10 Best Toy Shopping Carts for a Basketful of Fun
When children start engaging in imaginative play it’s a win-win for everyone involved. They begin to develop critical thinking and language skills, while finally being able to entertain themselves for longer stretches of time (giving parents a much-deserved break) by pretending to be in different social situations. When it comes to facilitating this type of play, nothing is more iconic than a toy shopping cart. If you want to find the best toy shopping cart for your kiddo, keep reading to find out our top picks.
“When kids take on roles through imaginative play, whether the role of a parent, coach, wizard, or make-believe friend, they develop a sense of themselves in various scenarios,” says Rebecca Mannis, PhD, learning specialist and founder of Ivy Prep. “Most important, they are the slower, more reflective and creative antidote to our fast-paced, highly structured, screen-themed lives that kids and adults often find themselves in these days.”
A shopping cart toy will not only allow children to step into the role of parent, but these push toys can help new-to-walking toddlers pull themselves to standing and begin to feel comfortable cruising around. “These experiences help the newly mobile kids improve their balance, their motor sequencing, and imaginative play,” says Mannis. “They can also give children an exciting sense of independence and mastery of their ability to move and interact with the world.”
Ready for a price check on the best shopping carts for kids on the market? Find our favorites below.
“A good push toy should be stable, easy to maneuver, and sturdy,” says Mannis. This toy shopping cart from Little Tikes checks all those boxes, and is affordable to boot. She also likes that it's plastic, so “it can pass under the sprinkler or be easily hosed down.” The material means that it is light as well. So if your kiddo happens to bonk into something (as they will), it won’t cause damage to your home.
Your child will love pushing their favorite doll or stuffie around in its folding seat, just like the one they sit in at the grocery store. It also has a large basket and additional storage underneath. And while this may be a toddler shopping cart, many parents say their children have loved playing with it until they are as old as four and five!
Dimensions: 12.5" (L) x 16.5" (W) x 23" (H) | Weight: 7 lbs. | Material: Plastic | Age recommendation: 18+ months
- Sturdy and durable
- Assembly required
If you’re looking for a mini shopping cart that feels just like the real thing, this one from Toysmith with its metal wire construction and sturdy wheels needs to be on your radar. Its realistic design will encourage your child to use their imagination and its foldable wheels and basket make it easy to maneuver and transport. Perhaps to the actual grocery store so your mini can use this mini alongside you.
Dimensions: 12.5" (L) x 8.5" (W) x 24" (H) | Weight: 2.2 lbs. | Material: Plastic, metal | Age recommendation: 3+ years
- Attractive blue trim
- Lightweight but sturdy
- Requires light assembly
- Some reviewers say small items can fall through the holes
Children as young as six months can enjoy this toddler shopping cart from Bright Starts thanks to its four stages of play. Even before they begin to toddle, it can be used as a stationary activity table that they can first sit and then stand at. It has lights, levers and buttons, plus a cooktop that sizzles and popcorn that pops. When they begin to pull themselves up, its widely-set wheels and sturdy legs will safely guide them on their walking journey—and that popcorn will pop as they push themselves around. As they get more comfortable on their feet, you can remove the cooktop and it turns into a toy shopping cart that they can load up just like their parents do at the grocery store.
Dimensions: 19.3" (L) x 16.1" (W) x 16.3" (H) | Weight: 5.3 lbs. | Material: Plastic | Age recommendation: 6+ months
- Wide set base and legs and base
- Needs batteries (included)
These toy groceries from Melissa & Doug will provide any child with endless imaginative fun. The set includes five colorfully labeled grocery boxes, three play food cans with pop-off lids, and a reusable shopping list with a pencil so your little one can mark items off their list just like you do. But we really love that it comes with a rolling grocery basket. For parents who are nervous about their younger children pushing around a toy shopping cart or who have a smaller space, this may be a perfect alternative.
Dimensions: 14" (L) x 11.75" (W) x 9" (H) | Weight: 2.2 lbs. | Material: Plastic and paper | Age recommendation: 3+ years
- Parents love these toy groceries for their beautiful design
- Some customers have said the paper products are not very durable
While this wooden shopping cart toy from HAPE is not cheap, its beautiful wooden design (made from FSC-certified wood from sustainable forests and colored with safe water-based paint) makes it worth the splurge. The wooden cart with a soft colorful basket is easier on the eyes than many of its plastic counterparts and there is no assembly required. Plus, its wooden construction makes it built to last through all the children in your family and more.
Dimensions: 16.9" (L) x 11.8" (W) x 19.8" (H) | Weight: 4.9 lbs. | Material: Wood and nylon | Age recommendation: 3+ years
- Non-toxic and made of sustainable material
- Solid and sturdy but not too heavy
- Some customers have said the wheels do not turn that easily
With its impressive reviews all around, this metal shopping cart toy from Melissa & Doug may just be the most realistic of the bunch! Its durable metal frame made from heavy-gauge steel and red trimmings makes it look just like the real thing—and makes it built to last. Not to mention it has a fold-up seat just like the ones your kiddos are used to riding in. But this toy shopping cart doesn’t only provide an authentic experience, its grippy handles and wheels that pivot 360 degrees make it easy and safe for any kid to push around.
Dimensions: 15" (L) x 14" (W) x 20" (H) | Weight: 11 lbs. | Material: Metal | Age recommendation: 3 to 6 years
- Great quality and easy to assemble
- Wheels that pivot 360 degrees
- Small basket
With 22 grocery items included alongside the Battat Grocery Cart, your child will not only be able to play pretend grocery shopping, but all the veggie, dairy, pasta and fruit toys are sure to inspire some fun in their imaginary kitchen, too! This set will teach your child about healthy food choices while building motor skills, balance, hand-eye coordination and most importantly, curiosity.
Dimensions: 15" (L) x 13" (W) x 12" (H) | Weight: 2.2 lbs. | Material: Plastic | Age recommendation: 3+ years
- Easy to assemble
- Includes grocery set
- Reviewers have said that is very light, so children should be comfortable walking before they use
- Cardboard items don’t last long
This extra special toy shopping cart lets toddlers give their toys the Cozy Coupe experience they love, while also taking them on a grocery shopping trip. Fashioned after the classic Cozy Coupe, this pink and purple version will be perfect for any little one's favorite doll or stuffed animal; the toy can sit in the front while your child pushes them around and loads up their cart. It’s also affordable, durable, and easy to maneuver.
Dimensions: 26.3" (L) x 10" (W) x 22" (H) | Weight: 7 lbs. | Material: Plastic | Age recommendation: 2+ years
- You can take it indoors and outdoors
- It is easy to clean
- Reviewers have said that not all dolls can fit in the Cozy Coupe
- Many parts to assemble
This grocery store playset takes playtime to the next level, with an interactive grocery scanner that reacts to the different included play foods. The scanner sings songs, makes jokes and teaches counting and sorting lessons across three play modes. And the cart itself even transforms into a shopping basket for added pretend options!
Dimensions: 12.8" (L) x 7.5" (W) x 15" (H) | Weight: 3.4 lbs. | Material: Plastic | Age recommendation: 2+ years
- 2-in-1 basket allows for multiple kinds of make-believe
- Allows for educational play
- Included batteries are for demonstration only, new batteries recommended for use
Kids often love having their own special little version of something their parents use all the time. If you're a loyal Target customer, as so many parents are, this toy shopping cart is sure to be a hit. It looks just like Target's signature red carts, and comes with its own grocery store playset including realistic products that match Target's in-house brands. There's even a little pretend coffee cup, because playtime has got to be exhausting. The cart is easy to clean, ready to play with right out of the box and it brings all this in for under $20.
Dimensions: 13.8" (L) x 10.4" (W) x 18.9" (H) | Weight: 1.85 pounds | Material: Plastic | Age recommendation: 3+ years
- No assembly required
- Includes grocery set
- Customers have said the paper grocery items don’t hold up that long
- It’s smaller than some toy grocery carts
With so many options on the market, picking out the right kids’ toy can often feel overwhelming. To make the process a little easier, we combed through shopping cart toys from brands and retailers that we trust to find the best options out there. When selecting the shopping carts we considered several factors, including quality and durability, style, size, material, assembly and extra features. We also made sure to read user reviews to see what real consumers have experienced when bringing these products into their homes, and didn’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating. Lastly, to ensure we’re highlighting products that are safe and effective, we looked for approval from the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) and the ASTM International, where applicable.
Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.
Rebecca Mannis, PhD, is the founder of Ivy Prep and a learning specialist in private practice with 35 years of experience teaching children and adults. She holds a PhD in developmental psychology with a specialization in neuroscience and education from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a masters degree in reading, language and learning Disabilities from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.