First time buying an electric ride-on car for your child? Not sure which car is suitable for your child? This is the guide for you! We explore all the options available ranging from battery power, functions, and features that are most appropriate for different age groups ranging from 1-8 years old.
It’s important to understand which electric car is most appropriate for your child while keeping up with his/her preferences and interests. What color do they like? Which type of style would fit them? What are the safety features?
One of the main differences amongst electric ride-on cars is the power capabilities, which we refer to as voltage (6 volt vs. 12 volt vs. 24 volt). You don’t need an overly aggressive vehicle for your young toddler. Most electric cars come at a standard top speed (3 MPH) to ensure safety yet ensuring they can enjoy each ride.
This guide will walk you through the options available for each age group so you can choose the best car for your child!
Toddlers (Ages 0-2) – 6V Cars
Let’s explore our first age group, the young toddlers. Toddlers aged from 0-24 months are still developing motor skills and learning to walk and talk. This is a crucial and exciting learning period for children. The best electric ride-on cars for young toddlers would include a range of special features such as, designated 1-seater to avoid falling or excessive movement during the ride.
First, a “volt” is a measure of electrical power that refers to the power required to run the car’s motor. Basically the higher the volt number, the higher the car. Most 6v cars should not exceed over 3 MPH to ensure best safe practices.
6v is appropriate for most young toddlers as it is equipped with a parental remote control which makes it appropriate so toddlers understand the movements before they begin to operate the vehicle on their own. Remote controls are easy to use and allows the parents to take full control when allow the child to operate when ready.
For young toddlers, ride-on cars should be used indoors, preferably in a large open space such as the living room, on a flat surface such as hardwood floor or carpet and ensure there are no furniture, bumps or any dangerous objects in the way. It’s important to avoid areas where sharp and obscure objects are present such as the kitchen, storage room, and even bedrooms.
Once young toddlers are accustomed to the vehicle, take them out for a stroll in the backyard or in the driveway ensuring that you are controlling the vehicle with the parental control and keeping a close proximity to the vehicle as you ride with your child. Remember, parental supervision is required at all times, do not allow your young toddler ride on their own.
Preschoolers (Ages 3-5) – 12V Cars
By age 3, most toddlers have developed essential motor skills and reached many milestones such as learning names and certain movements to handle more powerful (and fun) ride-on cars. By this time, your child is probably already interested in specific colors and even certain types of cars. Kids are now able to distinguish certain features such as 1-seater vs. 2-seaters and handle speeds of up to 5 MPH. You can also select a wider range of ride-on cars including licensed models like the Mercedes Benz AMG, Lamborghini Aventador, Range Rover Evoque, or the Bentley Continental which come with a standard 12v motor in 1-seater or 2-seater options.
Most ride-on cars are powered by a 12v battery, so this is the most common type of electric toy car. Kids are now ready to drive their ride-on car outside the home, stroll through the neighborhood under parental supervision. Ideal areas to drive ride-on cars are usually on sidewalks, driveway, and flat concrete surfaces for the best experience.
12v electric ride-ons for toddlers come with numerous realistic features such as MP3 option, engine buttons and sounds, foot pedal-based operation, and even dashboards to mimic the experience of driving a real car. Kids can even ride with their siblings or friends in 2-seater options which can handle weights of up to 110 pounds in most 12v ride-ons. These 12v electric ride-ons are equipped with parental remote control so you can still be in control of your kids to ensure maximum safety.
For comparison, we learned that 6v ride-on cars generally do not exceed 2-3MPH (depending on the weight of your child). Most 12v ride-ons have a top speed of up to 3MPH and some can reach up to 5MPH which is PLENTY of speed for a child toy car. Remember, kids want to have fun but you are always in control so know when it’s best to take your child out for their ride.
Middle Childhood (Ages 6-8) 12v & 24v
By age 6, kids are now able to handle all the functions of the 12v and 24v ride-on cars. We know that 12v cars can reach top speeds of up to 5 MPH, so this is perfect for the kids in this age group.
Although kids can ride 6v cars, they will find 12v and 24v cars to be more fun. 24v ride-on cars can handle a variety of terrains and gives your child a more realistic driving experience involving hand-eye coordination and attention to detail. Great exercise and practice to allow your child to explore the outdoors.
For kids aged 8 and up, they’re now capable of riding more advanced and robust electric ride-ons such as ATVs, UTVs, scooters, go-karts, and motorbikes. Your child’s growing independence from the family and interest in friends might be obvious by now so healthy friendships are very important to your child’s development.
Kids can ride with their friends and siblings now without parental control. This is an important time for children to gain a sense of responsibility along with their growing independence. They can learn to ride on their own and explore the outdoors with various ride-on options.
Child Safety First
Remember, lack of adult supervision can put children at risk from injuries, falls, and other accidents. Here are a few tips to help protect your child:
- Understand your environment before you engage in indoor/outdoor play
- Keep dangerous objects away from your child during play
- Double check to make sure the battery and remote control work properly prior to use
- Always ensure your child wears appropriate protective gear
- Never leave your child unattended
- Avoid streets and outdoor areas where cars are present
- Avoid crowded areas
Last but not least, have fun and enjoy your precious time with your loved ones!
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