For the child in your life who loves all things that go, this gift guide will give you plenty of ideas for car and truck gifts that are sure to be a hit.
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If there’s one thing I’ve learned as a mom of boys (okay, there are a lot of things, but this one is way up at the top), it’s that the attraction to cars and trucks is completely inborn. I’ve always been a big proponent of encouraging boys and girls to be interested in whatever they want rather than being beholden to gender stereotypes. However, without any encouragement from me, my boys have all gravitated toward playing with cars and trucks.
When Little Man was two, he was completely obsessed with trucks. We lived in a neighborhood that had a lot of construction still going on, and he LOVED taking walks down the street to watch the trucks. A few years later (construction still , one of the construction workers saw my boys and offered to give them a ride in his excavator. I have never seen bigger smiles on my boys than when they each got to take a turn to control that giant shovel.
If you have a boy in your life that is anything like mine, you’ll love the list I’m going to share with you today. Over the course of five and a half years as the mom of three boys, we’ve had our share of experience with car and truck related toys. These are our favorites that we either own, or that we’ve played with at other people’s houses. No matter their age, you’re sure to find something the little dare-devils in your house will love.
*For the record, any of these toys would be great for girls who are interested in cars and trucks, too. I’m all for equal opportunity play time in the toy world. I just have experience with boys, and I know they love these toys.
Gift Guide for Kids Who Love Cars and Trucks
Green Toys Dump Truck: Green Toys are super popular, and for good reason. They are simple, sturdy, and kids love them. We have several of their products, including the dump truck, ferry boat, airplane, tractor. My boys love them all!
Battat Take Apart Crane Truck: We played with this awesome truck (and several others by the same maker) at a children’s museum when we were on vacation a few years ago. Part truck, part puzzle…kids can take apart and reassemble the cars and trucks to feel like they are real mechanics. My boys LOVED this toy! The only downside is that it’s a toy with lots of smallish parts that could get lost. But as long as you keep it in a container of its own and only get it out when the child actively wants to play with it, it shouldn’t be a problem.
John Deere Monster Treads Lights and Sounds Gator: This toy surprised me by becoming one of my kids’ very favorite trucks. It’s smaller than the two above, and the wheels are softer and navigate better than most trucks. They have named it Max (Have you read the popular Trucktown books?) and use it to reenact all sorts of stories and invent new ones.
O Ball Rattle and Roll Car: We don’t own these cars, but we have and love the basic O Ball and an O Ball elephant. My boys loved these as babies because they are super easy to grasp. These cars would make a great gift for kids 6-12 months old.
Small World Toys Trio Locomotives: Little Brother got these for Christmas when he was one. They were his absolute favorite toys for months, and he still plays with them. Think of them as a bigger off-track version of Brio trains. They are the perfect size for crawlers to push around, and the magnets make it easy to link the cars together. EDIT: I can’t find the train version anymore, but they have a similar set that is all emergency vehicles.
Kid O Go Car: This car gets stellar reviews! It’s one of the few things I’m planning to get our youngest for Christmas this year. I love that the top of the car has a handle to make it easier for little ones to drive around.
Step 2 Ride on Push Car: If you have a little one who hates riding in a stroller, try this car instead! My boys have played with these at their friends’ houses and they are always much sought after by the 12-36 month old crew.
Cozy Coupe: Raise your hand if you had a cozy coupe as a kid. I sure did! I found one second-hand for my boys and bought it for nostalgia’s sake, and it’s turned out to be a great toy! We have the classic red and yellow one, but I love this police-inspired version, too.
Mega Bloks Ride On Caterpillar with Excavator: What could be better than an excavator that you can actually ride on and dig with? This toy was a birthday gift and it was a hit. It currently resides in our sandbox, and my boys use it to build all sorts of castles and creations.
Melissa and Doug Magnetic Towing Game: Melissa and Doug know how to do puzzles. In this one, they’ve combined a classic chunky puzzle with a magnetic tow truck reminiscent of going fishing. You can bet your little driver will love crashing the cars before towing them to their spot in the puzzle.
Melissa and Doug Fire Truck Puzzle: We have a lot of puzzles, but this is my favorite for 2- and 3-year-olds. If your toddler is getting too good for the fill-in-the-hole chunky puzzles, this one is a little more challenging.
Reusable Sticker Pad: These reusable stickers are a great independent activity for preschoolers to do at the kitchen table while you make dinner or get some chores done. They can create scenes and make up stories to go with them. We have an animal set that my boys also really enjoy.
Automoblox: These puzzle-style cars are perfect for 3-5 year-olds. The can be taken apart and mixed-and-matched to create unique designs and styles. They were a little tricky for my son when he got them for his first birthday, but preschoolers would rock them!
Play Tape Road Tape: You could just run painter’s tape all over the floor, but these road tapes are so much fun! Be careful which brand you buy if you have hard wood floors (some brands warned about damage), but you should have any trouble on carpet or tile.
Mini Construction Trucks: If you’re looking for an inexpensive gift, this is a MUST! These mini trucks are perfect for taking in the car, to a restaurant, or to the park. At home, ours have been used in a rice bin, with cloud dough and play dough, and even in the bath tub. They are so versatile!
DUPLO Lego Cars & Trucks: You can’t go wrong with Legos. With a three-year-old and five-year-old, we are quickly becoming acquainted with the world of those colorful building blocks. I’m okay with it though because they are such an open-ended, creative activity.
Melissa and Doug Garage: We have an old-school parking garage I got at a thrift store, but I love this Melissa and Doug garage that has a garage, ramp, gas station, and even a car wash. If ours ever breaks, I know which one I’m buying as a replacement. It’s even stylish-enough that you won’t mind having it sit out for people to see.
Criss Cross Crash Track: Little Man’s only request for his fifth birthday this year was a race track. After searching all over and reading reviews, this is the one we bought him. Mom allowing him to intentionally crash his toys and make a racket? He was in heaven. Yes, it’s big. Yes, it’s plastic and uses batteries. Usually that triple threat would make me avoid it. But it’s also given us hours and hours of entertainment. So, if you’ve got the space, it’s a great choice for preschool age and up.
Water Wow Vehicles Activity Book: These paint-with-water books are the best for road trips. They are also great for restaurants or quiet time. No mess, and they are reusable!
Olive Kids Backpack: If you have a preschooler who needs a backpack, or a toddler who needs his own bag to pack for a sleepover at grandma’s, this one is SO cute! I know my boys would fight over this one.
School Bus Play Tent: We have a similar tent to this one (although I got it at a thrift store for a steal of a deal), and my boys have loved playing with it. We keep it in our unfinished basement and use it to play school and to act out “The Wheels on the Bus.” I love that kids can see through the windows while they “drive”.
Overwhelmed with toys? If you are looking for something beyond the toy box, here are a few more ideas:
- Wall art for their bedroom
- Rain boots (especially fireman ones!)
- Books (Tony Mitton, Kate and Jim McMullan, and the Trucktown series are favorites at our house)
Do you have any car or truck lovers at your house? What have been your most-used toys and gifts?