Last Updated on November 12, 2022 by admin
Firetrucks are difficult to compete with as far as the coolest trucks around. They’re probably the only big-truck-fan-favorite that’s consistently gleaming clean and shiny, for one. The beautiful red color doesn’t hurt, along with the drama and heroics that go hand-in-hand with fighting fires.
If you have a 2-year-old in your life who loves firetrucks, I have some suggestions for how to pick a great fire truck toy for them.
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Tips for Buying a Toy Fire Truck for a 2-Year-Old
Skip the battery-powered fire trucks.
It’s true that given the option, many children will gravitate toward the toys with buttons first. But I’d say most parents agree that battery-powered toys are generally more annoying and more likely to break than their non-battery-powered counterparts. My own 2-year-olds loved making their own sound effects for vehicles — even when those vehicles’ electronic sirens were blaring at the same time.
Smiley faces are optional.
I think the more realistic the truck is, the more fun it is for kids. My kids didn’t need smiley faces on their trucks to give those trucks personalities or even make them talk. Given the choice of a more realistic truck or a friendlier looking truck, they tended to pick the realistic one to play with.
Make sure the parts can move.
The one big no-no when it comes to buying toy trucks of any kind for kids is non-moving parts. Fire trucks’ ladders should swivel or it will just be a source of frustration.
Avoid pull-back and remote-controlled truck toys.
Younger kids just want to push their toy trucks around the floor/ground. They don’t need the trucks to rev up when they’re pushed, they aren’t going to understand the pull-back-to-wind-up thing, and they definitely won’t appreciate remote control cars that actively discourage kids from pushing them along. In my experience, all of those things can be fun for older kids, but just frustrate younger kids (and parents who don’t want them to break the toy).
Consider cleaning / mud / dirt.
Fire truck toys may not naturally get as dirty as toy construction trucks such as bulldozers and diggers, but its’ a good idea to anticipate a toy truck getting dirty. That’s another good reason to avoid electrical components on a toy truck.
Check the size before you buy.
Don’t rush through when you’re shopping. Toy photos are all standardized to the same size on web sites, and you wouldn’t be the first one to assume that you were buying a medium-sized truck only to find that it’s a miniature toy truck upon delivery. Scroll through the product photos until you see one with a kid in it for scale.
In case you’re not familiar with the brand, Playmobil has been around for years has a reputation for quality. I don’t often recommend Playmobil on this site because the sets all come with tiny parts that aren’t toddler-friendly. That said, if you remove the tiny accessories and put them away for when your kid is older, Playmobil vehicles can be a good choice. One of the main perks of buying into a brand like Playmobil is that you can expand your Playmobil collection over time, eventually creating your own little city with compatible-sized people and accessories. (My own kids have always preferred Lego to Playmobil when it comes to miniatures and city-building, but they have definitely played with Playmobil toys a decent amount over the years.)
Simple and Affordable: Battat
Battat is another toddler-friendly toy vehicle line that’s very affordable — and this one requires no batteries (yay). The little firefighter figure fits into the extendable ladder for extra options for imaginary play.
Toddler-Specific: Little People
This truck breaks several of my “rules” because it has batteries and isn’t very realistic. But I wanted to include this because Little People is a really popular line of toys that’s wide-ranging, and affordable. As I wrote in my post on miniature toy sets for 2-year-olds, Little People has many fun components that are all cross-compatible, so you could switch up the garbage truck driver with any other number of characters. If you don’t like the sound effects and music, you can remove the batteries. You can’t see it in this picture, but there’s a small, detachable ladder in the back of the truck.
Larger Than Life: Lena
I’m not as familiar with this brand, but it has some solid reviews on Amazon and seems to be made in Europe (which tends to equate to needing to perform to rigorous safety standards). The main standout feature of this truck is that it’s much larger than the other push-along trucks listed here. This is another brand that was technically designed with the age-3-and-up crowd, but if you have an almost-3-year-old or a 2-year-old who is particularly gentle with toys and fastidious about keeping them nice, this could be a good purchase.
The Cartoon Fan: Blippi
My kids were too old to get into this character, but Blippi seems super popular with toddlers these days, and the line of Blippi-driven trucks that are available on Amazon and at Target are all well-reviewed, including this fire truck.
The Wooden Option: Melissa and Doug
Melissa and Doug This wooden toy fire truck has a hose that can roll up, and the wooden firefighter figures included with the truck even have a little hole so that they can “hold” the hose. Make sure to look at the photo of the kid holding the truck for scale, as this wooden truck might be a little smaller than some of the plastic ones listed here.
The Eco-Friendly Option: Green Toys
If you want to go the eco-friendly route with your toy trucks, your options are somewhat limited. I couldn’t even find a wooden garbage truck for 2-year-olds that was available at major U.S. retailers when I searched online. It makes sense: Toy trucks are more likely to get wet and dirty than things like wooden puzzles or shape sorters or stackers, and plastic is easier to clean. Plus, toddlers still enjoy throwing their toys across the room, which makes plastic an ideal choice for them in many cases. With that in mind, this Green Toys fire truck is made of recycled milk jugs and is machine washable. It doesn’t come with garbage cans, which I think is a downside, but kids can still sort the garbage and dump it back out.
Ride-On Electric Fire Truck
Most of the people who come here looking for fire truck toy ideas probably are thinking mostly of the medium-sized trucks I’ve already listed here, but it should be mentioned that there are a few ride-on, Powerwheel-type fire trucks on the market, as well. These toys are expensive, take up a lot of space, and don’t tend to last too long in my limited experience — but that might all be worth it to see the look on your 2-year-old’s face when they realize they can drive their own fire truck around.
Ride-On Scooting Fire Truck
If you’re interested in the ride-on trucks but don’t want the extra expense and headache of maintaining a motor and battery, you could consider one of these scooter-type ride-on toys. This one has working lights and a horn, and although I generally recommend skipping the batteries for the toys, I think this does add a special air of excitement to the toy.
Fire Truck Pop Up Playhouse
This Melissa and Doug play tent can be an exciting option for a two-year-old’s birthday party. I’d worry about the durability of a tent like this from the photo alone, but it has plenty of five-star reviews on Amazon.
Fire Truck Books
Fire Truck Pajamas
This isn’t a toy, but it can make a fun addition to a gift for a 2-year-old. It’s easier for little ones to get excited about bedtime when they have fun pajamas to look forward to.