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The Best Push Toys for Little Walkers

Support your little one’s first steps with a classic push toy.
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profile picture of Martina Garvey
Associate E-Commerce Editor
Published
January 6, 2023
best push toys for toddlers
Image: Melissa & Doug, Amazon, Target | The Bump
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Baby’s on the move—hooray! Once your little one has mastered the skill of standing, they’ll most likely start to cruise (typically between 9 and 12 months). This involves holding onto something—like the couch or coffee table—as they take a few teetering steps. This milestone can be exciting and anxiety-inducing. One way you can help support baby’s new-found mobility? Invest in push toys that help them stand independently and work towards those first solo steps. Not to be confused with a seated baby walker, this safer alternative is an upright toy that baby holds onto and pushes forward. Of course, every child moves at their own pace so don’t invest in a push toy before your little one is ready to roll. Read on to learn more about push toys—plus, find our favorite options on the market right now.

What to Look for in a Push Toy

The best push toys are age-appropriate, engaging and reliably safe. Always supervise baby while they play with a push toy, as items with wheels increase the risk of falls. Aside from this, here are the main considerations to keep in mind when shopping for a push toy.

  • Age-appropriate: While a push toy is a helpful tool for kids learning to walk, if it’s too advanced for their developmental stage they may get frustrated and avoid playing with it. Always read the manufacturer guidelines to ensure that the toy is suitable for your child’s age.

  • Quality construction: Opt for a toy that is sturdy and well made. Push toys should have a handle or bar that baby can hold onto and a weighted base to prevent it tipping over during playtime. If it has movable parts, make sure that they are securely attached and larger than your child’s mouth to reduce the risk of choking.

  • Height: If the handlebar is too high, baby won’t be able to get a good grip on it. Check out the height and width to make sure it’s the right size before making a purchase.

  • Wheels: Look for push toys with easy-to-roll wheels, especially if you have carpet. If you’re worried about your little one picking up speed, opt for a push toy with brakes.

The Best Push Toys for Toddlers

Ready to start your search for the best push toys? From sturdy wooden activity centers to classic toys you may have played with as a child, here are a few of the best push toys for toddlers.

Best wooden push toy

Melissa & Doug First Play Chomp & Clack Alligator Push Toy
Image: Melissa & Doug

Get playtime rolling with this colorful push toy by Melissa & Doug. With every step your little one takes, three friendly alligators chomp and clack with encouragement. It has a sturdy handle, non-skid wheels, plus three wooden buggy beads to grasp and spin.
Age: 12 months +

What We Love
  • Non-skid wheels roll forward and backward
  • Clacking noise adds another layer of sensory stimulation
Things To Consider
  • Assembly required

Best multi-use push toy

Small Foot Whale Baby Walker
Image: Nordstrom

The best push toys can be used in a variety of ways—and this pick by Small Foot offers boatloads of play opportunities. The wooden walker boasts a chalkboard, shape sorter, toy cubby and compass, so your little mariner will never lose their way. Better yet, rubber wheels glide quietly over wooden floors and a built-in brake system keeps tots moving at the right pace.
Age: 18 months +

What We Love
  • Built-in brake system
  • Made from FSC-certified wood
  • Multiple ways to play
Things To Consider
  • Assembly required
  • Handlebar is 17″ in height

Best convertible push toy

SkipHop Explore & More Grow Along 4-In-1 Activity Walker
Image: SkipHop

How about a convertible push toy that grows with baby? This option by Skip Hop can be used as a seated activity toy for infants, a walker for tots and as a shopping cart or play stroller for older children. It also boasts over 40 play features, including songs, sounds, lights and more. The best part? A speed control switch helps early walkers gain confidence as they take those first supported steps in cruiser mode.
Age: 6 months to 4 years

What We Love
  • Adapts to baby’s age and stage
  • Built in toy-panel and interactive elements
  • Non-skid rear wheels and speed control switch
Things To Consider
  • Requires AA batteries

Best push toy for pretend play

Little Tikes Gas 'n Go Mower
Image: Amazon

Little kids love to mimic their parents, which is why toys that encourage imaginative play are always a sure-fire hit. This push toy lawnmower lets little gardeners get on with their chores, all while learning how to walk independently. It has lots of fun features like a removable gas can, clicking keys, a movable throttle and even a pull cord that makes engine sounds.
Age: 18 months to 4 years

What We Love
  • Sound effects and interactive elements
  • Encourages pretend play
  • Affordable price point
Things To Consider
  • Assembly required
  • Handlebar is 20.5″ in height

Best push toy with blocks

Tender Leaf Toys Wagon with Blocks
Image: The Tot
Buying Options
The Tot | $89.99

A push toy with blocks is a classic combo. And this wooden option by Tender Leaf Toys doesn't disappoint. Made from sustainable materials, the walker comes with 29 garden-themed building blocks for open-ended play. Plus, the wide handlebar is sturdy enough for little ones to lean on.
Age: 18 months+

What We Love
  • Simple design
  • Sturdy construction
  • Made using renewable rubber wood and non-toxic paints
Things To Consider
  • Assembly required

Best activity push toy

Wonder & Wise by Asweets Baby Walker
Image: Maisonette

Whether baby is sitting, standing or cruising, this push toy is a great fit for them. How? It’s designed with different activities to suit every stage of development: babies can sit and play with the shape-sorter, while older tots check out the bead maze and early walkers can push the toy along and enjoy the sound of the rolling beads.
Age: 9 months+

What We Love
  • Sturdy wooden construction
  • Offers multiple ways to play
Things To Consider
  • Assembly required

Best classic push toy

Fisher-Price Corn Popper Baby Push Toy
Image: Target

Here’s a blast from the past: The Fisher-Price Corn Popper. This beloved toy is back and better than ever. Sporting a sleek new design, this push toy contains brightly colored balls that excitedly pop around inside the clear dome as baby pushes it along. It’s a great way to exercise those motor skills, but be sure to keep a close eye on them as this toy doesn’t offer much stability to tots that’re still finding their feet.
Age: 12 months to 18 months

What We Love
  • Ball-popping sounds and action
  • Affordable price point
Things To Consider
  • Toy doesn’t offer much support to early walkers
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