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How do we soothe our children from the second they come out of the womb? What is the best way to keep our kids relaxed for the early years of their lives? The answer is simple: by rocking them back and forth.
Babies love rock n plays, and as they grow over the years, rocking horses can be a great way to develop their balance, coordination, and strength. It has been around for centuries and has also helped kids develop upper body muscles. Although it is mostly stationary, it can open your kid’s mind to a whole new world of imagination.
A rocking horse will surely bring years of fun and happiness to your home!
At a Glance: The Best Rocking Horse to Buy
We highly recommend looking at the comparison table we have below where we highlighted the features of each product.
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Rocking Horses – Our Best Picks for Different Age Groups
What better way to encourage exploration and growth as your baby gets older then to buy a rocking horse? Finding the best rocking horse for your child’s age is important because you want a safe and sturdy toy for playtime and relaxation. We’ve searched through the best rocking horse reviews to bring you the top picks from each age group and even selected a few of our favorites.
Best Baby Rocking Horse Choices
Rockabye Flutter Butterfly Rocker Ride On
With a solid maple hardwood frame, this baby rocking horse is built to last for many years to come.
It even offers additional support to help develop your little one’s posture with an extra board attached to the back of the base.
The rocker comes with 3 AAA batteries that you can easily change by zipping open the belly of the ladybug plush.
Clean-up is also a breeze with this rocker as you simply wet a sponge and wipe off any mess. If you are looking for a luxurious and educational toy for your baby, the Rockabye Flutter Butterfly Rocker Ride On is an excellent choice.
The Rockabye Flutter Butterfly Rocker Ride On is a cute, lovable rocker that is great for babies 9 months and up to rock and play.
With sturdy wooden handles and handcrafted construction, it can comfortably accommodate babies weighing up to 80 pounds.
Little girls are attracted to the adorable ladybug seat and pretty pink bows on the ladybugs ears. It is far from your standard wooden rocking horse toy with it’s colorful plush design made of fabrics from around the world.
Your baby will learn the 123s, ABCs, colors, shapes and more with four education songs that play by pushing the buttons on the back of the ladybug’s head.
This baby rocking horse is a great way to keep your little one entertained for hours on end.
Rockabye Poof the Lil’ Dragon Rocker
Rockabye Poof the Lil’ Dragon Rocker will make your little one smile with it’s colorful dragon body.
Let their imagination run wild as they take off and ride to a magical land. The plush dragon has big blue eyes and an adorable big-toothed smile that encourages independence for babies 8 months and up.
Riders can press one of the four musical buttons to play educational songs composed by Rockabye.
This rocking horse toy will grow with your child as it accommodates children up to 80 pounds. What a great first toy to rock your baby back and forth and teach them the ABCs, 123s, and more!
It is also very easy to maintain as you can use a sponge to wipe off any mess. The wooden frame is constructed with sturdy maple hardwood that keeps it stable while babies climb on and off.
There is even extra support for tiny backs built into the frame to help with your child’s posture.
The fabric cushion is made from imported fabrics and is super-cushioned for maximum riding comfort. This rocker is only 13 pounds so it is super easy to move around if you want to bring it for outdoor adventures. Fun and exploration with the cutest stuffed rocker!
Best Rocking Horse for 1 Year Old
Little Tikes Rocking Horse – Top Pick
The Little Tikes Rocking Horse is a plastic rocking horse designed for ages 12 months to 3 years. Manufactured by the well-known Little Tikes brand, this is a cheap option for your child to enjoy rocking horse fun in small spaces, both indoors and out.
The safety seat feature keeps your child from rocking too far forward or backward. Kids love the bright blue color of this rocking horse toy. It may be a simple design, but it does not lack when it comes to the sturdy construction.
Even better, it is less than 8 pounds, making it possible for you to pick it up to travel places or move from room to room. A smooth, curved surface saves your baby from getting bumped by sharp edges and will keep your mind at ease.
Little Tikes put a modern twist on the traditional wooden model rocking horse. You will like the stability of this classic as it is designed to your child in place with comfortable grip handles.
This kids’ rocking horse offers an undoubtedly great way to teach balance and coordination for kids over 1-year old. It will be ready to use right out of the box with no assembly required.
Rockin’ Rider Charger 2-in-1 Rocking Pony – Runner-U
The Rockin’ Rider Charger 2-in-1 Rocking Pony is bound to spark creativity and development for kids aged 12 months to 3 years old.
Charger’s pony mouth opens and closes in synchronization as he sings the “I’m a Little Pony Song” when you squeeze his left ear.
The fun doesn’t stop there as his right ear, when pressed, gives six different talking phrases. Parents, you will appreciate being able to set the volume level on the pony’s sound effects. The huggable plush body with embroidered eyes is super cute and invites your little one to hop aboard!
The non-slip footsteps and easy-grip handles offer added levels of safety for riders up to 40 pounds.
This rocking horse for 1-year-old or more is lower to the ground than most models, making it easier for smaller toddlers to climb on and off.
The seat height for rocking is 12.5 inches, while the rolling seat height is 10 inches. It is a breeze to assemble and converts in a matter of seconds from rocking to rolling on wheels with no tools required.
The pony is not only versatile, but it is incredibly soft with a realistic mane and tail for touch and play fun.
Smart Gear Pony – Best Mobile Pick
The Smart Gear Pony Cycle is manufactured for kids ages 4 to 10, a unique twist on the traditional rocking horse. Instead of bouncing or rocking motions, this toy is a new concept of a rocking horse on wheels.
It is essentially the first simulated riding toy for children to ride around outdoors, think of it as a pony-cycle! The impressive part is that no batteries are required; the motion is powered entirely by pedaling.
There are no limitations on where this horse can go, and it is not like the traditional rocking horses that are stuck in place. Parents love how it burns plenty of energy for kids and even trains their leg muscles.
Safety is critical when supervising your child’s play as this toy works best on flat surfaces as opposed to hills.
It steers left and right as the child propels forward with their leg power. This horse is undoubtedly one of the larger models for the 4-year-old age range as it has a height of 36.6 inches and a length of 31.5 inches, weighing 19.4 pounds.
If you have room in your house, your child can even ride this toy indoors. Your child can choose their favorite of the three different color options that include brown, light brown, or chocolate. Fully equipped with a saddle and harness, this horse is ready to ride!
Best Kids Rocking Horse for 3 Years Old
Gymnic Rody Horse (Bouncy Rocking Horse)
The Gymnic Rody Horse is a great way for kids ages 3 to 5 to burn energy while stimulating muscle development at the same time.
This bouncy rocking horse is made from durable, latex free bands vinyl that is great for use indoors but can also be used outdoors on smooth surfaces such as a patio or deck.
If you want an alternative to the traditional, old-school rocking horse, this hopping horse will be loads of fun for your children.
There is definitely no shortage when it comes to color options as the horse is sold in teal, blue, green, lime, orange, pink, purple, red, yellow and swirly.
This hopping horse is ultra-bouncy and can hold children up to 50 pounds. The product itself only weighs 3.5 pounds so it is super easy to store when not in use.
The inflation level can be adjusted for the size of the child which makes it last much longer than comparable inflatable horses.
Not only does it hold up to years of bouncing, but parents love that it is designed to help with balance, coordination and lymph circulation for young children.
One of the coolest features about this toy is that you can purchase the base separately to transform it into a rocking horse toy. Kids love the versatility of being able to ride, hop or bounce on Rody.
Hape Rock and Ride Kid’s Wooden Rocking Horse (Best Wooden Rocking Horse)
If you cherish the classic rocking horse style, the Hape Rock and Ride Kid’s Wooden Rocking Horse will be a great choice for gifting.
This is the best wooden rocking horse for smaller children up to 3 years old to strengthen coordination and enjoy soothing play.
Whether they are rocking slow or galloping faster, this toy is extremely sturdy and won’t easily tip over.
It is only 8 pounds which makes it painless to tote to any place your child wants to enjoy rocking fun.
The product is 26.6 inches in height and 20 inches in length with a seat height of 11 inches.
The color scheme features two main colors with a light wooden base, head and tail with red glossy accents on the mane and seat.
No need to worry about the paint peeling or posing a danger to your child as the finish is child safe and completely non-toxic.
The rocking horse also meets or exceeds safety standards. There is some basic assembly required but it won’t be long before play time begins.
The wide-backed seat offers extra comfort to foster maximum enjoyment and creativity. Let your child rock into their own imaginary world as they pretend to ride a real-life horse.
Best Kids Rocking Horse for Ages 4 and Up
Happy Trails Plush Rocking Horse (Large Rocking Horse)
The Happy Trails Plush Rocking Horse is a furry animal friend perfect for kids 3 to 4 years old.
The plush fabric animal is attached to a curved rocking base for comfortable rockin’ play and adventures.
The handcrafted toy features a wooden core that makes it difficult for the horse to topple over while in motion.
The light-colored wooden base is also extremely sturdy for even the roughest of playtime.
The horse could pass for a replica of a real horse with it’s realistic mane and long-haired tail.
It even has a full harness and reins along with a saddle on the seat. Children love exploring the different textures throughout the plush rocking horse.
The larger size makes it good for toddlers with a seat height of 30.5 inches and an overall height of 32.2 inches.
Kids will get at least a few good years of durable play and this toy can be used for multiple children.
Not Just a Horse! Our Favorite Rocking Animal Picks
Unicorn with Pink Horn
The UFREE Unicorn with Pink Horn is a mechanical moving horse that is an extremely popular pick for kids ages 3 through 9.
The white fur of the ride on pony is ultra-soft and has added white hair on the mane, tail and hooves.
Your child will feel like they are stepping up on a magical unicorn when they place their feet into the metal stirrups and get ready to ride.
This toy is designed to grow with larger children as the 36” size horse has two different levels for the stirrup adjustments.
To propel the horse forward, riders bounce up on down on the saddle just like they would when riding a real-life horse.
As they are in motion, the horse can move forward straight or swerve around left and ride.
The stuffed plush body is made of high-quality materials that are both lovable and long-lasting.
They will most certainly fit on it as it can hold up to 132 pounds. The saddle is made of leather and gives the unicorn pony a sophisticated look for any child’s room.
The steel frame is durable enough to withstand years of use along with the drive system that is built to endure plenty of playtime. Bring happiness to your family with this walkable horse.
Happy Trails Giraffe Plush Rocking Animal
The Happy Trails Giraffe Plush Rocking Animal will take your child exploring through their imagination on a jungle safari or virtually any adventure they can come up with.
This is a favorite among children ages 2 and up as it has a comfortable plus feeling that makes it very huggable for little ones.
With handcrafted construction and a sturdy wooden base, kids can hold on to the wooden handles and safely rock back and forth.
This rocking horse toy is more suited for indoor use as the fur stays cleaner but it can be brought outside for playtime.
The giraffe stands fairly fall with a 30 inch height and 19 inch seat height making it good for growing toddlers.
Your child will want to drag this toy around to every room as it only weighs 4.7 pounds.
It may be lightweight but it will certainly stay in place while your child climbs on and off the plush giraffe.
Assembly is fairly easy to attach the wooden base to the plush animal and kids will be ready to play for hours.
The antlers of the giraffe surround it’s furry mane and the embroidered eyes are absolutely adorable.
Your child can rest their feet on the base as they rock for hours on end. What a great way to encourage creativity and development for children with a lovable rocking giraffe!
Things to Consider When Buying a Rocking Horse
Design and Materials: Ensure that the rocking horse you are buying is sturdy and durable, regardless of the materials used in its construction. The design should enable it to maintain stability while kids sit to rock back and forth on it.
Some models made of softwood, have a sturdy base and well-carved seat for comfortable riding. Others feature plush materials that are soothing and guarantee several hours of fun. You would also need to consider the colors that are available to ensure that you are buying your kid’s favorite one.
Extra Features: There are several rocking horse models out there with amazing features and new functionalities. Parents may want to consider models with interactive features and sound effects to maximize the fun for their kids.
Some models speak specified phrases and sing along while playing individual songs, as well as sound effects. They can be very engaging and can entertain a kid for years. Those with rollers are mobile, allowing your child to move from one point to another.
Size: Thinking about the available space in your home will enable you to decide the right kind of rocking horse to purchase. Someone with limited space should look for the small-sized models. You do not want a toy taking up a large chunk of space in your small apartment.
Balance: You should also think about the base before making a purchase. The width and design of the base, as well as the materials used in its construction, affect its stability. Kids can sustain severe injuries from falling off a rocking horse onto a hard floor.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the appropriate age a baby can start using a rocking horse?
The appropriate age for kids to start using a rocking horse is usually from 1 to 6 years of age. It is because, at this age, children find colors and modern designs very fascinating. Aside from that, the design and thick handles of the rocking horses make it much easier for children to ride.
Is a rocking horse good for toddlers?
Yes, rocking horses are considered an excellent toy for kids. They help in building the child's imagination and can be soothing at the same time. Equally, they help kids to work on their balance and coordination skills.
Are rocking horses dangerous?
Years back, one of the problems with rocking horses was that they were quite dangerous when they tipped sideways. But now, manufacturing companies are beginning to consider the safety of riders. So, whenever you purchase one, you will notice that it comes with safety harnesses or straps and will be stable and secure enough to prevent tripping.
How do you clean a rocking horse?
When cleaning your kid's rocking horse, it is necessary that you have a curtain or an upholstery brush attachment. Make sure you use a quality fabric cleaner to avoid soil and grime from penetrating the fibers of your fabric. Also, remember to clean all parts of the rocking horse once every three months.
What wood is used for rocking horses?
Manufacturing companies usually use either hardwood or softwood in making rocking horses. The legs are most times made of oak, but this happens if softwood has been used in other parts. Whatever wood used is always kiln dried and of high-quality.
Best Rocking Horse – The Bottom Line
The motion of a rocking horse toy help to encourage development and independent thinking.At any stage of life, kids can explore their imagination when riding on a rocking horse toy. They are the ultimate combination of relaxation and excitement!
With our comprehensive guide on the best rocking horse toy picks in each age group, you will surely find one that is perfect for your child’s size and play preferences. Whether you decide on a bouncy, spring mounted, 2-in-1 or traditional style, there will be many hours of fun that come with a new kids rocking horse!