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Get Rolling: Ride-On Toy Games That Encourage Child Development

Ride-on vehicles and power wheels are amazing toys -- just ask our 3 and 6 year old. The best part? Your kids won't even know they are learning as they play. We were shocked when one day we saw our then-5-year-old effortlessly backing up his ride on car and attempting parallel parks. When we asked him how he learned he simply shrugged and told us that he was pretending to be a grown-up, parking his vehicle before going to work. (We pondered amusedly if we should tell him being a grown up really isn't as fun as it looks!)  Ride-on vehicles help to develop kids' spatial awareness and coordination skills, and keeps them entertained for hours on end, which means less screen time! Hooray! Driving in itself is effortlessly educational for kids, but did you know there are some amazing games you can introduce to your child to further enhance their learning and fun? 

Read on for some fantastic ideas! 

Follow the Leader: This one is a classic! One child gets to be the leader, driving the vehicle in different directions, while the other child follows along. You can make it more challenging by adding obstacles or changing the speed of the vehicle. Whilst playing, kids challenge their listening, coordination, and cooperation skills. 

Obstacle Course: Set up an obstacle course in your backyard or driveway using cones, ramps, or just any old thing you have on hand. Your kiddos can navigate the course you made, which helps develop spatial awareness and problem-solving skills.

Simon Says: Simon Says is hands down THE BEST game to teach your brand-new drivers. I used to stand in front of my kids and say "Simon says, GO!", "Simon says, STOP!", "Simon says, turn left!", "Simon says, turn your car off", etc. Our kids delighted in this game and would ask us to play it time after time. Simon Says develops listening and coordination skills, and it makes teaching the basics of driving really fun for everyone! 

Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt: This takes a little prep, but it is so fun and memorable. We usually make a list of things to find in our neighborhood that are pre-existing, and we get to cross it off as we find them! 

Red Light, Green Light: This game can be played by you with your child, or with two older children. One kid gets to be the traffic light and gives commands for the other child who is driving the ride-on car to follow. When the child playing the traffic light says "green light," the other child gets to drive their ride-on vehicle forward. When the child playing the traffic light says "red light," the other child must stop. Yellow light means to go slow. This is another great listening and coordination skills game!

Race Car Driver: This is a great game for imaginative children. You can encourage your child to pretend they are a race car driver, driving their ride-on car on a racetrack. These types of games exercise the imaginations of little ones. 

Parades: We have found little things around our house, or we have gone to our local reuse center to get special things to decorate our ride on car with (think bows, streamers, flags, signs, and anything flashy). Then we take our little ones out on a "parade". The joy on their faces when they pass our neighbors on their evening walk is priceless! This is another great way to exercise creativity! In conclusion, ride-on cars, trucks, motorcycles, and ATVs aren't just toys! They are secretly educational tools, that give kids life-long skills and muscle memories, supporting their development on many fronts. Whether you just let your children free-play in their ride-on vehicles, or set up more structured fun for them, your kids will surely harness new skills and build confidence that will positively impact their development.  

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