Last Updated on January 18, 2023 by admin
Shown in featured image: VTech 3-in-1 Race and Learn. My mom had this at her house for my kids to play with.
When my son was a toddler, my father-in law presented us with one of my husband’s favorite childhood toys that had been stored in his basement for years: A plastic, toy driver’s console. The toy had a gear shifter, a steering wheel with a horn in the middle, and an ignition switch with a key.
My kids also inherited my husband’s love of vehicles, so they had a great time pretending to drive with this toy when they were toddlers.
The “heirloom” driver’s console my own kids played with is long out of production by now, but there are still some fun steering wheel toy options available for 2-year-old vehicle lovers.
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Battat Interactive Steering Wheel
My top pick for a driver toy for 2-year-olds would be this interactive steering wheel from Battat. It has buttons for “accelerate” and “brake,” and the play odometer responds to the buttons accordingly. There are also other fun sounds and games. Amazon reviews for this product describe kids using it to turn various piles of household laundry or furniture into pretend cars and trucks, so it’s a little more versatile than the heavier driver’s console toys on the market. Plus, this toy is actually suggested for ages 2 and up, which is rare in a market that caters mostly to early toddlers and preschoolers.
Melissa and Doug Wooden Driver’s Console
This console toy is pricier at almost $70 MRSP (although most of the retailers I checked at the time of this post had it for under $50). But the reviews are really positive because of all of its realistic driving features, such as a gas gauge that prompts kids to fill up the gas every so often, a radio that offers multiple types of music, and even a little “GPS” screen. This toy is technically recommended for ages 3+, maybe because it can’t pass choking hazard safety tests, or maybe because a few of the features are a little too complicated for younger 2-year-olds to use properly.
VTech Driver’s Consoles
The company VTech, which specializes in making tech-forward toys (think lots of buttons and beeps), also makes a few driver console toys: one for younger toddlers and one for preschoolers. For more on how to choose between the 18+ month toys and the 3+ toys, check out my full post on understanding manufacturer age suggestions for toddlers.