Boy plays with colorful toy truck for What’s so great about used toy trucks?

What’s so great about used toy trucks?

The toy truck is a classic that’s been around for decades. When I was a kid, my brother and I had a large collection of Hot Wheels. We used rocks and books and piles of clothing to create landscapes and roads that our vehicles traveled through. My brother favored pickups, but I liked delivery trucks.  And the fun we had was pretty much endless. Not surprisingly, playing with toy cars and trucks continues to be a popular pastime for millions of kids around the world today.

Are used toy trucks a good choice?

I can’t think of a better toy to buy used. Most used toy trucks still have years of life left in them. While some brands may be cheaply made, many toy makers make cars and trucks – especially construction vehicles - from durable materials like steel, wood, or heavy-duty plastic. Think Hess, John Deer, and even Green Toys.  

Green Toys makes virtually indestructible dump trucks and other play vehicles from recycled milk jugs. These toys are built to last. Buying used toy trucks and other vehicles are a great choice. They may already have a bit of character added by their last owner; your child can put them through more strenuous play scenarios and add a bit of character themselves!

Why do kids love trucks so much?

Kids love trucks. Probably because in the real-world kids are naturally drawn to loud moving objects – they’re all around and a fun sensory input. When playing they can interact with them as they build elaborate imaginary play scenarios that include vehicles. They can spin their wheels, push them along the ground, make engine noises, race them against one another, and more.

What age do kids play with toy cars and trucks?

Kids of all ages play with toy cars and trucks. But your child’s age will determine the type of toy vehicle you’ll want to get. A 1-year-old will need an age-appropriate toy, made with soft and smooth edges, with no loose or tiny parts. Oball Bright Starts Go Grippers and Melissa & Doug fabric cars are good choices for this age.

Your toddler might enjoy a bigger, sturdier construction vehicle like the Cat Front Loader, the Green Toys Dump Truck, or a Joyin Garbage Truck. These vehicles almost always have some moving parts – dump trucks that can drop their load – and some have accessories like trash and recycle bins. They’re better suited to the pretend play that toddlers begin to engage in around 18-24 months.

Older kids will be more interested in more sophisticated vehicles with lots of detail. They may especially enjoy vehicle kits, like Lego, that challenge them to assemble the toy first before playing with it.

Can girls also play with used toy trucks?

Some studies suggests that biological differences give boys an aptitude for mental rotation and more interest and ability in spatial processing, while girls are more interested in the relational experience of looking at faces and better at fine motor skills and manipulating objects. Whether or not this bears out, there are plenty of girls who love to play with trucks, as there are plenty of boys who, given the chance, will play with dolls. 

Since the latest research shows that gender is a spectrum rather than a fixed binary state, it makes sense to have plenty of different types of toys available to your child. Play sets that include both vehicles and figures can be considered especially gender neutral as they're likely to appeal to all kids. 

What are the benefits of toy trucks?

• Fine Motor Skills

Aside from being just plain fun, playing with trucks helps kids develop fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are the ability to make movements using the small muscles in our hands and wrists. Examples are picking up and putting objects down, and manipulating objects that have moveable parts, like cars with little doors that open.

The fine motor skills learned while playing will help your child draw, open bottles, turn a doorknob, button their clothes, brush their teeth, and fasten buckles.

• Hand-eye coordination and dexterity

Playing with toy trucks also helps kids with hand-eye coordination and dexterity. Especially with toys that have adjustable or detachable parts and accessories.

• Cognitive Skills

Kids develop cognitive skills by experimentation and exploration. How fast can you make the truck go? What happens when it hits another truck? What is the relationship between the size and weight of the truck and its speed? Does a larger truck flip easier? Through trial-and-error play with toy vehicles, kids learn the fundamentals of physics.

• Problem-solving Skills

As kids play with used toy trucks, they’ll encounter certain challenges as they navigate obstacles, built parking garages and carports, and figure out how to load and unload cargo. These scenarios require them to think critically, experiment, and find solutions.

Our favorite sustainability-focused companies make toy trucks

PlanToys is hands down our favorite toy maker. And they have toy trucks for all ages. Their beautifully crafted wooden Dump Truck is made using chemical-free rubberwood, and formaldehyde-free glue. The cargo bed can be lifted and tilted by a simple lever next to the driver’s seat. Its chunky, heavy tread tires make it look just like a real dump truck. Best of all, it’s an heirloom-quality toy and will last and last, so it’s a great sustainable choice for the circular economy.

Whatever brand you choose for your child, whether it’s a new or a used toy, just know that the purchase will be well worth it. Bring it home and enjoy the sight of your little one creating elaborate imaginary worlds and using that ruck to travel through them.

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