Kids grow quickly, so choosing toys from stores like The Land of Nod and Back to Basics Toys that grow with your child is an important thing to do. Perhaps no toy grows with your child as easily as a ride on toy. Not only can these toys accommodate your child for years and through several developmental changes, they offer timeless fun and memories at each stage. Here is a look at what a ride on toy is and why your child will love it for years.

Ride On Toys

A ride on toy is one with four wheels that will loosely resemble at small car or cart. A child sits on the saddle with both feet able to touch the ground and move the toy forward with foot action. These toys are generally plastic and lightweight. Some will come with themes of popular children's cartoons while others are simply brightly colored and appealing to children for their lights, sounds and appearance. Ride on toys allow your little one to have freedom to explore at many stages of development.

Timeless Gifts

A ride on toy will grow with your child, generally becoming interesting around the time your child is six months old and lasting up until around 36 months of age. The toys are versatile generally allowing for lighting or noise making parts with bright colors that are close to the floor for your newly crawling child. Later as a baby begins to stand with support, ride on toys generally have a handle or tall back component where the child can first stand, and eventually propel the toy around by pushing the handle. This encourages the learning of muscle movement that will eventually lead to walking. Later, the child can sit on the body or saddle of the toy and use his feet to push the toy in a ride on fashion that acts as a small scooter. A good ride on toy will have different noise making items at each level so that the toy continues to reinvent itself each time the child progresses.

What to Look For

Not all ride on toys are created equally. You'll want to look for one that is made of solid plastic that will last for the two to five year lifespan on the toy. Bright, bold colors will appeal to your younger baby's still-developing sense of sight. Make sure that there are no small parts on the toy that can become dislodged and create a choke hazard. Another important feature to seek out is a brake mechanism on the rear tires. This doesn't have to be flashy; it can be as simple as another plastic part that gives the toy a bit more stability. This will come in handy when your baby is using the toy to learn to stand, but is not yet ready to take those first few steps.