The Best Car-Themed Toys for Toddlers
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Toddlers are fascinated by things that GO, especially cars and trucks! They can spend hours on end playing with vehicles by pushing toy cars around to make them move, making car and truck sounds, and imagining all of the places they will go.
Car toys for toddlers promote imagination through pretend play, cause and effect relationship understanding, and the development of fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination. Check out our list below of the 20 best car toys and gift ideas for toddlers that provide fun updates on classic toys.
Our Top Picks
- The Best Wooden Cars for Toddlers: Melissa & Doug Wooden Car Set
- The Best Recycled Plastic Car Toy for Toddlers: Green Toys Flatbed Truck and Race Car
- The Best Ride On Toy for Toddlers: Little Tikes Cozy Coupe
- The Best Wooden Train Set for Toddlers: Hape Busy City Train Rail Set
- The Best Cars with Sounds for Toddlers: VTech Go! Go! Smart Wheels Disney Starter Pack
- The Best Car Carrier Truck for Toddlers: 9-Piece Car Carrier Truck
- The Best Soft Car Toys for Toddlers: Melissa & Doug Pull-Back Construction Vehicles
- The Best STEM Truck for Toddlers: Take Apart Construction Truck
- The Best Montessori Car Toy for Toddlers: WOOD CITY Ramp Racer Play Set
- Best Car Keys Toy for Toddlers: B. toys FunKeys Toys
What to Consider When Purchasing Car Toys for Toddlers
When purchasing car toys for toddlers, consider the following:
- What are the best materials for my family? Wooden, plastic, or recycled plastic are options.
- Do I want the car toys to be interactive or would I rather my toddler use simple car toys?
- Will this toy grow with my toddler and remain interesting beyond the developmental phase she is currently occupying?
How We Chose Our Favorites
We consulted with experts, parents, and kids to get the lowdown on what you need to know to choose the best car toys for toddlers. We also tapped into these experts' advice to find out which brands were best and easily available on Amazon.
This wooden car set is perfect for little hands. It includes all of the different kinds of cars that fascinate toddlers like race cars, minivans, police cars, and taxis. Little ones love to put the cars away in their wooden storage tray too.
“I love Melissa and Doug toys because they are so sturdy and durable. Our 4 year old grandchild can toss and bang toys until they break, but these toys hold up!! If you have kids that are rough on toys, get these!! They hold up.”
Young children love this combination of two of their favorite kinds of vehicles. It makes for so much imaginative play fun, and parents love that Green Toys vehicles are made from recycled plastic.
“This toy went to a baby who loves cars and loves opening and closing things. He absolutely loved driving the small race car around and flipping the bed of the truck up and down. Green Toys are sturdy, high quality toys that last for years. Good buy!”
The Little Tikes Cozy Coupe has been a bestseller for over 30 years for good reason! Toddlers of every generation love riding in this vehicle to experience their first times driving a car that is perfectly sized and shaped for them. Parents love that these ride on toys are super safe and durable too.
“This is such a cute little car. It's the updated version of the cars my wife and I had as kids in the 80s. Updated because it has a cute smiley face at the front, and a handle at the back. I really appreciate the handle because my son is only 1 right now. He doesn't have the skill level to move himself forward in this car, so it's nice to push him around in something that's more fun than a stroller (so he wants to sit in it longer).”
Parents love that this double looped city-themed railway playset is perfect for teaching toddlers about how cities work. There are several magnetized and movable pieces in this set to keep toddlers entertained for hours.
“Hape has done it again. We love the new railway set. From the easy to open packaging to the wonderful details and plenty of ways to play with the trains, this toy has only been in our house for a week and it’s all they want to play with.”
Little Disney fans will adore this car set as they see favorite characters like Mickey, Minnie, and Donald driving these perfectly sized cars for toddler hands. They make the cutest sounds too featuring the characters’ real voices. Little ones will have a ball making these cars play various melodies and listening to all of the fun sounds.
“I'm surprised how many sayings these little cars have. They are super cute & the volume on them is not too loud. Great gift for a small child!”
These happy and smiling vehicles have it all for toddlers. Little ones love loading different kinds of pull-back vehicles on to the car carrier truck, and this playset is made for small hands. The different vehicles include toddler favorites such as a plane, taxi, cement mixer, school bus, and dump truck. The little vehicles are pull back cars so toddlers can make them zoom.
“It is a perfect toy for my 2 year old son because he loves cars and trucks. He likes to put the small ones on the big truck and carry them everywhere. We bought it because the wooden toys were expensive so bought this one, and it is durable and colorful. Also safe toys for small kids.”
Playtime in your living room will be a blast as this playset is appealing to both little ones and older kids as it can grow with your child’s needs. Toddlers will love zooming the two Little People Wheelies cars around the track and develop their gross motor skills at the same time.
“I rarely leave reviews, but this is such a good one I wanted to tell other parents about it. This is by far the best car related toy we have bought & we're a house of all boys. My 2 yo loves it & even my 4.5 yo will play with it. I love that there are multiple settings. Sometimes he wants to race & prefers the tall stand setting, but he also likes to sit & drive the cars around. Switching back & forth is easy.”
This LEGO set offers parents the perfect way to introduce toddlers to building with LEGOS. It is recommended for ages 2 to 5, so little hands can use new problem solving skills to create cars all by themselves. This set is especially perfect for young Disney Jr. Roadster Racer fans!
“I purchased this for my 2 and 3 year old grandsons. Perfect size for little fingers learning building and coordination skills. The boys played with these in the middle of a family party. So engaged they tuned out everyone and continued playing for quite sometime. And they both love Mickey!!”
If you want to introduce your car-loving toddler to Hot Wheels, this toy set is perfect. They incorporate favorite Disney characters and are bright and colorful to appeal to the imaginations of little ones. They can even be saved as collectibles for future generations.
“These are so awesome that I kept the box. When my son is done playing with them away they go back in the box until he gets older to give to his kids. I can't even explain how cool these matchbox cars are. Great value for such an incredible set. My 4 year old adores them and so do I.”
Parents love that these construction vehicles are soft and lightweight for babies and young toddlers who love cars. The toy set includes construction vehicles favorites such as a dump truck, mixer, loader, and crane.
“My 21 m.o. has recently taken an interest in vehicles. We're going on a road trip and I was looking for a soft vehicle that wouldn't be a hazardous projectile in our car and wouldn't be too dangerous if he puts them in his mouth. These are wonderful!”
If your little one is interested in monster trucks, this MOONTOY set is perfect. The trucks have tough yet happy faces which keeps them from seeming too aggressive or scary for toddlers. Parents love that they are made out of durable and non-toxic plastic too.
“My son just turned a year old and we got him these and we absolutely love them. He doesn't understand the pull back or friction run functionality yet, but he is still loving just playing with them in the simplest form. He also really likes to smash them into the ground and into each other. They have held up and are well made. I highly recommended these.”
This is an excellent choice for introducing your little one to STEM projects. Toddlers love construction trucks, and they can take this one apart and put it back together again. They can transform it into several different kinds of trucks including an excavator, bulldozer, and grab loader.
“My son is a huge fan of construction trucks. He likes me to read 'goodnight, goodnight, construction site' every night before his sleep. So I bought this construction truck set for him. He was so excited when he saw those trucks. He plays with the trucks everyday, and holds it while I read the book before his sleep.”
This set of two remote control cars is so much fun for toddlers. They will be amazed that they can actually control the cars on their own, and they will love taking turns being the police car sometimes and the race car at others fostering joyful pretend play.
“The best little remote control cars. My twins love these and they’re even fun for the adults. Very easy to use and get the hang of (bought them for my twins 4th birthday) - they only go forward and the backward button allows them to turn backwards so you can easily get out of wherever you are.”
This is such a fun interactive toy for toddlers who love farm vehicles and animals. The farmer sings Old McDonald when pushed which makes it a great cause and effect toy for little ones as they make the vehicle play one of their very favorite songs. This is the best toy for little fans of the farm!
“This John Deere Animal Sounds Hayride is so adorable! I purchased it for my daughter when she was two, and she just turned 4 and STILL plays with it a lot! Both she and her older brother have enjoyed it. I have never changed the batteries and it works as good as new.”
Pull toys are so exciting for new walkers and movers. Toddlers will love filling up the dump truck and then dumping it out. The sounds and music are very engaging for little ones too.
“Bought this when my son just turned 7 Months. Since the day it was delivered it’s been his absolute favorite toy. He plays with it everyday. He loves the “rocks” so much. He loves to hold it and bite it. Since he is still very young to “put the rocks in the hole” (the toy says that over and over 😄) , I do it for him and it really entertains him. The toy has buttons that lights up and teaches you to count from 1-3.”
Little ones will love popping the balls and putting them back in the bulldozer, as well as listening to the fun music and sounds. Parents love that this toy teaches little ones colors and numbers and that it is so interactive!
“This product is really great quality. My son loves to play with it. Lots of play options and buttons to push. Comes with 4 balls and no assembly required. Highly recommend this product. Put the ball in the bucket and it puts it in the top hole and pops out of the blue hole back into the bucket. Really entertaining.”
Parents who are looking to set up Montessori playrooms for little ones, will love this ramp racer wooden set. Toddlers love the bright colors, simple cars, and making the cars move through the ramps.
“I purchased this for my 2 1/2 year old son and his sister, 14 months old. It's a really fun activity for both. They are super excited to play with this colorful and fun ramp racer toy. For my son, it is just endless fun. He seems so fascinated.”
Many toddlers are obsessed with fire trucks. They love the bright lights and sounds and how the truck and firefighters save the day. This Tonka truck delivers on all of that while still being durable and safe for toddlers.
“My son absolutely loves this toy!”
Car keys are some of the top most interesting things to many toddlers. These FunKeys will be an exciting toddler gift that will help toddlers feel just like their parents. These keys play music and make realistic sounds which little ones love.
“Great keys for a toddler. There are 3 keys that hang from a key chain, and they're more realistic than a lot of other play keys that are rubber. They have different shaped tops like most keys do with a "metal" bottom. The top bottom on the keys, makes a realistic " beep beep" sound, as if you locked your car. The second button sounds like you're starting your vehicle. The third button sounds like you're honking your horn and the last button kind of sounds like a door bell. It also has a side button with a picture of a lightbulb that lights up like a flashlight. I'd highly recommend these keys.”
This play mat is a fantastic learning toy for toddlers as they understand how a city and roads work for vehicles. It sets up an opportunity for many hours of pretend play, and the cars that are included in this set are nice and large for little hands.
“I bought this little set for my son to play with in the car on longer trips. We have one of those tray tables for his car seat and this mat fits it perfectly. We had a 6 hour car ride that we just used this for and it worked out great. He kept coming back to playing with it and stayed entertained longer than any of our other usual tricks.”