat is more comfy than the company's earlier ride-on dump truck. This is really basic gear for active play and building big muscles. They say 1 & up. We say this is best for toddlers who are steady on their feet, which is often a little later.

Age: Toddlers, Preschool. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on




2012 Award
(PlaSmart $79.99 Score: )

A real beginning point for balance bikes.  Two wide wheels makes this a good choice for twos. We liked that it actually steers (most bikes for toddlers no longer have turning capability) and we also gave high marks for making it a gender-neutral red. Some of our 2s had legs that were too long - so as with any ride-on vehicles, we recommend that you bring your child to the store before you buy.  Marked 18 months & up, but as we noted really depends on your child. We still LOVE this company's Plasmacar.

Age: Toddlers. Award Year: 2012. Click here to purchase the product on


Products for Infants
Products for Toddlers
Products for Preschoolers
Products for Early School Years
Products for Later School Years
Twitter   Facebook     YouTube 

Oppenheim Toy Portfolio - All Rights Reserved. Oppenheim Toy Portfolio, Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Platinum Award, and Oppenheim Toy Portfolio Blue Chip Award are Registered Trademarks of the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio.

Instructions for submitting product to the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio for review.



Contact the Toyportfolio by phone at (212) 598-0502 or by email at

Copyright 1995-2015


Products reviewed by the Oppenheim Toy Portfolio are provided by the manufacturer at their cost. The Oppenheim Toy Portfolio does not require or accept fees for reviewing products.