Pull along toys for toddlers and preschoolers have been a part of childhood for many years. Along with being a wonderful toy that creates some great childhood memories, there are many benefits of pull along toys for young children.
If you’re like most parents and grandparents, you probably have some fond memories of the pull along toys that were part of your childhood.
From the colorful painted wooden mother duck and three ducklings to that cute little wooden horse on wheels, pull along toys were, and continue to be, a favorite childhood toy.
When you watch younger kids pulling their toy around by the string or you see older kids happily fill their wagon with toys and pull it around, there’s no doubt that kids love pull along toys of all types.
Here we’re going to discuss the types of pull along toys and some of the benefits your child can get from playing with pull along toys.
Types of Pull Along Toys
Basically, there are two types of pull along toys.
The first type is the small wooden or plastic ones that normally have wheels and a string. Younger kids love pulling this type around by the string.
The second type of pull along toy is for older kids and consists of toys such as wagons and sleds.
Benefits of Small Pull Along Toys
Many parents give their child a pull along toy even before the child is standing or walking on their own.
At this stage, kids love just pulling the toy around and it’s a great way to encourage them to develop their own physical abilities.
Here are some of the other benefits kids get from pull along toys at this age:
Helps Develop Fine Motor Skills: When young kids pick up the string of a pull along toy, grasping and pinching the string helps them develop their fine motor skills.
The thinner the string, the more your child will be working the muscles that control those fine motor movements.
Cause and Effect: Pull along toys quickly teach kids a lesson in cause and effect. It doesn’t take a young child long to learn that if they pull on the string they can bring the toy close to them.
While young children may not be able to verbalize what is occurring, their growing intelligence allows them to retain the information. So when they’re presented with another pull along toy, they’ll know to pull on the string to bring the toy closer.
Exploration: Young children often use toys in more ways than the intended purpose and this is a good thing because it allows kids to explore their world in ways that are comfortable to them.
Sometimes your child might like to hold onto the pull along toy and run the wheels back and forth or swing the toy by its string. Other times they might enjoy banging it on the floor and may even attempt to throw it.
Each new way they try using the toy will teach your child something about the world around them.
Benefits of Pull Along Toys for Toddlers
Kids that are pulling themselves up to furniture and beginning to take their first steps can receive the following benefits from pull along toys:
Encourages them to Walk: Pull along toys encourage children to walk, simply because they want to make the pull along toy follow them. And it’s always extra fun for kids if the toy makes fun noises as it moves.
In the beginning, toddlers may be unsteady on their feet and may have difficulty playing with pull along toys. They’ll try to watch the toy behind them walk at the same time, which can result in stumbling and even tripping.
But as kids get steadier on their feet they will be able to pull the toy without continually watching it.
Imaginative Play: Many pull along toys are cute animals, and some kids may treat the toy as their first pet.
It’s not unusual for toddlers or preschoolers to pretend to walk the toy animals, to cuddle them, and even pretend to feed them.
This not only helps your child develop their creativity, but also helps them to model the responsibility they see older siblings and adults take on when caring for a pet.
Benefits of Pull Along Toys for Preschoolers
Wagons, sleds, and other toys that preschoolers play with can provide kids with some awesome benefits. These benefits include:
Learning How to Get Objects to Work for them: One of the benefits that young children gain from pull along toys such as wagons is that they learn that these items can be “tools” that can work for them.
Kids can load a variety of toys into a wagon to take to the sand box to play with.
They quickly learn that the wagon will carry more toys than they can carry in their arms and that, by using the wagon, they can make one trip instead of two or three.
One Toy, Multiple Uses: Pull along toys such as wagons teach preschool age kids that some objects can have multiple uses.
They learn that these toys can be used to do things such as haul objects or ride on.
Kids love sledding down a hill or being pulled in a wagon by someone. And lots of preschool age kids love to be the one pulling a sibling or pet in the wagon.
Preschoolers may also use wagons for “work” such as picking up sticks from the yard or carrying plants to the garden for parents to plant.
What You Should Know About Pull Along Toys
While pull along toys can be a wonderful part of childhood, for safety reasons, younger kids will need to be supervised when playing with pull along toys.
The strings on these toys can become tangled around a young child’s neck, which, of course, can be very dangerous.
In addition, since most of these toys are made from wood or hard plastic, you want to supervise the child to prevent them from swinging the toy around or throwing it where they could injure themselves or someone else.
Practicing a little common sense will allow your child to get all of the fun and benefits of pull along toys safely.