Buying the best scooter for your child requires a lot of thought. Whether they’re 2 or 10, they’ll be whizzing around at scary speeds in no time, so you want to make sure the model you’ve purchased is cool enough for them to pound the pavement (or the wood laminate) but also slow enough that you’ll be able to chase them down a hill on foot with ease.
But you do need to make sure their scooter is safe, age-appropriate and the best fit for your child’s needs. Here’s what you need to know…
How old should a child be before they use a scooter?
Many models are appropriate for children over the age of 12 months, but most models are available for children aged 3 and up. RoSPA offers a pretty extensive guide to what should be allowed and when. All children should wear helmets when riding a scooter outdoors.
Here’s our pick of the best scooters, as tested by kids
GOLD winner, Best Scooter, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards
Age: 2 to 5(ish)
What it is: A trainer scooter that adjusts from 4 wheels, to 3 wheels to 2, as your child gets older and more co-ordinated. The handlebar height is adjustable and the whole scooter folds in half for easy storage. Comes in blue and green, or pink and yellow, and with a small tool kit.
Why we love it: It’s a great-value starter scooter for toddlers and we really like the stage-by-stage wheel changes that allow your child to build up confidence as they master the art of balancing and steering.
What our child testers made of it:
- ‘We are in love with this scooter! We actually have another popular scooter already which she doesn’t love too much as it’s probably a bit too big for her. We paid more than £100 for it but this £20 scooter is so light and so easy for Lylah to ride, she absolutely loves it.’ Lucy, mum to Lylah, 2
- ‘The fact that you can change from 4 wheels to 3 or 2 wheels is excellent. A scooter for £20 that will adapt to the child’s ability is amazing. Overall, brilliant and well-priced.’ Sarah, mum to Finley, 2
Available at: Argos and Amazon
SILVER winner, Best Scooter, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards
Age: 15 months to 9+
What it is: A scooter that actually starts as a ride-on with parent handlebar and footrest, and then converts, through 5 stages, to become a balance trike and then a scooter – with adjustable T-bar heights as your child grows. Comes with rear brake, and locked or assisted steering. Comes in pink, lime green, sky blue, navy blue and red.
Why we love it: It’s very cleverly designed and it also looks great – and rides brilliantly – at each of its stages. We particularly like the extra-wide seat.
What our child testers made of it:
- ‘A really cool-looking product! Alfie uses it as a pushchair and a walking bike, and his older brother Jake has tried it out as a scooter, so it’s multi-purpose in our house.’ Hanna mum to Alfie, 20 months and Jake, 6
- ‘It’s not just a scooter, it’s so much more! My girls couldn’t wait to climb on. I love how it can be adjusted depending on the needs of my child. It’s also easy to put together.’ Sarah, mum to Bea, 15 months and Hope, 5
Available at: Plum Play and Amazon
BRONZE winner, Best Scooter, 2018 MadeForMums Toy Awards
What it is: An electric scooter that nips along at up to 8kph (4mph), and has a thumb throttle, adjusting handlebars and a 70W gear-driven motor. Fold flats for storage. Battery range: 8 to 10km; charging time: 5 to 7 hours. Comes in green and blue.
Why we love it: This certainly makes scooting up hills easier – but it isn’t so fast that your child will instantly zoom out of sight. Our testers really liked using it as a kick-along scooter, too.
What our child testers made of it:
- ‘This is a fantastic scooter. It feels sturdy and strong, and the electric fun factor is off the scale! I honestly cannot tell you how excited my daughter is to have this. She loves it so much!’ Danielle, mum to Georgie, 9
Available at: Very
Age: 3 to 5
What it is: A scooter with a lean-and-steer function, rear brake and a deck that lights up when stepped on. The frame comes in black or white and the steering column height can be adjusted from 62cm to 73cm. Requires 4 AA batteries.
Why we love it: This scooter really stands out from the crowd! Our child testers thought the flashing lights were the bee’s knees, while their parents rated it as sturdy and a really good price – which meant it won Gold in our 2017 Toy Awards.
Available from: Asda and Amazon
What it is: An upgrade of YVolution’s classic Y Glider scooter, in a variety of colours. With lean-to-steer handle, anti-slip footplate and rear foot brake.
Why we love it: It’s a lovely smooth ride but what made it really special for our child testers are the little coloured shapes you can buy (for £4.99 extra) to insert into the wheels in any pattern you like – so you can customise your scooter.
Available at: Yvolution and Amazon
What it is: A reinvented version of the classic 3-wheeled Micro Scooter, taking up to 70kg in weight and with a height adjustable steering column from 67cm to 93cm. This model has tilt and lean steering, a raise silicone footplate for better grip and a substantial rear brake. Available in 9 colours.
Why we love it: It’s definitely on the expensive side but you’ll get a real return for your investment: the substantial weight limit and height adjustment means this scooter will last your child years, even with heavy use. And you could even borrow it, too…
Available from: Micro Scooters and Smyths
Age: 2 to 5+
What it is: A redesigned version of the bestselling classic Micro Scooter, the Micro Deluxe is aimed at younger children. It’s a lightweight scooter, with 2 wheels in front and 1 at the back, foot brake and a lean-to-steer mechanism. Comes in pink, purple, green, blue, red, aqua, yellow and orange.
Why we love it: This scooter has a bright, sleek look and we’re particularly impressed by the adjustable-height handlebars that let the scooter ‘grow’ with your child. Our child judges rated it highly in our 2016 MadeForMums Toy Awards (it won Silver), so we know it’s got excellent kid-appeal and play value.
Available at: Micro Scooters, John Lewis and Smyths Toys
What it is: A straightforward, easy-to-assemble scooter for no nonsense and on-a-budget scooting. Comes in blue/orange and pink/purple.
Why we love it: This 2-wheeler is cheap, cheerful and lightweight. It doesn’t fold, but it’s easy to manage and quick to assemble. It’s ideal for little ones just starting school who want to cruise to the gates in style… but also for parents with a nice-sized boot to fit it in. Definitely a purse-friendly option for the parent whose child is a casual scooter-er.
Available at: Argos
Age: 5 +
What it is: A scooter fit for a Disney Prince or Princess. Or, at the very least, a big Elsa fan.
Why we love it: It’s a classic 2-wheeler, so ideal for children who are already confident on the scooter – but it’s easy to fold, has a rear brake above the back wheel, and despite it being ‘Frozen’, it’s designed not to be slippery. Oh, and it’s got Elsa’s stamp of approval. Which is obviously the most important part.
Available from: Argos and Amazon
What it is: Something a bit different for expert riders old enough to handle the horsepower of a proper electric scooter. Comes in a variety of colours.
Why we love it: This isn’t a beginner’s ride, but for any older child with a need for speed and a serious scooting obsession, this could be the ideal choice. It’s the fastest of Razor’s range of electric scooters – but don’t panic: when we say that, we mean it goes at 16 kph (10mph). Max. We also like the easy-grip handles and anti-slip footplate. Safety first!
Available at: Argos
What it is: Part scooter, part rollerblades: a scooting experience unlike any other (as long as you’re good at balancing). Comes in pink and green
Why we love it: No more scuffed shoes from constant pavement-kicking; this a 3-wheeler with a bit of a difference – it’s operated by moving your hips from side to side. Super-cool and (unlike some similar ‘drift’ scooters) designed to be easy for under-6s to control.
Available at: Yvolution
Age: 12 months+
What it is: A ride-on that converts to a scooter with a ‘learner’ O-Bar and then to a proper T-bar scooter. You can order in (almost) any colour combo imaginable to match your child’s individuality (or at least how they feel the day you buy the scooter).
Why we love it: If you’re sold on the Micro Scooters brand, this is a great buy as you get a unique look and a set of smooth wheels that will last your child a massive 5 years.
Available at: Micro Scooters
There are 2 wheel scooters AND 3 wheel scooters – what’s the difference and do I need to worry about it?
The big difference is that 3-wheelers stand up on their own, whereas 2-wheeled scooters don’t.
Razor’s Research and Development Manager, Bob Hadley, also told us that children over 5 can generally handle the steering and balance a 2-wheeler requires, but while they’re still learning to scoot and finding their feet, a 3-wheeler is best:
“Studies suggest that children at age 3 have the coordination required to use a steering wheel or handlebar and can use a 3-wheeled scooter, but may not have developed the balance required to operate 2-wheeled scooters.
“This ability is expected to develop with time and experience to where, depending on experience, most children by the age of 5 have the balance and coordination to use 2-wheeled scooters.
“To this effect, 3-wheelers are fantastic skill and confidence developers.”
Is it better to have 2 wheels at the front, or at the back?
Micro Scooters’ Experience Adviser Maureen Wiltshire explained to MFM that the difference is all in the steering:
“Children instinctively tend to shift their body in the direction they want to go,” says Maureen. “Having 2 wheels at the front makes this intuitiveness seamless.
“2 wheels at the back makes steering more manual and less instinctive, e.g. you turn the handlebars in the direction you want to go rather than leaning. These style of steering can be harder for younger children to master.”
Check out the golden rules to teach your child about their scooter, trike, balance bike or bike.