Making Your Child’s First Vehicle Memorable

Which parent does not want a memorable first vehicle for their child? Pedal ride on cars are a wonderful choice for the occasion.

Technology is firmly entrenched in the lives of today’s kids. Whether you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing, it’s a fact of modern life. What can you do to bring some valuable balance to your kids’ lives? Get them a classic toy (i.e., something that doesn’t require a charger) that they’ll love. Consider pedal cars, and then purchase one for the special child in your life.

If you're not familiar with kids’ pedal cars, here’s a general description: They’re classic ride-on toys that look like vehicles and are made for kids from about two to five years old. A child sits on the vehicle and then “drives” it by working the pedals with his or her legs. To steer, the child manipulates a steering wheel or other steering device. Ride-on cars for kids come in retro and modern styles, including classic cars, hot rods, fire trucks, airplanes, and even tractors.


Fun and Good for Them

In addition to giving children a break from screen time, ride-on cars provide many health benefits. While your kids are having a fabulous time scooting around the driveway, they’re also getting exercise, developing motor skills, and enjoying the outdoors.

There’s not much better than doing something that’s so much fun you don’t even notice you’re getting a workout at the same time. Ride-on toys for toddlers do just that. Kids need regular exercise to maintain good health. Children who are active have stronger bones and muscles. They sleep better at night. They are less likely to deal with future health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. Exercise is also good for their psyches. Research shows that children who get regular exercise are better able to handle emotional challenges.

Playing with kids’ ride-on toys helps children develop motor skills. They have to work the pedals and learn how their movements affect the motion of the vehicle. At the same time, they need to steer the car. With any luck at all, they get this hang of this quickly and avoid crashing into something or someone. These basic motor skills form the building blocks that help kids develop more complex physical skills as they mature.

Ride-on vehicles are outside toys, and playing outside is good for kids. Unstructured, outdoor play gives children a sense of freedom and an opportunity to use their imaginations in different ways. Being outside in the sunshine boosts vitamin D production. Some research even suggests that being outdoors is good for toddlers’ vision because it allows them to focus their eyes on things that are farther away than what they look at while indoors.



Ride-on cars for kids can present a great opportunity for family bonding. Look for kids’ pedal cars at garage sales, flea markets, or antique shops. Pick one up, bring it home, and restore it as a family. The project will result not only in a fun new toy, but also a pile of laughs and fun family memories.

The first step is to take photos of the car from many different angles. This is important, because the next step is to take the toy apart, and if you ever want to get it put back together correctly, you will want to go back to the photos for help. Plus, it’s always fun to have “before” and “after” pictures of projects like this.

Once you’ve taken the photos, go ahead and disassemble the pedal car. Salvage what you can, and order replacement parts for the rest. Then, remove the paint and rust. If your kids are helping with this part, be sure to keep paint strippers and other chemicals out of reach.

The next step is painting. If you’re serious about the restoration project, you can take the parts somewhere to be professionally powder coated and painted. If your project is more focused on fun, take the kids to the hardware store and let them choose some lively spray paint colors and paint the parts in their own design. They’ll love having a hand in the look of their refurbished toy.

Finally, gather up all of the refinished and replacement parts, and rebuild the pedal car. The finished product is a toy you can feel great about your kids playing with, a completed project that your children will feel proud to have helped with, and oodles of fond family memories. Restoration is a great way of making your child’s first vehicle memorable.



You might as well take the opportunity to see if you can slip in a little history lesson about kids’ pedal cars. Just like having fun while exercising, children can have fun while learning.

Pedal cars were most popular in the United States during the time between World War I and World War II. They were staples in the popular household goods catalogs of the time. Most were made of steel and had rubber tires. The paint jobs were just as detailed and elaborate as they were on adult vehicles. During World War II, many pedal cars were salvaged to help with steel and rubber shortages. Once the war was over, pedal car production resumed and continues today. Kids ride-on toys are still being made from quality materials, and many are designed to match the classic cars of the past.


Buying Tips

Think about your child. Are they ready for a pedal car? Most kids can successfully play with a pedal car by age three, but kids grow at different rates. Consider the size of your child, and select a ride-on toy that corresponds with his or her size. Your kids won’t be able to cruise around the driveway in a pedal car if they can’t reach the pedals.

If you’re interested in buying an old pedal car to restore, there are a couple things to keep in mind. First of all, because some pedal cars are still made with metal and sport retro looks, make sure you don’t get fooled into buying a modern reproduction that’s been weathered to look old. Also make sure that the toy is in at least half-way decent shape. If you have to replace too many parts, the restoration costs will add up quickly.