Every child needs to have a tricycle! Often referred to as a trike, tricycles are three-wheeled bikes that your child pedals around. Tricycles are meant for little kids between 2 and 5 years old, so if you have a toddler or a preschooler, you might want to buy the best tricycles for kids.
Having a tricycle is a right of passage for most kids. They’re perfect for kids who haven’t mastered the balance skills needed to ride a bicycle. Riding a tricycle gives your child that same thrill and excitement of riding a bike while still being safe and secure for little kids.
Just like anything else, tricycles aren’t always created equal. There are many different designs and qualities, along with choices for your budget range. We’re going to cover the list of best tricycles for kids and how to make the best selection.
The Difference Between a Tricycle and a Balance Bike
Are you debating either getting your child a tricycle or a balance bike? Here are some differences to help you decide which to purchase.
A balance bike is a small two-wheel bike without pedals. Children scoot around with their feet, and it teaches your child how to balance, scoot, ride, and coast on their own. The idea is that your child will coast around, balancing and enjoying the ride.
Tricycles are slower and have pedals. They have three wheels, and your child doesn’t have to balance the trike. Three wheels allow the trike to balance itself, and your child’s goal is to practice pedaling and having fun.
Why Your Child Needs a Tricycle
Did you have a tricycle growing up? Good chance that you did! Tricycles are a quintessential toy for kids that offer a multitude of benefits for your child’s development and personal growth. Plus, they’re a ton of fun, so kids love them.
Here are some reasons why you should buy your child a tricycle.
Develops Coordination and Balance
Learning how to balance a bicycle takes a lot of work and practice, and the start of that begins when your child pedals a tricycle. He has to understand how to pedal a trike before he can ride a bike.
Trikes encourage coordination and balance development. He learns how to pedal a bike, working both legs in opposite manners. At the same time, trikes support the development of fine motor skills and steering as he navigates around obstacles. These are all essential skills that support your child’s overall development.
It’s Fun for Your Child
Playing on a trike is just plain fun. He can pedal around your driveway or patio. It gets your child outside, enjoying an activity that uses physical activity. All of these are positive things. Your child will have plenty of fun!
Riding a trike encourages independence but in a safe way. As your child grows, he can test his confidence skills. If you use the grow-with-me type tricycles, then the parents will steer, but as your child gets older, your child can navigate their tricycle.
Over time, your child can learn how to pedal faster, steer well, and become more independent. Also, the act of learning how to operate a tricycle is a big deal for your child. It does take time to learn how to pedal and steer, and your child will feel proud and independent!
It’s a Family Activity
Getting your child a tricycle allows toddlers and little kids to feel as if they’re a part of family adventures. If your older kids have bicycles, he won’t feel excluded because he has his own set of wheels to enjoy as well. Giving your child a trike is an introduction to a lifelong love of cycling.
What to Look for in Tricycles for Kids
Companies create dozens of models of tricycles, so you need to pick the right one for you and your family. Here are some considerations.
First, think about the age of your child and when you want to be able to use the trike with your child. If you have a small child, such as an infant, you might want a grow-with-me tricycle that can be used for years and offers several modes.
These models adjust and adapt as your child grows, and most of these tricycles last until your child is around five years old. One thing to consider, though, is that these models are pricier, but they do prevent you from having to purchase another tricycle in the future.
Growing with Your Child
As mentioned above, you might want a tricycle that grows with your child. If your child is three years old, chances are you’ll purchase one that doesn’t adjust as much, but if you have a younger child, it may be wise to buy a trike that grows with your child.
Our child’s safety should also be our top concern. You want to pick a model that as appropriate safety features. Models that can be used for young kids should come with a 3 or 5 point harness seatbelts.
For infants, you want a trike that has higher backs for infant support and safety bars. You don’t want your child to fall off of the trike! Also, pick a model that has a parent-steering feature for smaller infants.
As with anything that you purchase for your child, you want a durable trike. It should be constructed with sturdy materials that won’t break over the years and can withstand the elements. Most of the time, tricycles stay outside in the weather.
Look for stainless steel, air-grade aluminum, and other durable metals. If you purchase a robust model, it means your trike will last longer, and you might be able to use it for more than one child.
The 6 Best Tricycles for Kids
Radio Flyer is the classic brand for tricycles and wagons, so you can trust that any of their products are top-quality. This tricycle combines quality with value, and your child will love it.
The Deluxe Steer and Stroll Tricycle is perfect for beginner riders or parents who want two modes of riding. Your child can steer and pedal the trike themselves, or the parent can steer with a removable steering handle. You get to pick what setting works best for your child, or you can take off the steering handle when your child gains more confidence.
Parents love this “grow-with-me” style of trikes, and Radio Flyer added a seat that makes this work with kids from ages 2 to 5 years old. Something else that parents like is that this tricycle is durable because it’s made from solid steel and durable molded wheels. It’s hard to argue with a brand and tricycle that offers everything you want and need.
|Two Riding Modes|
|Adjusts With Your Child|
Here is another selection for the best tricycles for kids by Radio Flyer. This Stroll ‘N Trike is a 4-in-1 tricycle that grows with your child so that you don’t need to get another trike when he gets bigger.
First, it started with an infant trike that has a 5-point harness. You push the tricycle around, and your child can practice pedaling. Then, the next mode gives your child control over pedaling while you steer with the 5-point harness still.
The third mode gives your child more control, removing the harness, and your child can steer and pedal, but you still have a handle. The fourth mode is independence – he can steer and pedal entirely alone.
Radio Flyer doesn’t disappoint with this tricycle. It offers a sturdy steel frame, a harness for safety, and a high backrest for safety. Don’t forget the large, removable canopy that blocks your child from UV rays and a front tray for your child’s snacks. You can use this trike for kids aged nine months to 5 years old.
|9 Months to 5 Years old|
|Comfort Features Included|
|Heavy – Almost 16lbs|
Everyone recognizes the brand Little Tikes; it’s one of the best-known brands on the market. What makes this stand out is that it’s a 4-in-1 model, so it can grow with your child as he develops.
The Perfect Fit 4-in-1 stands with guided rides using a 5-point seat belt harness. Then, it moves to your child learning to ride without as much support. Your child can learn to pedal the tricycle, but they are unable to steer and turn the wheel.
The third mode removes the waist bar, letting your child steer and pedal while the parent still has control with the push bar. The final and fourth mode is independence. You remove the push bar, and your child can pedal on their own.
If that isn’t enough, Little Tikes added features you’d appreciate. There is a large sun canopy that protects your child from UV rays, along with specialized foot holders that keep your child’s feel safe. It has a protective safety bar that can be removed as your child gets older. Don’t forget the storage basket under the seat for parents to keep their items and a tray in the front for your child’s snacks or toys.
The Perfect Fit works for kids who are aged nine months to 5 years old. That’s an impressive range, and it means you can get a lot of use out of this trike.
|Ages 9 months to 5 Years|
|50lb Weight Limit|
|4 Modes to Follow Child’s Development|
|Heavy – Weighs 16 Pounds|
Want a low rider for your child? The Schwinn Roadster is a stylish trike suited for kids ages 2 to 5 years old, but most parents report that three years old is a better starting age for this one. If your child wants to tear up the road in a heavier, stable, modern tricycle, the Roadster is for you.
Compared to other tricycles on the list, the Schwinn Roadster is heavier. It has a low-rider style with chrome handlebars, fun tassels, a loud bell, and a wood platform on the back of the trike for friends to take a ride. Schwinn added an adjustable sculpted seat that moves forward and backward in five locking positions. That’s perfect for growing legs or different family members to ride this trike.
One thing that parents note is the Roadster is a smoother ride than other trikes, perhaps because it’s not made of plastic. The size and weight make it a better-balanced pick, and it even takes turns fast. Schwinn used a complete steel construction that uses pneumatic tires, supporting a weight of 50lbs. The low center of gravity makes it easy to ride, perfect for young riders.
|Better for Older Kids Not 2-Year-Olds|
Is your little one a motorcycle fan? If so, the Fisher-Price Harley-Davidson Tricycle is bound to be a huge hit. It is a pedal-powered, classic tricycle that has large pedals, making it easy for your child to get around outside.
Fisher-Price used durable tires and a stable wheel that makes this a sturdy, robust pick that can withstand hours and hours of riding and playing. They added grip materials to the handlebars to make it more comfortable to ride and hold onto the handles.
This tricycle is perfect for kids aged 2 to 5 years old. Kids at these ages tend to abuse their toys, playing hard, and Fisher-Price created this model from steel. So, you don’t need to worry that your child will break the trike, but it also won’t break the budget. It’s a reasonable price for a model so well-made!
|Children Aged 2-5 Years Old|
|Might Be Too Big for Some 2-Year-Olds|
Our last pick for the best tricycles for kids is the Radio Flyer Deluxe Big Flyer. We already know that we love Radio Flyer, and this one differs from our other picks because it’s a big-wheel-style. It has a durable, rubberized, sizeable front wheel with steel-reinforced steering construction. Think of this like a chopper-style tricycle.
Radio Flyer added an adjustable seat that grows with your child and chrome handlebars for a sleek look. It offers a 65lbs weight limit. Your child will zip your neighborhood on this little tricycle. It can be used for kids from 3 years old to 5 years old.
|Low Center of Gravity|
|Large Front Wheel|
|Better for Kids 3 Years Old and Up|
Common FAQ about Tricycles for Kids
When Can My Child Ride a Tricycle?
Typically, the average age to introduce a tricycle to your child is from the age of 2-years-old and up towards the age of 5-years-old. There are models that can be used with infants that include harness and security bars.
Little kids should always be supervised by an adult when riding around. Even though they can ride a trike, that doesn’t mean he is a big kid! He needs to be monitored.
What Safety Measures Should I Take?
Always make sure that your child is wearing a helmet when riding around. That is the single most crucial piece of safety gear for your child. You also can use elbow and knee pads to keep your child safe and cut-free.
Every child needs a tricycle, so if your child doesn’t have one, it’s the perfect birthday, Easter, or Christmas gift. Riding a tricycle helps your child develop gross and fine motor skills, coordination, and balance skills. At the same time, he’s having a great time, so consider buying one of the best tricycles for kids. It’s worth it.