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Best Ride On Toys for 3 Year Old Boys

Updated on September 27, 2016

Bubba riding his Kettler Front Loader

A perfect ride on toy for a little boy who loves to build and pretend that he is a construction worker.
A perfect ride on toy for a little boy who loves to build and pretend that he is a construction worker. | Source

Find and Purchase the BEST Ride On Toys for Your Little Boys:

Welcome all who are looking for ideas for the best ride on toys for children. I have three grandsons 8 years old and under. I want to give them toys that I know they will love and will play with for years to come--think QUALITY.

I do not want to waste money on something that will break in the first five minutes or be discarded under the deck never to be loved again.

This is what I have observed about my grandsons:
All three of them love BIG tractors, trucks, excavators, etc... Vehicles that they see on construction sites.

Therefore, I limited my search to just these types of ride-on toys. Fire Trucks, cars, and motorcycles are not here. They do like these, but, they LOVE "work" toys the most.

I did the research and found the best rated ride on toys for my boys on the internet that I know they will love. When possible, I included links to the best prices I could find for those toys.

Image of the little boy on the Kettler/Cat front loader was taken by me. You may not use it without permission. He got that classic ride-on toy for Christmas.

Please Note:

The children pictured with the ride-on toys are NOT included with purchase.

Before You Buy a Toy, Remember To:

Read all the reviews!

Make sure it is age-appropriate!

Read all the specifications!

Check for toy recalls!

One of my favorite toys: the John Deere Gator (battery operated) - My 3 and 4 year old Grandsons' Favorite Ride On Car-- But 6 year old girls like the John Deer

This John Deere Gator might seem a little expensive, but when you have two sons, it is well worth the $$$.

My grandsons (ages 4 and 2 1/2 years when this ride-on was purchased) just love this ride on toy. It is battery operated so it takes some effort to keep it going. However, you can make your boys be in charge of charging! Yes!

Click John Deere Gator in action! to see how even a large Basset Hound enjoys the gator! As you can see in the image below, even girls love the Gator!

(this is my personal photo of my grand-daughter, do not use without permission)

OR click the link below to buy it now from (usually free shipping!)

Peg Perego John Deere Gator XUV, Green
Peg Perego John Deere Gator XUV, Green

This battery operated John Deere Ride On is still being played with after 3 years! Definitely got our money's worth.

Unfortunately, no longer available. Look below to see if there is a John Deere Gator Ride On Toy on eBay or find it at Free shipping on orders over $69.

Even a basset hound can fit in a John Deere Gator! Photo by me, Mickie_G
Even a basset hound can fit in a John Deere Gator! Photo by me, Mickie_G | Source

How I did the research to find the best toys:

The Basset Hound loved the Gator! Photo taken by me, Mickie_G

First, I watched my grandsons in a toy store.

I did many internet searches finding ride-on toys and specific ride-on toys--etc... FYI: Many of these ride on toys on this page have been featured on the website Best Ride On Toys for Kids.

Once I decided on the type of toy or even specific toys, I read the customer reviews of those ride-ons. If any toy received less than 4 starts out of 5, I deleted it from my list.

I tried to find the actual toys (or brands) in a store so I could touch them. If possible, I took the grandsons with me.

Then I found companies that sold the toys and looked for the best price and for companies with high customer satisfaction. Some of these were discovered during my internet search. I try to find companies with an online visibility that got good ratings by users. Amazon has a terrific reputation (they also have ratings for the individual stores, too). The customer reviews were very helpful.

WalMart is another online that is pretty good. My daughter asked Santa to deliver the Kettler Caterpillar Kid Tractor with Trailer ride-on toy to Wal-Mart to help out with the assembly. It was easy. WalMart also has customer reviews on the site.

The Ride On that Started my Quest: The Kettler Digger Ride On Toy - Little Boys LOVE this CAT Ride On!

The Excavator by Kettler is the toy that started my search for the best ride on toys for my grandsons. Bubbie (he was almost 3) saw this ride on Cat Excavator in The Homewood Toy & Hobby Store (in Alabama) and had to be forced to get off of it.

My daughter carried him out the door kicking and screaming. It wasn't because he wanted her to buy it, he just wanted to keep on playing on it. I consider that a Big recommendation.

The excavator is now redesigned from the one I originally saw in the toy store. For the better!

NOTE: Labeled as one of the best "Ride on Toys of All Time" by The Best Toy Guide

On Amazon the shipping is sometimes free!

A Best Selling Ride On Toy From Kettler is the CAT Digger!

rolly toys CAT Construction Ride-On: 360-Degree Excavator/Shovel Digger, Youth Ages 3+
rolly toys CAT Construction Ride-On: 360-Degree Excavator/Shovel Digger, Youth Ages 3+

Little boys love this CAT Excavator! Shipping on large items like this one is sometimes free on Amazon.

Remember to read all the reviews--including the negative ones.


You Might Want To Purchase the Kettler CAT Frontloader (with wagon)! - This is the ride on toy you see at the top of this page.

Santa delivered the CAT frontloader, but if you are a grandparent, you can purchase it using my Amazon link if you scroll down a bit.

If Santa does not bring this toy assembled, I personally know of some parents who put it together easily--and they are not tool savvy, either. Note, it takes two people to put the CAT Kettler frontloader together.

My grandson, Bubbie, LOVES this toy. He can operate it easily. See him in action in the picture at the top of this page.

It is a relatively inexpensive toy and uses petal power, not a battery.

My Grandson's Favorite Construction Site Ride On Toy is the Kettler CAT Kid Tractor.

rolly toys CAT Construction Pedal Tractor: Front Loader Tractor with Detachable Trailer, Youth Ages 2.5+
rolly toys CAT Construction Pedal Tractor: Front Loader Tractor with Detachable Trailer, Youth Ages 2.5+

This toy lasted for years! Even after the seat broke, the CAT frontloader with the wagon was still in use.


DUEL---How Much Is Too Much to spend for A ride-on toy? - Should you spoil your little boy?

I want quality for my buck. But I want it at the BEST price I can find. It is a plus if S&H is included. It is a plus if I can get it online and save gas. If a toy is really a good one $200 is ok. But, I think that one needs to really do the research and think about a purchase.

How much are you willing to spend on a quality toy for your child?

Less than $200! In these times, less is best.

Less than $200! In these times, less is best.

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    • ladykida 5 years ago

      I already bought a lower grade pad for my 3 yr old...he loves angry birds and other various childrens learning was less than $100 tax included. And the pad has replaced a lot of toys already!

    • TopToysForKids 5 years ago

      Well, I would spend around $200....but they're only kids for a short's almost like blowing money. I like $50 range, and you can still get GREAT toys! :) And, kids usually only play with something for a while, then they get bored with it.

    • goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

      i would say less than 200 bucks.

    • JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

      Although quality is important, I think people often overspend on gifts for kids. Remember, as kids get older they'll expect more and more.

    • Ann Hinds 5 years ago from So Cal

      It depends on the toy and my child's interest. If it is something that he is going to use a lot, I am willing to spend more. Normally, I try to keep it within the budget which isn't much right now.

    • desa999 lm 5 years ago

      Usually we spend under $200, as we like to spread the joy around our extended family.

    • anonymous 5 years ago

      Theoretical I'd say "the sky is the limit", but with a practical salary it would have to be under $200. I like that you featured some great ride-on toys that are much more affordable.

    • egadapparel lm 6 years ago

      Wow these are some pretty awesome children's toys. :)

    • samholborn 6 years ago

      I'm from uk.

      i got my kids something like the deere tractor , THEY absolutely loved it, so did i cos it was big enough for three of us to go whizzing round the local playground, on a sunday morning,,,,

    • religions7 6 years ago

      Anything that's safe and will ride is good enough for me. While I have no doubt the extras thrill the kids in the short term. Long run anything that rides is fine by them I'm sure. Especially at three. I mean - they're not conscious of status yet, are they? They just want to have fun.

    • Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Maybe a super-indulgent grandparent might spend that much on a child's toy. I used to have fun with a spoon, a bowl and a patch of dirt to play in.

    • Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

      Maybe my kids are too old and i just don't remember, but I couldn't imagine spending even $200 USD (I assume you are talking US dollars) on a toy for a three year old.

    The sky is the limit. You cannot spoil the boys.

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      • Edutopia 5 years ago

        I say sky is the limit only because the right amount to spend on a toy is directly proportional to the total amount of money you have at any given time and thus there should never be a hard cap. Though spending a lot on a toy that will only have a very short play life is a waste regardless of the toy.

      • anonymous 5 years ago


      • baby-strollers 5 years ago

        200 is my limit and it would only be at xmas time.

      • anonymous 5 years ago

        Price doesn't matter as long as it's within reality's realm of what you can afford in your budget and what the child's attitude is; a self-entitled attitude is not getting an expensive toy. My willingness to buy an expensive toy would depend on quality, the novelty (is my child going to stop playing on it in 3 months?), and what it is ($400 video game vs $300 ride-on; video game would be a no-go). If my budget allowed it, I wouldn't mind buying an expensive toy as long as my little one isn't developing a self-entitled attitude.

      • nsixx99 5 years ago

        Well considering how much I spend on my son I would have to say the best products with the best reviews are the ones we buy regardless of price. Durability is always my first concern.

      • Doors4Home 5 years ago from Austin, TX

        Why not spend now? You can always make more money, it's harder to make more time.

      • anonymous 6 years ago

        Quality has to mean European or Exclusive Design or one of a kind. I normally shop at

      • spunkyduckling 7 years ago

        Don't have any kids but if I did price won't matter. The best is the best.

      My choices might not be right for you!

      I personally picked the toys mentioned in this article.

      You need to pick what is right for your own children. I hope the information on ride-on toys will help you with that choice.

      If you have purchased any of these toys for your children, let me know what you think of them.

      Good and bad reviews are welcomed.

      What is Your Opinion of these Toys? - Are my choices the best toys for your toddler boys?

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        • OliviaQ profile image

          OliviaQ 3 years ago

          Nice Lens, that awesome.. great gift idea..

        • Diaper Bag Blog profile image

          Stanley Green 3 years ago from Czech Republic

          Great selection ! I think I would pick the Caterpillar Ride-On Backhoe Loader from Kettler for my son...

        • PeacefieldFarm LM profile image

          PeacefieldFarm LM 5 years ago

          Thanks for the lens. I will be in the market for one before long.

        • piarejuden profile image

          piarejuden 5 years ago

          We have got the excavator for my nephew and he loved it... it's now passed onto my son... :)

        • profile image

          JoshK47 5 years ago

          Great guide! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

        • Brandi Bush profile image

          Brandi 5 years ago from Maryland

          These are great! I have 2 boys in this age range (2 1/2 and almost 4) and they absolutely love their trikes. They would be so excited about the John Deere and Caterpillar toys! :)

        • BestRatedStuff profile image

          BestRatedStuff 5 years ago

          Love the toys you have here,and I think many boys would too. Great selection, enjoyed the pictures and anecdotes.

        • profile image

          Edutopia 5 years ago

          Great lens, these will be a great buying guide for my brother to spoil my nephew with.

        • profile image

          ladykida 5 years ago

          I have a nephew with a caterpillar loader/ son hates to leave it after a visit to aunties house.

        • profile image

          dessertlover 5 years ago

          Great ideas here! I'm sure these would all be heavenly for little boys!

        • TopToysForKids profile image

          TopToysForKids 5 years ago

          Nicely done on this lens, it looks very professional! *Thumb'd up!*

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          I thought your kids not included was funny. I didn't know some of these toys existed. All the cool tractors. I have a daughter and she loves stuff like this. Wish I saw these before I bought her little push button quad haha. Some were the price I expected, but there were a lot in the $100-$200 range which is awesome. Great list :)

        • goo2eyes lm profile image

          goo2eyes lm 5 years ago

          excellent lens with personal touch.

        • Craftymarie profile image

          Marie 5 years ago

          Congrats on being one of the 35 favorite product review lenses :)

        • JoyfulReviewer profile image

          JoyfulReviewer 5 years ago

          These toys look like a lot of fun. BTW, congratulations on receiving a Purple Star and having one of the 35 favorite product review lenses!

        • Mickie Gee profile image

          Mickie Goad 5 years ago

          Thanks to everyone that congratulated me on my Purple Star awarded on Thanksgiving Day 2011. I hope this article helped those who went shopping on Black Friday and Cyber Monday!

        • Grasmere Sue profile image

          Sue Dixon 5 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

          What a great selections. Blessings, and congratulations on your purple star.

        • indigoj profile image

          Indigo Janson 5 years ago from UK

          LOL, kids not included with purchase! These do look like so much fun and congratulations on your Thanksgiving Purple Star win.

        • SheilaSchnauzies profile image

          Sheila 5 years ago from Omaha, NE

          Hey, just stopping by to congratulate one of my fellow Purple Star Thanksgiving winners! So congrats... and blessings too on a great lens you did here!

        • profile image

          marsha32 5 years ago

          cool toys for sure

        • Ann Hinds profile image

          Ann Hinds 5 years ago from So Cal

          My kid is too old but if he were smaller, these would be great ideas.

        • Mistl profile image

          Mistl 5 years ago

          Great inspiration for when I have kids at some point. :)

        • Rachel Field profile image

          Rachel Field 5 years ago

          Love these - my little boy's a bit too young yet though!

        • wolfie10 profile image

          wolfie10 5 years ago

          there are some awesome toys on here, i would love to be a kid again

        • profile image

          anonymous 5 years ago

          If my son was in a store with one of these Excavators or other great ride on toys, I'd have a hard time pulling him away too. He love smaller toys like these but I never saw the ride on versions before - great info.

        • profile image

          Jack-in-the-Box 5 years ago

          Great lens. You make my job as a grandmother a lot easier. Thanks for all your research.

        • doors4home profile image

          Doors4Home 5 years ago from Austin, TX

          I recently bought my son a new Cars movie ride-on and he loves it!

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          What great toys your kids have, they are very lucky.

        • norma-holt profile image

          norma-holt 6 years ago

          Great selection. My 2 year old grandson is just klearning to ride these type of things. To marks

        • mysticmama lm profile image

          Bambi Watson 6 years ago

          my grand babies are all girls so far ~ but the older one would love these anyway :)

          ~ Blessed >*

        • TreasuresBrenda profile image

          Treasures By Brenda 6 years ago from Canada

          NICE toys! Great job. My boys are outgrown these toys but they still love their toys.

        • profile image

          ohcaroline 6 years ago

          The toys look really nice and I am sure they would be enjoyed by any child.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          Now I wish I had some Grandsons to play on these little boy ride on toys! Ringing my little Squid Angel bell with a blessing.

        • RhondaAlbom profile image

          Rhonda Albom 6 years ago from New Zealand

          Great selection of ride on toys for boys. My girls are too old, but I think they would have liked several of these.

        • Virginia Allain profile image

          Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

          These are amazing ride-on toys. Any little kid would be delighted with one.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          We have the John Deer 6-volt Utility Tractor for our little boy. It is a good starter toy, but not much traction or speed. I suggest the next model up if your son/daughter is close to 3.

        • profile image

          anonymous 6 years ago

          Wonderful resource. Beautifully done! Squid Angel Blessed.

        • profile image

          anonymous 7 years ago

          Great toys, 5* and favorited.

        • Laddoo LM profile image

          Lloyd Pinto 7 years ago from Mumbai

          Oh!! this is a lovely little toy lens. Rated, Faved and Lensrolled to my toy lens - Huffy Green Machine

        • spunkyduckling profile image

          spunkyduckling 7 years ago

          Your grand kids look so adorable with the toys..are you really sure they didn't come with the toys? LOL awww..

          Cool choice of toys for kids got to admit that!

        • Mickie Gee profile image

          Mickie Goad 7 years ago

          Any time Johann! My grand-kids are used to dogs! [in reply to JohannTheDog]

        • profile image

          anonymous 7 years ago

          Great lens ! I used to teach preschoolers and would have loved to have these great toys! We did have trikes and the mighty Big Wheel which were great. You can't go wrong with a little red wagon either ! I will lensroll you with my Radio Flyer lens !

 5 Stars!

        • RhondaAlbom profile image

          Rhonda Albom 7 years ago from New Zealand

          I had no idea there was this kind of selection out there. Really interesting page, and I got a great laugh from your disclaimer about not including the children.

        • Laniann profile image

          Laniann 7 years ago

          The children are so cute on the toys and they look like they are having a lot of fun. The toys are great looking. 5*s

        • RV1 profile image

          RV1 8 years ago

          Wow, there are some amazing looking toys on here!

        • JohannDog profile image

          Johann The Dog 8 years ago from Northeast Georgia

          Oh my! Those look like super fun toys! Can I play too? Woofs, Johann

        • SusannaDuffy profile image

          Susanna Duffy 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

          Good layout, goos use of modules, good reviews, all round good lens

        • AlisonMeacham profile image

          AlisonMeacham 8 years ago

          I really liked the way that you personalized this shopping lens. It was great to see your personal reviews of each item and it was such a well 'crafted lens'. Angel Blessings to you.

        • Rusty Quill profile image

          Rusty Quill 8 years ago

          Hey great lens and a mighty fine addition to Review Central!

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