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5 Best Tricycles for Toddlers Ages 2 to 5 2016

Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Trike
Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Trike

If you have a toddler or young child, a tricycle is one of the best to ways you can invest in to encourage physical activity.

Too many children in our society are learning inactivity by watching television and playing on smart devices.

I have a three year old that loves playing with her tricycle all the time. Our yard is not big enough for a lot of outdoor play equipment, and we don't have a park nearby.

The tricycle gives her the opportunity to ride around with the big kids and get some fresh air and sunshine, as well as exercise.

Radio Flyer Classic Tiny Trike
Radio Flyer Classic Tiny Trike

How much would you spend on a trike?

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What should you look for in a quality trike?

Some of the key features to any tricycle you purchase include the materials it's made with, seat and handle design for comfort, and versatility.

Tricycles are not as straightforward in type as you might think.

There are low riders, classic traditional tricycles, those made of metal vs. those made of plastic, and even those that come with more bells and whistles to cater to a beginner on a tricycle.

What type of material is best?

Tricycles come with mostly steel construction, or plastic. You can find some that are made with wood materials. Even though steel can have a tendency to rust if left outdoors, I prefer the durability over plastic.

Plastic can also be fairly durable but over time as it is exposed to the sun, it can crack and fade. Plus, plastic is much lighter weight. While good for your child in terms of moving it around, it is more subject to tipping and not driving as well.

Finding the Right Comfort in a Seat

Some tricycles come with a triangular seat which is pretty basic, others add a little bit of a backrest which I think is more comfortable for children overall. Then there are some that come with seats positioned like a regular bicycle would be, or those that sit lower to the ground.

How Long Does a Typical Tricycle Last?

Manufacturers are making tricycles that are easier to adjust for growing children. Regardless, your child will likely be done with their tricycle once they begin to ride a bike. For my kids, this was around five to six years of age.

The 5 Best Budget Toddler Tricycles 2016

Looking for the perfect trike for your toddler? Here are five picks from various price points that are sturdy, safe, and a lot of fun!

Trikes Under $100

Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Trike Review

Instead of letting your toddler play on your smart device, let them ride around on this "smart" tricycle.

The Radio Flyer 4-in-1 Trike in Red is a great purchase for a beginning rider, and this is the product we are investing in this Christmas.

Having a Push Bar Will Be Convenient

To help support learning, this tricycle comes with handles that you can use to push while you behind it as your child learns how to pedal, it also features a backrest with safety straps and a canopy to help shade your child.

The tray around the seat helps kids feel more secure and can be removed if not wanted. As they learn, the seat can also be adapted for a more independent rider.

I like this product over any of the others for a first purchase because it will be an investment that will last through different developmental stages.

Granted, if you have a child who is closer to four or five years old they might do well with some of the others we have listed here.

A Good Trike for Small Kids Ages 1 to 3

Radio Flyer Classic Tiny Trike

For even younger children, ages 1 to 3 years old, this Radio Flyer Classic Tiny Trike will get them used to the idea of sitting on a tricycle.

Functions Great like a Balance Bike

It gives them the chance to get the feel of it without worrying about pedals. There is a place in the front for them to rest their feet but this is a push along type of tricycle.

I like that it is made its of solid wood yet it features chrome handlebars for more durability. This is a much more simple design than the 4-in-1 Radio Flyer we discussed, but is cheaper and it can even be used indoors.

A Cute Pink Tricycle for Little Girls Ages 2 to 5

3. Girls Classic Pink Dual Deck Tricycle

Speaking of Radio Flyer, this Girls Classic Pink Dual Deck Tricycle comes in a very vintage look with chrome handle bars, a bell and two steps in the back.

Though the seat sits high, the tricycle is very sturdy. It comes with a ringing chrome bell and has a controlled turning radius for additional safety.

Although this model is discontinued by Radio Flyer, it's still readily available. They also have a pink plastic version of this trike that they continue to make. I prefer this classic model.

Schwinn Roadster 12” Tricycle

If you’re interested in a low riding tricycle, consider the Schwinn Roadster 12” Tricycle. Since the seat sits so low, you have a very stable center of gravity to help avoid tipping.

It also comes with a bell. The backrest on the seat seems to keep a more upright seating position than laid back one which is not so good for posture.

Additional features include a low center of gravity for safety, chrome handlebars, steel construction, and a real wood deck and burned-in logo from Schwinn.

A Tough and Durable Tricycle for Young Kids

Fisher-Price Tough Trike

Okay, so let’s say you want something inexpensive that won’t put you out a lot of cash if it takes a beating and suffers for it.

This Fisher-Price Tough Trike is very affordable and is the most common tricycle I see in my neighborhood. Kids love the storage compartment under the seat.

Keep in mind that this tricycle is made of plastic, as are the wheels. I have often found that these types of trikes can struggle with traction on some surfaces, or if a child tries to pedal too fast.

The manufacturer states that this can be for children 24 months to 6 years. However, most parents agree that because of the size, it is best for a 4-5 year old.

My Final Recommendation!

Overall, I recommend a Radio Flyer since they not only have a great reputation as a company, but their tricycles are made to be more durable and seem to come with more features than many others on the market.

Fisher-Price Thomas the Train Tough Trike
Fisher-Price Thomas the Train Tough Trike

Shopping Tips for Good Tricycles

If you'd like the safest tricycle for your child choose one has a very low center of gravity and a recumbent position for kids that may struggle and need more help with balance.

Size is also an issue. If a child's feet can comfortably reach both pedals fully extended, as well as reaching the ground, it is a good fit. A good tricycle should be easy to get on and off and that also does not wobble.

If you find a tricycle with a bit of extras, your child might be more inclined to ride it more frequently. This might include a bell or a horn on the handlebars, as well as a basket or other storage compartment to carry toys.

© 2014 Lexi Belliston

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