- Family and Parenting
Top 5 Plastic & Wood Wagons for Kids & Toddlers 2015
A wagon can be a very nice accessory to have for your children.
I know when my kids have reached a certain age, usually around 3 to 4; they no longer want to ride in a stroller.
However, the wagon makes them feel just a bit more grown up and is enough of a different experience that they don't seem to complain.
Granted, a wagon does not have the typical safety harness is that a stroller does, and it is a completely different kind of vehicle, but we have enjoyed being able to use at amusement parks, walks around the block, or at other events.
What is Best? Wood vs. Plastic vs. Metal
Metal wagons are typically quite durable; however they do tend to get hot when sitting in the sun. When I was a child, we had a very durable aluminum red radio flyer wagon.
To avoid the heat we would simply delay a blanket down so our skin was not directly touching the material. Nowadays, many of these are painted with heat resistant type paint. Metal wagons are also recommended to be avoided in wet climates because of their tendency to rust.
If you really want to avoid the risk of temperature, consider the plastic wagon. These are also extremely durable, and they will not dent like metal wagons tend to. Plastic wagons also tend to offer a lot more features than those of other materials.
Wood wagons look very nice, but they do have a tendency to warp if exposed to rain, and they can start to splinter over time.
Does you child like to ride in a wagon
Key Features in a Kids Wagon
Believe it or not, wagons come with all kinds of features these days. A feature that I have always enjoyed is a canopy. These can either be hard plastic suspended over the wagon, or a cloth type canopy.
These are often made to be removed quite easily. Although it does not keep your child completely shaded from the sun as you roll around, it does help them a bit, and I have often draped blankets over the top to give them more shade as well.
There are some wagons that have removable seats. This is handy if you use your wagon for carting other things than children. Sometimes, the wagon will offer extra storage space underneath each seat. Keep in mind that those that offer under seat storage will often give your children less foot room.
I have also enjoyed using the cup holders that come with many wagons. If you are going to be spending quite a bit of time carting your children around in the wagon, having cup holders for them to have snacks and drinks in will help keep them occupied.
Look for a handle that swivels easily instead of being fixed in place. This will give you much more steering maneuverability. For added convenience when you need to store your wagon, look for one that offers a fold under handle.
Many wagons also offer a handy door for your child to open to get more easily into and out of the wagon. This is also a great feature because it keeps smaller children from tripping over the sides and falling out.
After having my two year old do a face plant on the pavement after trying to climb out of a standard wagon, we sold it and bought one with a door.
Is Flexibility Important?
If you will be doing more than just walking around your neighborhood and need to take the wagon with you two different events, consider a wagon that folds down.
This is great for those that don’t have a lot of room in their vehicles. These are often made with steel frames that are collapsible, with different kinds of material to form the sides.
If you plan on using your wagon mostly over paved surfaces, those that offer steel and rubber wheels or plastic and rubber wheels will work just fine.
However, if you anticipate pulling your wagon over grass, gravel, or dirt, look for a wagon that offers you air inflated wheels. These are often much bigger in size, and wider, so it makes pulling the wagon easier on off road surfaces.
Other Things to Consider in Wagons for Toddlers
Check the weight limit for each wagon you are considering purchasing. Depending on the age and weight of your children, you will want to find one that can meet your needs.
There can be some big differences in weight maximums from wagon to wagon. For instance, I have seen those that will only carry about 150 pounds, while others can carry up to 250 pounds.
As mentioned earlier, if you will be using your wagon to haul wet or moist materials, as well as using it in places with high humidity like the beach, you will really want to consider purchasing a plastic wagon. This will ensure that it lasts you a long time.
I really like the classic look of the Radio Flyer wagons. The above model is more of what I remember but the wooden model below is also appealing for keeping your kid inside!
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© 2013 Brandon Hart