The Best Pull Toys for Early Walkers
Keeping busy tots occupied can be a task and a half, but that doesn’t mean you need a toy with all the bells and whistles. Classic playthings—like a pull-along toy—can be great for toddler development and are entertaining to boot.
These childhood staples are often lumped together with push toys, but they actually require very different skill sets. While a push toy is great for toddlers gearing up to take their first steps, a pull-toy is a more advanced plaything for children who no longer need as much practice standing upright or stepping forwards. Toddlers move onto a pull toy once they have plenty of experience pushing things along and are walking independently. And while every child moves at their own pace, kids usually begin to take an interest in pull toys sometime between 15 and 18 months.
Is your little one ready to roll? Keep reading to discover the developmental benefits of pull-along playthings—plus our picks of the best pull toys for toddlers.
Pull toys may be simple, but they offer a host of developmental benefits. Read on to discover a few of the main advantages they offer below:
- Strengthens gross motor skills. As your child pulls a toy along they engage many different muscle groups—hand muscles to grasp the string, arm muscles to pull it and legs to balance and walk forwards. Anything that helps a wobbly tot master gross motor skills is a winner in our book.
- Helps with hand-eye coordination. As well as using physical skills your child needs to employ cognitive skills—like hand-eye coordination—while playing with a pull-toy.
- Demonstrates cause and effect. Pull toys offer a quick lesson in cause and effect: If your child wants their toy to follow along behind them, they’ll need to pull the string.
Heave-ho away we go! From wooden toys with a string to pull-along wagons, here are a few of the best pull toys for toddlers.
Best wooden pull toy
Looking for wooden pull toys? Check out this classic pull-along pup by Lovevery. Made of sustainably harvested wood, this pull toy is perfectly sized for toddlers. Chunky wheels are ready to roll over any surface and a long string makes it easy to pull along. Plus, little hands can make the ears and tail stand up and stay up!
Age range: 18 months + | Dimensions: 9.5" (L) x 3.0" (W) x 7.1" (H) | Weight: 1.2 lbs.
Best pull toy for young toddlers
Suitable for children 12 months and up, this wooden pull toy has us hopping with joy. It weighs less than a pound and has four large wheels, so it’s easy for young kids to handle. As your little one pulls the frog along, its mouth opens and closes. Why not use this as a language opportunity by making your best “ribbit” noise and explaining how frogs catch flies?
Age range: 12 months + | Dimensions: 4.7" (L) x 3.8" (W) x 3.3" (H) | Weight: 7.1 oz.
Best classic pull toy
How about a walk-and-talk telephone for your little multitasker? This iconic pull toy by Fisher-Price has sound effects, a spinning dial and a friendly face with eyes that move up and down as you pull it along. Early walkers can sit and make pretend phone calls, while older tots can pull it along behind them while they natter away.
Age range: 12 months + | Dimensions: 7.17" (L) x 5.91" (W) x 8.07" (H) | Weight: 1.16 lbs.
Best interactive pull toy
Little kids can take this dog for a walk or sit down and enjoy the interactive features. Three colorful buttons on the side play sounds, fun phrases and cute puppy sounds. Then, when pulled along, the puppy legs move in time to a playful tune and the nose lights up.
Age range: 6 to 36 months | Dimensions: 5.5" (L) x 11.75" (W) x 11" (H) | Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Best pull toy for seated play
This wooden pull toy is great for kids that are still finding their feet or have mobility issues. Crafted from sustainable wood, two small horses are attached to a short pull cord with a handle, meaning this toy is perfect for seated play. Watch as your little one takes the reins and makes the horses gallop across the floor.
Age range: 18 months + | Dimensions: 4.75" (L) x 5.5" (W) x 3.5" (H) | Weight: 1 lb
Best plush pull toy
How sweet is this plush pull toy by Wonder & Wise? A mama and baby elephant sit atop a wooden train attached to a child-friendly pull-cord. Once your kid has reached their desired destination, the stuffed animals can be detached for independent play.
Age range: 18 months + | Dimensions: 13.4" (L) x 4.3" (W) x 7.5" (H) | Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Best pull-along-wagon toy
Last up on our list of the best pull toys is this classic kids’ wagon. With chunky tires and a low-set bed, this toy wagon is ideal for toddlers that like to haul their prized possessions (think: a plushie and their favorite lovey) from point A to B. It’s made from recycled BPA-free plastic and the soft cotton rope has a handle that’s easy for little kids to grasp.
Age range: 18 months + | Dimensions: 12" (L) x 9.5" (W) x 5.5" (H) | Weight: 1.6 lbs.
We get it—there’s a surplus of toys on the market, making it difficult to determine which playthings are the best fit for your family. To streamline your decision-making process, our goal is to do the bulk of the research for you, so you don’t have to spend hours scrolling through online retailers. We do this by considering a list of criteria when sourcing products, including its developmental benefits, durability, value and, last but definitely not least, safety. This way you can count on getting the best bang for your buck, while also having a dependable toy that’ll meet your child’s developmental needs.
To decide which pull toys are the best options on the market, we leverage our familiarity with leading toy brands to make sure items are from reliable manufacturers. We read user reviews to get the lowdown on how these products work for kids, and typically don’t consider anything with less than an average four-star rating. And since many of us are also parents, we rely on our writers’ and editors’ experience using items with their own families.
Interested in learning more about our editorial process? Read about how our team develops and reviews all articles here.
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