Whether they’re going around the block or just up and down the driveway, all kids can benefit from a kick scooter. (And we do mean kick scooter; electric scooters, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, are only for those with a driver’s license.) David Jacobson at Fit Kids, a nonprofit organization that provides structured physical-activity programs for kids in underserved communities, says scooting helps kids “build fitness skills, such as balance and hand-eye coordination, and when done vigorously, it provides a great cardio workout.”
In many ways scooters are the perfect first ride-on toy: The deck is low enough to make getting on and off easy, the handlebars provide stability for new riders, and three wheels (the most common style for little-kid scooters) make learning to balance and kick at the same time less daunting. And for parents without a garage or a lot of extra space, scooters — especially those that fold up — are very convenient. They even require less space to ride on, says Chris G. Koutures, a pediatric and sports-medicine specialist at ActiveKid in Anaheim, California. Scooters can be used in smaller, more confined spaces than bicycles, making them popular among city kids who use them to zip along the sidewalk. But they’re also a great compliment to a balance bike since, according to Kristin Ernest, assistant professor of pediatric sports medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital, the Woodlands, scooting trains the body “differently than a bike.”
After speaking with seven experts, here are our picks for the best kick scooters for kids. The choices abound, but once you’ve selected a scooter, as with any wheeled activity, make sure you also grab a helmet.
Best overall for smaller kids | Best overall for bigger kids | Best (less expensive) for bigger kids | Best for toddlers | Best (less expensive) for toddlers | Best transitional you can push | Best lightweight transitional | Best light-up foldable for bigger kids | Best two-wheeled| Best for the oldest, tallest kids
What we’re looking for
Smooth-gliding wheels: Not only is a scooter that glides smoothly over driveways and sidewalks more fun to ride, it’s also a lot safer. The best scooters provide a stable ride across all kinds of surfaces, from recently poured concrete to park paths scattered with twigs and pebbles. To do that, the wheels should be made of a material that’s durable and strong enough to roll over debris without issue. In addition, you’ll want to think about wheel size: Small wheels make a scooter more agile and easier to handle, and large wheels provide more stability and speed. While wheel size varies, all of the scooters on this list have been recommended in part because of their smooth-gliding wheels.
Adjustable handlebars: Since kids are always growing, handlebars that can grow with them will keep you from having to buy a bigger scooter year after year. They’ll also allow you to more easily pass down their scooter to a younger sibling or even share it with other kids. Look for a scooter that fits your child’s height at the lowest handlebar setting so they’ll have room to grow into the higher ones over time.
Wide, non-slip deck: Jacobson says that a grippy deck will give kids “more confidence and better safety,” which according to him means there’s a greater likelihood that kids will spend hours riding their scooter. Some scooters have grip tape like what you’d find on a skateboard, others have raised treads for better traction. Whatever the design, it should prevent riders from slipping if their feet are wet or if they jump on quickly. Sylvana Ward Durrett of children’s luxury retailer Maisonette also considers a deck that’s wide enough for two feet an added benefit as it allows younger kids to be pulled by their grown-ups and helps new riders with balance.
Strong and lightweight frame : In addition to a grippy deck, you want a scooter to be strong enough to safely carry its rider while enduring a fair amount of abuse, yet light enough for kids to carry it. The lighter the frame, the easier it will be for your child to move and maneuver. But weight is also an important factor for parents who will inevitably end up schlepping the thing in and out of the car, up and down subway steps on the way to the park or outdoor birthday parties, or all the way home if a temperamental rider has a change of heart. Take a look at the material of a scooter’s frame. Both aluminum and carbon fiber are lightweight and strong, but carbon fiber is stronger. We’ve noted the material of each scooter’s frame below.
Three wheels vs. two wheels: When it comes to scooter readiness, your child’s age is less of a factor than their balance and agility: “A child who can stand on one foot, hop on one foot, and skip is probably ready,” Koutures says. First, determine if you want a two- or three-wheeled scooter (that’s a scooter with two wheels in front for stability, and one in the back). Small kids and those who’ve never ridden a scooter or a bike should start with a three-wheeled scooter, which is more akin to a tricycle or a bike with training wheels, whereas a two-wheeled scooter requires more balance.
Foldability: While storing and carrying a scooter is typically easier than storing a bike by default, scooters that can be folded down when you’re not using them are extra-convenient. So if you have the choice we’d say go for the one that folds. That said, not every scooter is foldable, and other factors might make a non-foldable model better for your child.
Best overall scooter for smaller kids
Adjustable handlebars | Raised logo on deck for traction | Carbon fiber frame | 110-pound weight limit | 4.2 pounds | Three wheels | Doesn’t fold | Eight colors
Carrie Wren of Two Wheeling Tots recommends any scooter by Micro Kickboard because “their attention to detail, quality of design, and precision of build just can’t be beat,” she says. “No one really comes close, even though everyone tries to copy them.” All of our experts agree that Micro Kickboard scooters are strong and lightweight, glide really well across different types of terrain, and are easy for even beginners to steer. The handlebars are a cinch to adjust without tools, and there’s a foot brake on the back wheel that even very young kids can use with ease. Strategist writer Lauren Ro, who bought the Mini Deluxe in ice blue for her now three-year-old son, says, “It’s a stellar product and the most popular for a reason.” For a scooter that’s designed for kids between 2 and 5 years old, the mini has a surprisingly high weight limit of 110 pounds, making it very size inclusive and sturdy. (For context, the average 5-year-old weighs less than 50 pounds.) There’s also an “eco” version of the Mini Deluxe that’s made from recycled ocean plastic, and if you’re willing to spend about $20 more, a version that folds up.
Best overall scooter for bigger kids
Adjustable handlebars | Raised logo on deck for traction | Carbon fiber frame | 110-pound weight limit | 5.5 pounds | Three wheels | Doesn’t fold | Five colors
According to Koutures, you want to “get something that a kid can grow into.” The Micro Kickboard Maxi Deluxe fits that bill: A larger version of the Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe, it has many of the same features like a foot brake on the back wheel and superior steering, just scaled up for kids ages 5 to 12 years old. As with the Mini, the Maxi’s adjustable handlebars allow it to grow with your child; they can extend ten inches (to accommodate kids between 49 and 59 inches tall), and because there aren’t any fixed height settings, you can raise the T-bar to any height within that range (without using any tools). Plus the brand offers a two-year manufacturer’s warranty combined with replaceable parts so your scooter will last for years and be usable by older and younger siblings.
Best (less expensive) overall scooter for bigger kids
Adjustable handlebars | Treaded deck | Aluminum frame | 110-pound weight limit | 4.7 pounds | Three wheels | Doesn’t fold | Three colors
Danielle Parde from Fat Brain Toys likes this option for bigger kids. It’s got a similar lean-to-steer, three-wheel design to the Micro Kickboard Maxi Deluxe, along with a sturdy aluminum frame, adjustable handlebars, back-wheel braking, and non slip-grip handles and deck. The handlebars adjust from 28 inches to 32.5 inches above the deck to accommodate taller kids (YBike recommends it for kids ages 5 and up).
Best scooter for toddlers
Non-adjustable curved handlebar | Treaded deck | Aluminum frame | 44-pound weight limit | 5.5 pounds | Three wheels | Doesn’t fold | Three colors
Parde calls this “a perfect first scooter.” The wide rear wheel and grippy deck provide extra stability as your child both leans and steers to turn. Though it isn’t adjustable, the curved handlebar gives kids more room to find their center of gravity. And the large rear foot brake is really easy to use too.
Best (less expensive) scooter for toddlers
Three adjustable handlebar heights from 14.2 inches to 29.7 inches | Treaded deck | Polyamide and steel frame with aluminum T-bar | 44-pound weight limit | 5.1 pounds | Three wheels | Doesn’t fold | Two colors
For kids just getting started scooting, the Oxelo B1-500 is another great option. It’s less expensive than most scooters — which is good, considering how quickly kids tend to move on from hobbies — and according to Ernest it has “good control.” According to Jen Tetrick at Decathlon (the company that makes the B1), this scooter was designed to “help kids find balance and learn how to manage speed and steer.” She points out, “It’s both lightweight and stable enough that they can put both feet on the base and be pulled by their parents.” But it can also accommodate kids up to three feet and nine inches tall, the height of an average 4-year-old. It doesn’t come in tons of colors, but it does have motion-activated LED light-up wheels — a guaranteed kid pleaser.
Best transitional scooter you can push
Adjustable seat and handlebars | Treaded deck | Aluminum frame | 44-pound weight limit for the seat | 110-pound weight limit for the scooter | 6.8 pounds | Three wheels | Doesn’t fold | Four colors
Durrett loves the Globber Glow-Up because it has three different configurations: It can be easily transformed from a push scooter to a seated scooter that’s similar to a balance bike to a traditional stand-up kick scooter — no tools required. It’s similar to the Mini 3-in-1 Deluxe scooter from Micro Kickboard that’s recommended below, but in addition to allowing riders to scoot while seated or standing, you can attach the handlebar to the back of the seat to push your kid as they ride. Jen Trolio, Strategist senior editor and mom of 4- and 6-year-old daughters, says this feature is excellent for especially young kids who want to be independent and are very interested in scooting, but may still need assistance from a grown-up. The seat can adjust to two different heights and the handlebars can adjust to three different heights, and the scooter comes in four cute color combinations. Lastly, the front wheels have battery-free, motion-activated LED flashing lights that make the scooter easier to see and according to Trolio would make most kids squeal with delight.
Best lightweight transitional scooter
Adjustable seat and handlebars | Treaded deck | Carbon fiber and aluminum frame | 44-pound weight limit for the seat | 110-pound weight limit for the scooter | 4.2 pounds | Three wheels | Not foldable | Five colors
One advantage the Micro Mini 3-in-1 Deluxe scooter has on the Globber Go-Up is that it weighs over two pounds less. That may not seem like much, but in the world of an 18-month-old it makes a big difference. And like we have heard about other Micro Kickboard products, it more than justifies its cost. Trolio bought a Micro Mini 3-in-1 for her younger daughter when she was just under a year old, and that same daughter is still using it now at age four, with room to grow. For the youngest kids, the scooter starts out as a balance-bike-esque seated scooter with an O-shaped handlebar and a seat that adjusts to two different heights. Then it can be transformed into a standing scooter with two different handlebar shapes. The fixed-height O-bar is easier for little hands to hold, and the adjustable T-bar turns the whole thing into a big-kid scooter that is almost identical to the Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe, one of our top overall picks above.
Best light-up foldable scooter for bigger kids
Adjustable handlebars | Raised logo on deck for traction | Carbon fiber frame | 110-pound weight limit | 5.5 pounds | Three wheels | Foldable | Four colors
Now that Trolio’s 6-year-old daughter is getting too tall for her current scooter — the Micro Kickboard Mini Deluxe, our pick for best overall scooter for smaller kids, above — she has been eyeing a replacement. “This is my holy grail for her,” Trolio says, noting that the motion-activated light-up wheels appeal to her daughter’s interests and the folding-handlebar mechanism appeals to hers. This scooter is very similar to our best overall pick for bigger kids, the Micro Kickboard Maxi Deluxe, but it has two important upgrades: motion-activated light-up wheels and a folding handlebar for portability. Trolio says that being able to fold your child’s scooter is a game-changer, especially if you want to travel with it or if you have a stroller and a scooter with you at the same time. If it’s foldable, the scooter can more easily rest on top of the stroller or fit into the cargo basket when your kid changes their mind about scooting.
We’ve also heard from quite a few other parents that the addition of light-up wheels is something their kids would kill for, which means they’d end up riding the scooter more often. This one comes in four colors and the handlebars adjust between 24 and 34 inches above the deck, meaning it can accommodate some kids all the way up to the teen years, depending on their height. (Micro Kickboard says it should work best for kids 5 to 12 years old.) To trick out your kid’s scooter even more, the brand offers add-ons like bells, lights, a seat for stuffed animals, and handlebar streamers.
Best two-wheeled scooter
Adjustable handlebars | Grip taped deck | Aluminum frame | 143-pound weight limit | 8 pounds | Two wheels | Foldable | Eight colors
When your child is ready for a two-wheeled scooter, you can’t go wrong with the sleek and (relatively) inexpensive Razor A3. It’s made from lightweight yet durable aluminum, and the handlebars are easily set to different heights, which is key since “kids can grow quickly and may need to have the handlebars regularly adjusted,” says Koutures, “especially during growth spurts.” Plus, it folds up.
Best scooter for the tallest, oldest kids
Adjustable handlebars | Grip taped deck | Aluminum frame | 220-pound weight limit | 11 pounds | Two wheels | Foldable | Six colors
This scooter is designed for ages 8 and up (that includes adults, if you’re interested), and is a great choice for city riding. It has soft grip, anti-rattle handlebars, and its extra-long deck is great for the larger feet of bigger riders. Jacobson says the A5’s capacity to handle “rugged urban terrain” makes it ideal for kids in his programs or any kids who scoot in the city. “Plus, the scooter’s ability to carry up to 220 pounds means that kids can use it for years as both a transportation and fitness solution.”
• David Jacobson, Fit Kids
• Chris G. Koutures, a pediatric and sports-medicine specialist at ActiveKid in Anaheim, California
• Kristin Ernest, assistant professor of pediatric sports medicine at Texas Children’s Hospital, the Woodlands
• Sylvana Ward Durrett of children’s luxury retailer Maisonette
• Carrie Wren of Two Wheeling Tots
• Jen Tetrick at Decathlon
• Danielle Parde from Fat Brain Toys
• Jen Trolio, Strategist senior editor and mom of 4- and 6-year-old daughters
• Lauren Ro, Strategist writer and mom of a 3-year-old-son
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