However, as I’ve also mentioned before, Great Grandma gifted Mac with a ride-along toy truck for Christmas. And while it is a larger item and it is plastic, we’re positively smitten with the thing. Here’s why:
1. It’s not that large. It honestly doesn’t take up much space at all. I probably only trip over it 2 dozen times a day – and usually only while the kid is on it!
2. It’s Multi-functional. It’s kinda’ like having three toys in one. The dump truck bucket portion folds back and secures via sturdy, easy to use clips revealing a seat should the child want to straddle and ride it. When the dump truck bucket is upright, the child can load and unload items. Also, the steering attachment pulls up and out making it possible for the child to easily pull or push the toy (similar to a wagon) once they are walking with confidence.
3. It’s sturdy but light-weight. So it’s easy for the kid to maneuver and doesn’t ding up your wood work or drywall but it seems to be able to take a respectable beating. He’s ramming it into the refrigerator as I type.
4. It makes three different sounds. They actually aren’t that annoying. Really. I swear! But you can always remove (or never install — mah-hahaha) the batteries if you find them obnoxious.
5. It’s really user-friendly. After about three days, Mac figured out how ride the toy backwards, forwards, and turn it around unassisted.
6. Speaking of turning, the design is pretty slick. The two center wheels are slightly larger than the front and back sets making it very easy for small children to pivot the toy.
7. Its versatility and sturdiness speaks to use longevity. Because the toy offers so many variations in the way it can be used, I can see Mac enjoying this toy just as much at 18 months as he does now at 11 months.
8. It makes the kid TIRED. All that racing through the house can wear a little fellow out! Do I really need to elaborate on this point?
9. It’s not that expensive. I think it cost about $35.
10. Developmental Aid? It could be purely coincidence but after a day’s use, we watched Mac pull himself fully upright for the first time. While I’m sure it’s not perfect as far as developmental/educational toys are concerned, I do notice he has an increased sense of balance while fully upright and is much more enthused about standing after using this toy for a few weeks.
A few caveats?
1. Some assembly is required. And from the get go my non-instruction-reading-Husband did something that required a screw driver or allen wrench to remedy. But over-all the assembly was accomplished with zero cursing. It took maybe 20 minutes?
2. Outdoor use. I have no idea how this thing would hold up if kept outside or was used exclusively outside. The wheels are hard plastic. They aren’t rubber. So it seems if it’s used on uneven concrete or pavement, there’s the possibility the wheels will crack. Also, I would imagine using on an uneven surface is kinda’ dangerous – possibly the kid could tumble over the front of the toy if it comes to an abrupt halt.
As always, we are not compensated in any way for our Stuff We Love posts. These opinions are ours alone. Your results may vary. Of course, common sense caution should be used with any product designed for children.