*Updated October 2021*
On the surface, a toddler ride on fire engine seems like just another toy, but let me show you why one of these is so beneficial for your child’s development.
The ride on fire trucks that I am referring to are not battery operated.
They run on motor skills and imagination!
The skills your child will learn with a toy like this isn’t limited to a fire engine so if you already have a car, truck, taxi, train, etc. the following will still apply!
The 7 Benefits of A Toddler Ride On Fire Engine
Gets Child Active and Moving
These days it is a known fact that children are lacking in physical exercise and outdoor activity.
Some schools have even cut out physical education, stating that it is not a subject that will help a child academically.
This could not be more wrong.
Obesity rates are increasing and there is no proof that by removing physical education children are getting smarter.
It’s a fact that our brains function better when the body is exposed to exercise.
We already know that exercise has benefits for decreasing depression and anxiety while8 increasing productivity!
A ride on toy gets a child moving and these can be used outside.
Improve Fine and Gross Motor Development
While your little one pretends to be a firefighter, they are also strengthening their fine and gross motor skills in a playful way.
Getting on and off (or in and out of) the fire engine requires use of leg muscles as well as coordination so not to fall off.
Fine motor skills are used to manipulate the steering wheel, ring the bell or move the fire hose around!
What child doesn’t want to pretend to be a firefighter at one point or another?
Encourage your child to ride around putting out fires to save the neighborhood.
Perhaps at one house they will need to save someone’s beloved cat.
Maybe at the next house they need to make sure everyone has gotten out safely.
Watch your child pretend to use a ladder to climb into a second story window!
A firefighter should probably wear a mask so they don’t breathe in the smoke.
Now you can brainstorm ways to make a special fire fighter’s mask!
Could it be that the firefighter needs to stop at the grocery store and pick up some food for their co-workers? Why not!
As you can see the imagination and creativity are endless!
Develop Sense of Independence and Confidence
A ride on toy such as a fire truck can be used during solitary play which in itself leads to independence.
It is good for a child to play independently and not need others around telling them what they should do.
Watch as your toddler tries to get onto (or into, if you choose to get a cozy coupe style fire engine) and off of the ride on toy.
Once on it, they will be able to push themselves around with their legs to get from point A to point B.
Riding along on a foot powered fire engine will allow your little one to gain the confidence they need to eventually move to a tricycle or balance bike and then a bicycle!
Build Theme Based Vocabulary
With a ride on fire truck, you and your toddler can practice using many new fire related words.
For example: fire, water, hose, fire engine/truck, hot/cold, wet/dry, ladder, up/down, fast/slow, be careful, danger, burn, smoke, etc.
If multiple children are playing together the kids will have to work together.
The pretend play scenarios can be extended even further if there is more than one child involved.
The kids will be able to practice skills such as turn taking (if there is only one ride on toy that a few children want to use), eye contact, patience, problem solving, etc.
Promote Problem Solving
Whether it be a real problem such as figuring out what to do if the ride on vehicle has been flipped over, or what to do if 2 children want to use it at the same time, or a pretend problem such as the fire truck running out of gas, problem solving is a skill that can be practiced!
Try not to always rush to your child’s aid if a problem arises.
Give them the chance to figure it out own their own first.
But remember, your child’s age and ability will play a role on how you handle helping them solve problems.
Which Toddler Ride On Fire Engine To Choose?
There are many options available and it will most likely come down to your budget.
The Little Tikes Spray and Rescue Fire Truck is a good one! And it even has a pressurized water tank and hose that can spray the water. This makes it wonderful for outdoor play!
This vehicle can hold up to 50lbs.
Some assembly will be required with this one.
The SKYTEAM Action Fire Engine Ride-On is another good option.
This one requires 4 C batteries (not included) to operate the ladder crane and to make the siren and lights work. It also has a hose that can spray water.
There is a control stick that moves the ladder up and down and from side to side.
This fire engine comes fully assembled and is perfect for children up to 75lbs.
Can you see how easy it is to use a toddler ride on fire engine to benefit your child’s development?