The Benefits of Ride-On Toys
Toys, whether they are ride-on toys, stacking toys, role play toys or cuddly toys, can all be seen as important instruments for developing motor, cognitive and social/emotional skills in our children.
It is by having access to developmentally appropriate toys that our children learn and develop in every aspect of life.
The benefits of ride-on toys are important to a child’s development. Once children discover how to use their legs to get around they’ll be excited to use them for pushing, scooting and peddling as well as walking. Having their own set of wheels not only gives them a way to expand and develop their gross motor skills but gives them a sense of freedom and satisfies a thirst for adventure.
Some of the key benefits of ride-on toys
Ride-on toys help in developing fine and gross motor skills
There are a huge number of different styles of ride-on toys available for children but all of them tend to be great for developing both fine and gross motor skills.
Gross motor skills are anything that involves whole-body movement and movement of the larger muscles. Gross motor skills require coordination and build pathways between muscles and the brain, they are related to balance, core strength and being able to move in a coordinated way.
Using their legs to give momentum, either peddling or pushing, as well as moving the upper body to balance and steer are gross motor skills developed by using ride-on toys.
Fine motor skills are the smaller movements such as gripping the handlebars, operating the breaks, manipulating levers and playing with other accessories will help develop these fine motor skills.
Developing their ability to balance
Balance is a crucial skill for children to learn. Developing a good balance will help them in all sorts of sports and other activities when they get older. Balance bikes are a relatively new craze but are brilliant for helping children learn to ride a bike when they are older.
Of course, children need a certain amount of core strength to be able to balance so you shouldn’t start them too young. And where balance is required there will always be the risk of falling so get a helmet and make sure they are wearing long trousers and sleeves.
Encouraging physical exercise
Using a ride-on toy means moving your legs to gain momentum, engaging your core for balance and using your arms to steer so it’s a great way for children to get moving, not that little ones usually need much encouragement.
Using their bodies builds strength in both muscles and bones and is good for the heart and lungs. Creating a foundation at a young age also makes it more likely that they will continue with exercise as they grow older.
A ride-on toy is also a great way to get your child outside. And you might be surprised how much more distance they are up for covering on a balance bike compared to walking.
Physical activity also enhances children’s cognitive development, improves their concentration and thinking skills and encourages creativity and problem-solving.
Building confidence and encouraging exploration
To go from walking to being in charge of your own set of wheels is a huge confidence boost for little ones. Plus it gives them the opportunity to move faster and further than they could before.
Fostering this independence is a great way to encourage self-esteem, self-confidence, critical thinking and discovery as they explore their surroundings from a different perspective. Even just being outdoors more can lead to children becoming more inquisitive.
Ride on toys help enhance spatial intelligence
Being in charge of a moving vehicle is also a great way to develop a child’s spatial intelligence. They gain a better understanding of the space they are in and the other objects it contains.
When you’re driving a toy car you learn that you need a bigger gap to get through than when you are walking and that you have to start steering earlier than you do if you’re on two feet. Riding a balance bike you learn which terrain you can navigate smoothly and when you might need to get off and push.
Children also learn to perceive distance when using ride-on toys. A skill they will use daily for the rest of their lives.
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