Pull toys are toys that can be pulled along by toddlers while they learn to walk or run.
When kids are between 18 months and about three years, they develop most of their motor and cognitive functions.
During this period, it is essential that kids get as much play time as possible with toys that let them use their newly developed abilities.
How do pull toys work?
There are many types of pull toys. However let’s say you have a car pull toy, the way it works is that every pull toy has an internal coil spring, a motor and a clutch. When the car is pulled back, the internal coil spring winds up around the motor and clutch.
This quick action of pulling back stores energy so when the car is released the spring unwinds itself and the stored energy is slowly released and that’s how the toy moves forward.
What to consider before buying
Before you buy a pull toy for your baby, there are some things that has to be factored in. Parents should consider the following before they buy a pull toy for their kid.
Only get a pull toy that is appropriate for your child. Some toys are made for older kids above 5 years. If your kid isn’t old enough there is no need to get a bigger one that is a bad fit for his development.
Depending on the age of your child, the pull toy shouldn’t be too heavy or light. A heavy pull toy would be difficult to pull for a tot while a lighter one does not support his weight or could be too easy to pull. This defeats the purpose of buying a pull toy in the first place.
For kids 18 months or younger, the string length should be 8 inches but you can use a longer string (12 inches) if your kid is between 2 and 3 years. The string length is to ensure the safety of your baby.
String Thickness – It is always better to get a pull toy with a string that is at least 1.5mm thick to avoid cuts. Thin strings result in tiny cuts on your baby’s skin.
Some pull toys have strings with beads and some other attachments. However it is best to avoid attachments on any pull toys, especially for toddlers, as they pose a choking hazard. They might be nice to play with but kids like to put all sorts of things in their mouth so avoid attachments on any pull toy you want to buy.
Why kids need pull toys
When toddlers are around 15 – 18 months, they develop physically and this is a crucial stage for them. Toddlers learn to walk around this age, that’s why pull toys are so important.
With pull toys, children may pull their toys behind them while they walk. Children love their toys so pull toys are great for their physical growth while learning about cause and effect.
Most pull toys have sounds accompanying their movement and kids will learn that pulling the toys along leads to sounds coming from their toy.
Are pull along toys safe?
Pull toys, and other toys like these, are generally safe for kids below a certain age, usually three years, however parents should supervise kids during play time.
This is because toddlers can be tangled in the strings or cords which could cause strangulation if they are not supervised.
Some pull toys have sharp ends on the handles, this may give kids tiny cuts or wounds. Also, the pull string might be of the thin sort which could cut through skin and lead to cuts.