Full disclosure I used to think (and even squawk out loud) that I didn’t understand the purpose of ride on cars.
“Shouldn’t kids be exercising? Make them pedal for heaven’s sake! Are we raising a generation of lazy kids?!”
I’m here to say that I was wrong and stand corrected. To make amends for my judgey ignorance, I invite any parent to whom I may have spouted off about this, to drive over me with their kids’ ride on vehicle.
My daughter has been asking for one of these forEVER! She’s seen other kids riding them in the park and down our street and she’s been relentless. So this Christmas, look what Santa (aka my friends at Fisher-Price) delivered…
It’s the Dora Jeep Wrangler in all it’s glory. To say my child was thrilled is an understatement. She couldn’t wait to get behind the wheel. However, Canadian winters are cold so we took our fun to our unfinished basement/indoor playground. At first she couldn’t steer. Like, at all. It was comical. I had to redirect her constantly until she started to understand the relationship between the steering wheel and where she wanted to go.
It was like a light bulb went off and she began to figure it out.
That’s when this “toy” became a valuable learning tool. I get it now. For young children and especially kids with special needs, this ride on car is not only fun, it has so many developmental benefits I’d never considered before. Like:
- eye-hand coordination
- motor planning skills
- gross and fine motor skills
- greater independence (being able to ride to the park when pedaling a trike is too far/exhausting)
- problem solving (“How do I get from A to B if there’s something in the way?”)
- sheer joy
Avery has driven her battery operated car EVERY day since Christmas — either inside on cold days (often with her dog in the passenger seat) or at the park, on the drive-way or in a deserted parking lot on warmer days.
Here’s a short video of her mad driving skilz in action
*Note: My girl is a climber! The second part of the video was filmed by her brother without her knowledge (he was hiding in his fort taping her with the iPad). She was supposed to be playing quietly NOT doing, well this…. yikes. Where is the parental supervision?? *hangs head*
Disclosure: I am part of the Fisher-Price Play Ambassador program with Mom Central Canada and I receive special perks as part of my affiliation with this group. The opinions on this blog are my own.