The 10 Best Kids Wheelbarrows
This wiki has been updated 32 times since it was first published in April of 2016. If you have a love for gardening and want to pass that on to your children, you can get them started with their own kid-sized wheelbarrow. The selections featured here are just right for little ones eager to help around the yard, and some can also be used indoors as a fun way to haul stuffed animals or other favorite toys. But remember that they should always be used with adult supervision. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
February 19, 2020:
Today we added the John Deere 46661V to our list, which is an authentic, working wheelbarrow -- only it's sized down for a kid. It’s great for any child who likes to be just like Mom or Dad and help with backyard chores like gardening, leaf raking, and landscaping. It’s made from sturdy steel and features vinyl hand grips for a secure hold, as well as a free-rolling wheel that makes it easy to maneuver over grass, dirt, gravel, blacktop, concrete, and more. It’s suitable for kids aged two and up, and features the manufacturer’s signature green and yellow colors, along with the name and icon on the side.
The American-made Step2 Springtime also comes on board in this update, which features an easy-grip handle and durable plastic construction that makes it suitable for use indoors or out. Your child can haul rocks or garden produce in the yard, as well as favorite stuffed animals or other toys indoors. It’s got a large basin and onboard storage for the included rake and trowel tools. It’s great for fine motor skill development and hand-eye coordination.
Tiny tots as young as 18 months will enjoy the small and lightweight Hape E4047, which comes in cheery red or bright blue, with a durable, BPA-free plastic build that is easy to spray down with a hose when it needs cleaning. It’s easy to put together without any tools, and is suitable for anything from carrying leaves and rocks to building a backyard fort. The PierSurplus GT25008, another new addition, is available in almost every color of the rainbow, and its sturdy steel braces keep it standing upright when you let go of the handles. It’s made with safety in mind, thanks to its soft, round edges.
As a rule, be sure to always supervise children for a safe playtime. For more backyard fun ideas, check out our list of the best outdoor toys for kids.
Tender Leaf Toys Garden Wheelbarrow Set Help your child develop a green thumb with this sturdy wooden set that features a wheelbarrow and also comes with pretend seed packets and three toy flower pots with a sunflower and carrot and tomato plants. Kids can use the pretend watering pot, trowel, and pruning clippers to tend to the plants. It’s manufactured from Indonesian rubberwood and is suitable for children aged three and older. tenderleaftoys.com
Why You Should Gift Your Child A Wheelbarrow
There are so many high-tech toys on the market, it can be easy to overlook the classics.
There are so many high-tech toys on the market, it can be easy to overlook the classics. Children's wheelbarrows may not look exciting, but there are plenty of reasons why your youngster would love to recieve one of these toys.
First, wheelbarrows can help motivate children to play outside. Today, kids spend an ever-increasing amount of time tinkering with their smartphones and watching television rather than exploring their surroundings. Even toddlers are able to master electronics with incredible speed, often at the expense of learning other valuable skills.
As you might expect, wheelbarrows come in handy in the garden. If you want to instill in your child love and respect for the outdoors, start at home by encouraging them to take up gardening. A wheelbarrow is a wonderful tool for safely and easily moving materials like dirt and mulch from one end of the yard to the other.
Little children will enjoy being able to help older, more experienced family members perform light yardwork, like tending to flowers, vegetables, and herbs. This type of activity is perfect for demonstrating the concept of hard work and the value of patience. They will be thrilled to discover, after weeks of waiting, that their efforts have resulted in beautiful blossoms, ripe tomatoes, or fresh parsley.
Giving your son or daughter a thoughtfully designed kids' wheelbarrow is a much better plan than allowing them to experiment with a full-size model. With a smaller one, they will be able to mimic grown-up tasks without putting themselves at risk of injury, and without damaging any expensive equipment.
There are also the benefits associated with open-ended play. Whether your little one wants to transport building blocks, stuffed animals, or gardening supplies, there's no wrong way to use these tools. Research shows that children who play with toys that allow for creative interpretation are more confident and have better learning outcomes down the line. There's no more compelling reason than that to invest in a wheelbarrow for your growing tyke.
Finding The Right Model
You might be surprised to learn that there are quite a few children's wheelbarrows to choose from. Here are some of the main features to consider as you shop.
The material construction of the toy is the first aspect to check off your list. For younger kids, plastic wheelbarrows are a good choice. They're durable, but lightweight and easier to push around than their metal counterparts. Youngsters with a genuine interest in landscaping will benefit from using models that are made out of weather-resistant woods and metals.
Children's wheelbarrows are available in a range of appealing hues.
Don't forget to look at the wheel itself. Some wheelbarrows come with rugged rubber wheels that are designed to handle uneven terrain. Smooth-wheeled toys are ideal for kids who don't intend to put the tool to frequent use in the yard, and options with plastic wheels are great for indoor use, as they are less likely to leave unsightly marks on wood or linoleum floors.
If you want to make it easy for your son or daughter to begin playing in the garden, choose a wheelbarrow that comes with accessories. You'll notice that there are several models on the market that feature miniature tools, like shovels and rakes. Items like these make playing outside that much more engaging and fun.
Finally, there's color — the quality that kids respond to first when it comes to toys. Children's wheelbarrows are available in a range of appealing hues. For a timeless appearance, there's the classic, solid red model from the iconic Radio Flyer brand. If your tot prefers bright hues, plastic models often come in vibrant color combinations.
A Brief History Of The Wheelbarrow
The wheelbarrow may seem like a simple vehicle, but there's more to the story than meets the eye. This tool has been around for quite a while, and has been utilized by people all over the globe.
While it hasn't been confirmed, there's reason to believe that wheelbarrows may have been part of ancient Greek and Roman life. The earliest true wheelbarrow appeared around 118 C.E. in China, where they were used by farmers to shuttle goods more efficiently between towns and rural areas, and by members of the military to cart weapons and provisions in battle.
The advantage of this design is maneuverability in any direction, in addition to enhanced stability on soft soil.
The inventor of the wheelbarrow is said to be Chinese Imperial Chancellor Zhuge Liang. The original Chinese models were larger than the ones we typically use today, and could support the weight of multiple human passengers. Some were built with sails that harnessed the power of the wind.
By the end of the 18th century, European visitors to Asia had taken note of the Chinese wheelbarrow's robust and clever design, though similar, albeit smaller, tools had been in use in Europe for several centuries by this time, and were mostly employed to cart short-haul loads from point A to point B. The Europeans used what they learned in the East to improve upon the vehicle's design, eventually arriving at the modern wheelbarrow.
Attempts have been made to further update the wheelbarrow. In the 1970s, inventor James Dyson of Dyson vacuum fame created a futuristic-looking wheelbarrow that rolled on one spherical ball rather than a conventional wheel. The advantage of this design is maneuverability in any direction, in addition to enhanced stability on soft soil. Dyson titled his invention the ballbarrow.
As you can see, the wheelbarrow is a historically significant tool. Its limitless applications and easy-to-operate design are what make special, kid-sized versions the perfect gift for any boy or girl. With a kids' wheelbarrow, your child will be able to learn the value of hard work and expand their horizons all within the safety of their own backyard.