For parents with toddlers, the seemingly simple task of finding the right toy for your toddler could be very overwhelming. What is it that I want my toddler to do at this point? You think of something fun, where he will learn something, where he could grow more independently and yes, you think of a wagon. But it is just a box with a handle and wheels. As their structure is almost the same, how will you distinguish which is the best wagon for toddlers, particularly, your child?
A wagon is a four-wheeled rectangular vehicle usually drawn by farm animals as horses or cows. The vehicle is used to transport supplies and agricultural products and sometimes even people. Depending on the load, these are drawn by two or four farm animals.
History of the Toy Wagon
The earliest reference to the toy wagons may be the toy carts used by the ancient cultures of the Mayans and the Aztecs. Toy wagons were already in existence in the late 19th century. It was made of wood and painted red. In 1923, an ambitious man named Antonio Pasin made and introduced these toy wagons in the United States. He made a lot of these in his workshop in Chicago, and he eventually founded the Radio Flyer. The wagons got recognition in 1933 during the Chicago World Fair.
The Toy Wagons of Today
The design of the toy wagon since 1900’s did not change much until the present day. The only difference would be the number of bolts that were used to control steering better. Now wagons are made of wood, plastic, polyethylene, aluminum or steel. Although exterior paint is used for toy wagons, over time, steel is still susceptible to rusting. The wagon handle may vary from a T-shaped or one with a D-shaped or circular handle.
Benefits of Getting Your Child a Toy Wagon
A toy wagon is a helpful tool for toddlers most especially when he is just starting to walk. The handle of the wagon will act as a support for him to hold on to while he pushes his toy forward. He may fall, but he will be confident to maneuver the toy on his own and enjoy playing with his wagon.
Little children have a keen eye for the things that adults do. Thus, to encourage further us of the wagon, you can let him observe you filling and unloading one with supplies. On his part, you may provide him building blocks which he could fill his wagon with to transfer this to a designated place in his play area. By doing this, he can practice coordinated movements and avoid falling as he picks and puts down the blocks. He also strengthens his arm muscles as he does this.
Finding Best Wagons for Your Toddler
So now, the task of finding which wagon would best suit your toddlers need is at hand. Following is a summary of the features of 5 of the best-rated wagons for toddlers. Some of the wagons have been made to showcase new features which the manufacturers think may pick the interest of your child. See and decide for yourself.
HABA Walker Wagon – Starter Wooden Push Toy with Seat and Storage
This wood wagon is made of beechwood and plywood and painted with non-toxic stain. Although the wagon aids the toddler as he takes his first few steps, this doubles up like a doll stroller. Kids would, therefore, be able to enjoy and play while working on strengthening his leg muscles.
Dimensions: 13″ x 20″ x 19.5″. Perfect for kids 10 months to three years.
Very simply made: toddler will not be confused as to how this will be operated as there are no confusing bells and whistles attached.
The weight works well for the wagon as toddlers have the tendency to run which may make them susceptible to falls. Because of the toy’s weight, there is no probability that it will slide, so that the child will be fall free.
The silicone wheel treads enable the wagon to be used indoors and outdoors without slipping. There is no noise made by the wheels too, considering these are made of wood.
The ability to adjust the brakes make it a very versatile toy such that this wagon may be used by those starting to walk and enjoyed as well by the bigger kids.
Because of the heavy weight, it will be a bit hard for a toddler to steer the wagon at the start.
Brakes should be adjusted accordingly: make sure that the brakes applied when in use for toddlers should be such that the wagon will not be easily pushed.
This toy is the perfect steel red wagon with 10-inch steel wheels and rubber tires. The wagon has no scratch edges. It has a long handle which you can fold underneath for easy storage. The turning radius is controlled so that the wagon won’t tip over.
Dimensions: 37.4” x 5.2” x 17.6” .
Suitable for use by toddlers 1 ½ to 3 years.
Very sturdily made and will last for many years. Most purchasers attested to this.
The wagon is very easily steered.
Manufacturer recommended age is 18 months to three years but most buyers have bought it for themselves for use around the house.
Except for some cases of bent wheels either because of rough use by kids or bad packaging, the product held on for years. The older models had plastic wheels which the company changed to the present steel wheels. Spare parts are available to those who need them, but very few buyers found a need for one.
This wagon is a 14-piece plastic toy trolley complete with gardening items as flower pots, a pail, a spray water bottle, and gardening tools as a pick, a spade, a clipper, a hoe and three rakes. Ideal for outdoor as well as indoor play.
The wagon is lightweight (2.0 lbs.) and stands at 7.5″.
Wagon Dimensions: 14″(L) x 9.75″(W) x 3.75″(H).
The wagon can easily be pulled anywhere.
Tools are lightweight and can easily be carried around by toddlers
Watering can and water spray are functional.
Pots have drainage holes so it may hold real live plants.
The variety of utensils included in the wagon set captures interest of toddlers enabling him to play with it for hours on end.
Can be used with sand or potting soil.
Since this is intended for toddlers, utensils may not be sturdy enough to handle ground soil.
This wagon is made of sturdy plastic with rubber wheels so that it does not produce noise. It has two seats with seatbelts and 4 cup holders. The seats can be folded so that it can be transformed into a flatbed and may be used for hauling things. A canopy can be bought separately to protect the children from the sun.
The wagon can be operated by 1 1/2 to 5-year old kids.
Dimensions: 24.9″ (W) x 57.8″ (D) x 33.1″ (H)
It is foldable so that you won’t have a problem with storage.
There is a little assembly (if putting tires can be called that ) if at all.
The wagon can be unfolded fast and used in no time.
The wagon can be steered easily. It can be used for a different number of ways: as a pull toy, as a better alternative to strollers (can accommodate two kids up to age 5), as a play area, or even a make-believe motor home..
Cleaning is no problem as well as you just have to spray using a water hose and let the wagon air dry.
Would have wished that the toy was a bit bigger to allow the toddler to sleep.
The handle of the wagon locking mechanism could have been built better.Folding the wagon should be a bit easier: scratches often occur due to inability to easily fold it.
When transformed into a flatbed, the toy can only hold as much as overloading it can lead to sliding of the load off the wagon most especially on an incline. It would have been better if the lip on the wagon were a bit bigger to hold stuff.
This plastic toy combines the fun of classic wagon play, and construction fun as your toddler pushes the toy to collect the blocks along his way. The toy comes with 20 brightly colored blocks which he can either pick by pressing against his wagon or construct just about anything he can think of.
For added fun, you can purchase additional blocks (Mega Blocks). Let your child build his creation, either on the floor or the wagon handled (when folded).
Toy us suitable for kids aged 1 to 5 years.
Dimensions: 18” (L) x 12” (W)x 12.8” (H) inches
Enhances motor skills as the child push and pulls on the wagon either to pick up the blocks or to haul them to his play area.
Encourages creativity as the toddler builds structures based on his imagination.
The plastic used is thick and sturdy but lightweight enough so that parent would not have to worry about kids being injured because of the wagon’s weight.
The wagon’s handle is beautifully structured so that the toddler will enjoy pulling on the blue arched handle which he can even fold up and use as a base for his construction.
Blocks are not scooped up as effortlessly if the blocks are clumped together.
Scooper only works with Mega Blocks.
Few blocks may work with toddlers of two years but children a little bit older may find more use with more blocks for constructing.
Which Turned Out to Be the Best Wagon for Toddlers?
When it really comes down to choosing a toy for a toddler, several factors had to be put in mind: the ability to answer a need, safety and operability. It is because of this that hands-down, the HABA Walker Wagon would prove to be the best choice for a toddler wagon. It is weighty and well-built so that parents would not have to worry about it tipping over. It is provided with adjustable brakes which make it perfect for toddlers as well as growing kids.
The toy is treated with a non-toxic water-based stain. Most importantly, the structure exactly fits the need of a toddler just starting to walk: a toy that will reinforce his walking skills while at the same time providing him with basic play necessities: a double-up stroller for dolls and a receptacle located at the back seat for his other toys.
The Radio Flyer Classic Red Wagon would come in second because of its sturdy structure. It would be a great wagon for kids to be in while their parent tow. However, play-wise, the Radio Flyer would be more for bigger kids as the wagon is more known for its practical uses and bigger kids would just enjoy trying to race this wagon more than anything else.
Because of its sturdiness, the Radio Flyer has become more of a multi-purpose equipment for adults which they use for their daily household chores.