Best Rocking Horses to Buy in 2020

Best Rocking Horses to Buy in 2020

The rocking horse is a tradition and a classic symbol of childhood around the world, with a history dating back to the 17th century. Not only are these ride-on toys a lot of fun for kids of all ages, but rocking toys can also play a positive role in early childhood development. A well-built rocking horse can also double as a piece of decor and last long enough to be passed down through generations. To help you find the perfect rocking horse for your family, we put together a list of our favorite rocking horses to buy in 2020.

What to Look for When Buying a Rocking Horse

Rocking horses are great, but with such a wide variety of types and sizes to choose from, parents should make sure to do their research before choosing which one to buy.

Picking our Favorite Rocking Horses

Every rocking horse that made our list is a good choice for the right family, but to determine which ones were going to make the top of our list, we need to establish a set of criteria. Here are the factors we considered, as well as what options you should know about before making your decision.

Age Range

The most important factor to consider before shopping for a rocking horse is the age of the kids who are going to be riding. Depending on the model you choose and the size of your child, they could keep riding their rocking horse until they are six years old or even older. Most rocking horses fall into one of two size categories, the smaller of which usually fits children between the ages of 1 and 3. Larger rocking horses are usually meant for children between 3 and 6 years old.

Safety

Especially if your child will be using their rocking horse while unsupervised, safety is the primary concern. For each rocking horse we reviewed, we will let you know if there are any safety risks to consider.

Weight Limit

This is the most important aspect of making sure your child is safe while riding a rocking horse. Riders who exceed the weight limit of the rocking horse they are on can cause the rocking horse to break or fall over.

Size

Some rocking horses take up a lot more room than others. Parents who have limited space in their baby’s nursery or playroom should make sure they consider this when shopping for a rocking horse. The area around a rocking horse should be clear while your little one is riding in order to prevent injury should they fall off the side.

Fun Factor

Every little kid we know loves rocking back and forth on a cool horse. For each entry on our list, we will let you know what makes it stand out and why kids love it.

Style

Rocking horses can be quite large. This means that it’s quite likely you will be looking at any rocking horse that you buy quite a bit. We’ll let you know what we think of each horse’s style as well as which styling options you can choose.

Durability

A beautiful rocking horse makes a great family heirloom, we’ll let you know what we think of each horse’s chances of standing the test of time.

Now that you have a good idea of what you should be looking for in a rocking horse for your baby, here is our list of the top 9 rocking horses to buy for your child in 2020.

Top 9 Best Rocking Horses 2020

1. Best Overall Rocking HorseRadio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse

Radio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse

Why we like it: Our favorite rocking horse, the Radio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse combines the best rocking motion with the most innovative features on the market.

Editor’s Rating:

Size: 36” (L) x 41” (W) x 21” (H)
Weight Limit: 65 lbs
Age Range: 2-6 years
Batteries Required? No, however, 3 AA batteries (not included) are needed for the horse to make the “chomping” sound when being “fed” the carrot.

Our favorite option for parents looking for a rocking horse for kids between 2 and 6 years of age, the Radio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse features a patented EZ climb step that makes it easy for little ones to get themselves on the saddle. Radio Flyer has been a household name since 1917 when they started manufacturing their iconic wagons. This premium rocking horse is the perfect mix of technology and tradition, and is loaded with lots of great features.

Fun Factor
The Radio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse is the most fun rocking horse out there. The springs allow the horse to bounce forward and backward effortlessly. We loved that this rocking horse made different sounds depending on how quickly it was being ridden. Starting with a walk, the sound escalates to a trot and eventually a full gallop.

Style
Not only does the Radio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse look great, but it also has a great personality. With four different horses, each with unique names and looks, parents can choose between Blaze, Chestnut, Duke, and Freckles when buying this rocking horse. It also includes some great accessories like a comb, removable bandana, and a carrot that causes the horse to make eating sounds when “fed.”

Safety
The Radio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse feels incredibly secure when in use. Even though the recommended weight limit for this rocking horse is 65 pounds, it should safely handle larger kids with no problem.

Durability
Unfortunately for parents, there is a lengthy and complicated setup process before the fun can begin. This means parents will want to set aside a few hours to put this rocking horse together, especially if it’s a Christmas gift. Once it is assembled, however, the Radio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse is one of the most durable rocking horses we reviewed, and should last for years with proper maintenance.

Verdict
Thanks to the unmatched performance, unique features, and charming personality, the Radio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse is well worth its premium price.

Pros

  • The best high-end rocking horse we reviewed
  • Makes different sounds depending on how fast the horse is rocking
  • Safe and smooth ride

Cons

  • More expensive than other rocking horses we reviewed
  • Difficult to assemble

2. Best Budget Rocking HorseLittle Tikes Rocking Horse

Little Tikes Rocking Horse

Why we like it: This affordable rocking horse has been wildly popular in homes, preschool classrooms, and playgrounds for decades. Little Tikes has a great reputation for quality ride-on toys for kids.

Editor’s Rating:

Size: 33.5” (L) x 11.5” (W) x 16.5” (H)
Weight Limit: 50 lbs
Age Range: 1-3 years
Batteries Required? No

Discontinued for several years, the classic Little Tikes Rocking Horse has returned! This no-nonsense rocking horse has delighted kids for ages and is perfect for playrooms as well as outdoors. Perfect for babies and toddlers between 1 and 3 years old, this toy has a weight limit of 50 pounds and a seat less than a foot off the ground.

Fun Factor
Even though the Little Tikes Rocking Horse doesn’t come with many bells and whistles, this classic toy is still lots of fun. The sturdy plastic and wide base can take a serious beating, so moms and dads won’t mind seeing their little ones rock this horse as hard as they can.

Style
While the Little Tikes Rocking Horse comes with very basic styling and only one color option, this little rocker still looks very charming to us and we feel it would fit well in most playrooms and backyards. If you’re looking for a slightly fancier rocking horse suitable for small children, take a look at the labebe Wooden Baby Elephant Rocker.

Safety
With a seat that is very low to the ground, smooth surfaces that prevent pinching, and a wide base to prevent little arms and legs from getting trapped underneath, the Little Tikes Rocking Horse is safe for unsupervised play for kids as young as 1 year old.

Durability
Parents who are familiar with the Little Tikes brand will recognize their signature rigid plastic design. With a respectable weight limit of 50 pounds, this rocking horse can take a beating. While the Little Tikes Rocking Horse can stay outside in all weather, it is susceptible to fading and warping after prolonged exposure to the sun.

Verdict
The Little Tikes Rocking Horse is a simple and sturdy rocking horse that has been a playroom favorite for generations. It is more expensive than some of the other options we reviewed but it’s also one of the sturdiest rocking horses available for toddlers.

Pros

  • Sturdy and safe rocking horse for toddlers
  • Can be used indoors or outdoors
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Lacks additional features
  • Might warp if left outside for too long

3. Best Unicorn Rocking HorseAnimal Adventure Real Wood Ride-On Unicorn Plush Rocker

Animal Adventure Real Wood Ride-On Unicorn Plush Rocker

Why we like it: One of many adorable rocking horse designs from Animal Adventure, this unicorn rocker will keep your little one giggling for years to come.

Editor’s Rating:

Size: 28” (L) x 12” (W) x 22” (H)
Weight Limit: 75 lbs
Age Range: 3 years+
Batteries Required? No

Delivered totally assembled and ready to use, the Real Wood Ride-On Plush Rocker is a great twist on the classic rocking horse and is absolutely guaranteed to make unicorn-obsessed little ones very happy. The sturdy wooden frame is sturdy and suitable for everyday use. With a weight limit of 75 pounds and a seat height of 22 inches, this rocking horse is ideal for kids between 3 and 6 years old.

Fun Factor
Thanks to the strong frame and comfortable seat, you may have a hard time talking your little one into taking a break from this rocking horse. Even larger kids can rock this unicorn as hard as they want with no worries of breaking the frame.

Style
We love the unicorn styling of this rocker. The soft white body and pink accents are very cute, and the look is topped off by a sparkly horn. There are lots of little realistic touches that make this rocking horse magical. For kids who would rather a different style than a unicorn, Animal Adventures offers more than 10 different rocking animals with the same high-quality design. There’s even a Scooby-Doo rocker!

Safety
Because of the hard wooden base and higher seat size, this rocking horse is only appropriate for unsupervised play by kids who are at least three years of age.

Durability
Even though the Animal Adventure Real Wood Ride-On Unicorn Plush Rocker only weighs 4.4 pounds, it has an impressive weight capacity of 75 pounds. The wooden base is built to last for years, and the fabrics are easy to spot clean with a damp cloth. We are confident this rocking horse can be handed down to younger siblings and future generations.

Verdict
The Animal Adventure Real Wood Ride-On Unicorn Plush Rocker is a well-built rocker that is made to last. This moderately priced rocking horse is a great pick for kids who love unicorns.

Pros

  • Unique unicorn design is cute and detailed
  • The sturdy frame is built to last
  • Easy to clean
  • Good price

Cons

  • The unicorn theme is not for every kid, but there are several other styles to choose from

4. Best Rocking Horse for Young Childrenlabebe Wooden Baby Elephant Rocker

labebe Wooden Baby Elephant Rocker

Why we like it: Technically it’s a rocking elephant, but this is such a perfect rocker for babies that we couldn’t possibly leave it off our list.

Editor’s Rating:

Size: 25.6” (L) x 13.8” (W) x 21.6” (H)
Weight Limit: 150 lbs
Age Range: 1 year+
Batteries Required? No

Featuring what is perhaps the most comfortable rocking horse seat we reviewed, the labebe Wooden Baby Elephant Rocker is so sturdy that even an adult can sit on it. Even more impressively, this elephant-themed rocker transitions effortlessly into a rolling ride-on toy without the use of tools. The soft, plush seat surrounds kids with comfortable cushioning when they ride, but the seat is still large enough for kids as old as 4. Because this rocking horse does not include a seat belt, it is not for unsupervised use by children under 1 year of age.

Fun Factor
After spending some time reviewing the labebe Wooden Baby Elephant Rocker, we were not surprised at all to learn that it has won several awards for its fun and unique design at various toy exhibitions worldwide. With a smooth back-and-forth motion while rocking and wheels that can roll smoothly across most surfaces, parents who buy this product get two fun, high-quality ride-on toys in one.

Style
While “rocking elephant” isn’t an often-heard phrase, the adorable labebe Wooden Baby Elephant Rocker makes us wonder why. With big fluffy ears, a trunk, and a wide smile, we understand why so many kids love this rocker. This toy is available in either blue or pink, but we would have liked to see some more creative color options.

Safety
Because of the high padded sides on the seat, you can be confident that your little one will stay in place while they rock or roll on this toy. Even though it weighs just 8 pounds, the labebe Wooden Baby Elephant Rocker’s 150-pound weight limit is the largest of any of the rocking horses we reviewed.

Durability
Created by the French design team at labebe, the Wooden Baby Elephant Rocker is handcrafted with care as evidenced by the lush fabrics and excellent stitching. While this rocker is suitable for use indoors and out, it should not be left in the rain. The seat padding is high-quality and maintains its shape even after heavy use.

Verdict
The labebe Wooden Baby Elephant Rocker is one of the most expensive rocking horses we reviewed, but the fact that it quickly transitions into a fun rolling ride-on toy still makes it a great value. The massive weight limit means your kids will get years of use from this toy.

Pros

  • Seat with three high walls keeps riders securely in place
  • Transitions from rocker to rolling ride-on toy quickly with no tools required
  • High-quality fabrics and stitching

Cons

  • More expensive than other rocking toys we reviewed

5. Best Premium Rocking HorseJOON Cowboy Rocking Horse

JOON Cowboy Rocking Horse

Why we like it: Adorable in person and in photos, the JOON Cowboy Rocking Horse is what baby John Wayne would ride on.

Editor’s Rating:

Size: 29.5” (L) x 12” (W) x 28” (H)
Weight Limit: 60 lbs
Age Range: 3 years+
Batteries Required? Yes, 3 AA batteries (not included)

With a fun realistic design, the JOON Cowboy Rocking Horse is made for kids 3 years of age and older. Thanks to the sturdy wooden base and reinforced steel frame, this rocking horse has a higher weight limit than other similarly-sized rocking horses we reviewed. This toy also comes with a good selection of features including a detailed saddle, bandana, and stirrups for added stability while rocking.

Fun Factor
Thanks to the smooth wooden base, kids riding on the JOON Cowboy Rocking Horse are treated to a relaxing rocking motion. Thanks to the sturdy reinforced frame, your little cowpokes can stand up on the stirrups and rock back and forth as hard as they want to. Squeezing the horse’s ear plays music and makes galloping sounds. The saddle tends to move around while riding, but any child old enough to ride this horse should be heavy enough that this won’t cause a safety issue.

Style
Looking like he walked right off the screen of an old-time western, the JOON Cowboy Rocking Horse looks great in pictures with your little one. The included accessories like the saddle and bandana are highly detailed and add fun touches to this rocking horse. We also really liked the plush material and the nice mane and tail.

Safety
Because the seat on this rocking horse is relatively high, it is not appropriate for kids younger than 3 years of age. The stirrups provide extra support while riding and make getting on the saddle easier.

Durability
One of the only rocking horses we saw with reinforced steel frame, the JOON Cowboy Rocking Horse is a great choice for parents looking for a classic rocking horse that will stand the test of time. The premium polyester plush is very easy to spot clean with warm water and mild soap.

Verdict
The classic rocking horse improved with modern technology, the JOON Cowboy Rocking Horse is moderately priced and stylish. It is fairly similar to the less aesthetically pleasing Lucky the Talking Spring Horse, though, so if you want to save a little bit of money that option may serve you well.

Pros

  • Reinforced steel frame
  • Premium polyester plush cover
  • Fun sounds play when the horse’s ear is squeezed

Cons

  • The saddle can slip out of place while riding

6. Best Rocking Horse for BabiesKazoo the Wooden Rocking Zebra

Kazoo the Wooden Rocking Zebra

Why we like it: This friendly zebra makes a fun trotting sound, has big goofy ears, and helps your baby improve their balance. Kazoo is a winner in our book.

Editor’s Rating:

Size: 13.5” (L) x 23.5” (W) x 18.2” (H)
Weight Limit: 50 lbs
Age Range: 18 months – 5 years
Batteries Required? No

Filled with charm, Kazoo the Wooden Rocking Zebra has a big smile and soft ears. He’s also very fun for babies and toddlers older than 18 months old. One thing we immediately noticed about this rocker is the distinctive clip-clop noise when in use. With a maximum weight limit of 50 pounds, kids will be able to have a blast rocking and balancing on Kazoo until around their 5th birthday.

Fun Factor
A good stepping stone for toddlers who aren’t ready for higher rocking horses made for bigger kids, Kazoo the Wooden Rocking Zebra sits low to the ground, but the rounded shallow seat makes balancing on him more difficult than most other rockers for really little ones. This makes it a very fun way to help your child improve balance as well as their motor skills and core strength.

Style
Kazoo is a fun, cartoon styled zebra with lots of interesting colors and textures that toddlers will love. There is only one color option available.

Safety
The shallow, rounded seat makes this rocking horse a little easier to fall off of. While this may seem like a safety concern, it’s really not. Because Kazoo the Wooden Rocking Zebra sits only about a foot off the ground and is very soft, the injury risk of falling from Kazoo is very small for toddlers.

Durability
Arriving in one piece with no assembly required, Kazoo the Wooden Rocking Zebra features a simple but well-constructed base that will safely support your child for endless hours of rocking. There are no electronic components to break or batteries to replace.

Verdict
Kazoo the Wooden Rocking Zebra is adorable and a great tool for toddlers who are first learning how to balance. We especially liked the charming trotting sound that Kazoo makes when he is being ridden. Kazoo is cute, cuddly, and comes at an affordable price.

Pros

  • Helps toddlers improve balance, motor skills, and core strength
  • Makes a clip-clop noise while rocking
  • Sturdy solid wood construction

Cons

  • Easier to fall off than other rocking horses, so make sure play area is clear before rocking

7. Best Plush Spring Rocking HorseLucky the Talking Plush Spring Horse

Lucky the Talking Plush Spring Horse

Why we like it: The only spring-powered horse on our list that has a soft plush body, Lucky the Talking Spring Horse also features adjustable stirrups that make rocking easy.

Editor’s Rating:

Size: 39” (L) x 24” (W) x 37.5” (H)
Weight Limit: 65 lbs
Age Range: 2 years+
Batteries Required? Yes, 3 AA batteries (included)

Lucky the Talking Plush Spring Horse from Rockin’ Rider will send your little one bouncing up and down with glee as they ride. Unlike a traditional rocking horse with a curved base, Lucky is held up by springs supported by a sturdy steel frame, providing a bounce that is a big hit with kids between 2 and 5 years of age. This rocking horse does take up more space than most other options, but Lucky does have an impressive 65-pound weight limit.

Fun Factor
Not only is Lucky fun to ride, but he also talks too! Squeeze one of his ears and he’ll say one of 6 fun phrases or sing an original song. More than simply playing the sound, kids will be amazed as Lucky actually moves his mouth to talk to them. The stirrups can adjust to three different positions in order to fit your child as they grow.

Style
We love Lucky’s colorful and detailed saddle. He makes quite an impression when you first see him because he sits high up in the frame in a jumping position. Lucky the Talking Plush Spring Horse is a great choice for parents looking to make a big splash on Christmas morning.

Safety
Because he sits higher off the ground than a typical rocking horse, falling off of Lucky is more likely to cause injury than other rocking horses we reviewed. However, thanks to the comfortable saddle, adjustable stirrups, and easy-to-hold handle, you don’t need to worry too much about your little one losing their balance. Also, the springs are safely covered, minimizing the risk of pinched fingers.

Durability
With a sturdy steel frame and stuffed plush body, Lucky the Talking Plush Spring Horse is well built and suitable for years of rough play. Unfortunately, the parts that make Lucky sing and talk are not as durable as the rest of the unit. Several parents told us that the talking mechanism does not last as long as the rest of this rocking horse, especially after excessive use.

Verdict
Lucky the Talking Plush Spring Horse is a great choice for parents looking for an exciting ride-on toy for their little ones. It is more expensive than many of the other options we reviewed, but the unique bouncing motion is sure to keep kids entertained for hours at a time. Lucky also makes a great Christmas present.

Pros

  • Lucky moves his mouth when he talks or sings
  • Stirrups adjust to provide balance as your child grows
  • High weight limit

Cons

  • More expensive than other options we reviewed
  • The mechanism that makes Lucky talk is less durable than the rest of the toy

8. Best 2-in-1 Rocking HorseRockin' Rider Charger 2-in-1 Ride-On Pony

Rockin' Rider Charger 2-in-1 Ride-On Pony

Why we like it: Even though it’s not the most durable rocker we reviewed, your child will have so much fun playing with this inexpensive 2-in-1 ride-on toy that converts into a roller.

Editor’s Rating:

Size: 23.5” (L) x 19” (W) x 10” (H)
Weight Limit: 40 lbs
Age Range: 12 months- 3 years
Batteries Required? Yes, 3 AA batteries (included)

The Rockin’ Rider Charger 2-in1 Pony easily converts between a rocking horse and a rolling ride-on horse with a push of a button. It looks adorable and has a huggable, plush body. With a seat height of 12.5 inches when rocking and 10 inches while rolling, this toy has a weight limit of up to 40 pounds. The horse also sings the song, “I’m a Little Pony” when its ear is squeezed.

Fun Factor
Little cowboys and cowgirls will love their Rockin’ Rider Charger 2-in-1 Ride-On Pony because it’s really fun to ride in both wheeled and rocking modes. Most importantly, thanks to the one-button docking system, switching between rocking and rolling is as simple as pressing a button and does not require any tools. The original song played by the pony is cute enough that you won’t mind hearing it over and over.

Style
With friendly eyes and an adorable face, the Rockin’ Rider Charger 2-in1 Pony looks incredibly huggable. Thankfully, the body is as soft and cuddly as it looks, so your little ones won’t be disappointed. Unfortunately, the mane and tail fur have a habit of wearing out and falling off after extended play.

Safety
Because of the soft body of the toy and the low seat height, there is very little risk of falling while using this rocking horse. There is a potential for pinched fingers in the base when attaching or detaching it from the horse. This part should only be done by an adult or an older child.

Durability
Unfortunately, durability is one of the weaker categories for the Rockin’ Rider Charger 2-in-1 Ride-On Pony. It is one of the lower-priced options on the list and that is reflected in the build quality. We heard from several parents who reported various parts of this product being worn down after heavy play, specifically the handles, mane, and tail.

Verdict
The Rockin’ Rider Charger 2-in-1 Ride-On Pony is a great concept and offers a lot of fun at a very low price. The original “I’m a Little Pony” song is a big hit with families everywhere.

Pros

  • Converts between rocking and rolling with one button
  • Sings “I’m a Little Pony” when its ears are squeezed
  • Plush and huggable body

Cons

  • Some parts are prone to excessive wear and tear

9. Best Compact Rocking HorseHappy Trails Rocking Haley Horse Ride On

Happy Trails Rocking Haley Horse Ride On

Why we like it: One of the smallest and lightest rocking horses we reviewed, this is a good choice for parents with space limitations.

Editor’s Rating:

Size: 28.5” (L) x 13.5” (W) x 26.5” (H)
Weight Limit: 50 lbs
Age Range: 2-3 years
Batteries Required? No

This charming rocking horse for toddlers features a 17-inch high seat and is suitable for riders under three years old. Handcrafted with a wood core, the Happy Trails Rocking Haley Horse sits on top of sturdy wooden rockers. While the manufacturer does not provide a maximum weight limit, it is plenty sturdy even for larger toddlers.

Fun Factor
A quintessential rocking horse, the Happy Trails Rocking Haley Horse is a great addition to your baby’s nursery or playroom that is sure to be loved and create great memories. The wooden core and sturdy construction mean that this toy is ready for rough rocking.

Style
With a grey coat and white spots, the Happy Trails Rocking Haley Horse is cute and looks great in persona nad in pictures. We especially liked the cute leather saddle and bridle. Unfortunately, while the stirrups look cute, they do not provide much stability for little ones who need help mounting this rocking horse.

Safety
Weighing only about 5 pounds, the Happy Trails Rocking Haley Horse is one of the lightest wooden rocking horses we reviewed. While it is still very sturdy, this means that children too large for this rocking horse may cause it to tip over if they try to rock too hard.

Durability
The Happy Trails Rocking Haley Horse is easy to assemble and feels solid when being used. Unfortunately, the quality of the stitching that holds the plush body together is not as high as other options we reviewed. There are visible seams you might begin to notice signs of wear in as little as a few months. Thankfully, this does not affect the safety of this rocking horse.

Verdict
A great choice for parents looking for a classic rocking horse for their toddlers at a very low price, the Happy Trails Rocking Haley Horse is a solid addition to your little one’s room. However, the narrow recommended age range means that your little ones will probably be too big for this rocking horse by the time they turn 3.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Plush body with leather accessories
  • Only weighs about 5 pounds
  • Low price

Cons

  • The stitching on the plush portion of this rocking horse is lower quality than other options we reviewed

Rocking Horse Buyer’s Guide

There are few children’s toys as universally loved as the rocking horse. Originally gaining popularity in Victorian England, this riding toy has delighted dozens of generations of children. It was even inducted into the National Toy Hall of Fame in 2004. It makes sense to us. Rocking horses are fun to ride, they help babies develop their motor skills and muscles, and they look great in playrooms and pictures.

Types of Rocking Horses

Even though every rocking horse basically does the same thing, there are big differences in how they get the job done. Depending on your budget and the features you are looking for, any of these kinds of rockers might fit the bill.

  • Wooden Rocking Horses: The first thing most people picture when they think of a rocking horse is a simple all-wooden riding toy.There are still some rockers being sold that are made only of wood, but they aren’t very comfortable to ride.
  • Plush Rocking Horses: This is the most popular type of rocking horse sold today. Plush rocking horses like Lucky The Talking Plush Spring Horse combine a soft body with a frame made of plastic, metal, or wood. These horses are more comfortable to ride and support your baby’s physical development better.
  • Plastic Rocking Horses: Perfect for preschools and households with lots of young children, a plastic rocker like the classic Little Tikes Rocking Horse is super durable and easy to clean.
  • Spring Rocking Horses: Providing a smooth but bouncy ride, we believe that the rocking horses that are propelled by springs are the most fun and exciting. Most parents we spoke to agreed. The iconic Radio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse is a spring rocking horse and is our top premium pick for rocking horses.

Rocking Horses: A Toy Unlike Any Other

A child never needs to be told how to play with a rocking horse. Maybe it’s instinct or a natural connection between humans and horses, but whatever it is, there is a special appeal that has kept these toys around for hundreds of years without any hint of going out of style. In a world where children are increasingly overrun by screens, the rocking horse continues to be a breath of fresh air.

In addition to providing wholesome fun for both boys and girls, rocking horses also provide great exercise for your little one and help them develop crucial balance and coordination. Especially for toddlers, rockers build core strength and promote healthy muscle growth. A sturdy rocking horse is a great opportunity for your little cowboy to use their developing strength and release their energy in a safe way. Rocking movements also trigger the systems in the body responsible for balance, which will make your child more steady on their feet.

Rocking Horses and Mental Health

The soothing motion of a rocking horse is often a welcome comfort to children who are too old for pacifiers and baby bassinets. Combined with the emotional attachment many children form with their own rocking horse, there is little doubt among parents that there is a tangible mental health benefit for little ones who spend time rocking on a horse.

Rocking Horses for Kids With Special Needs

Because of the positive mental effect of riding a rocking horse regularly, many experts suggest a rocking horse to help soothe children with special needs. There are even extra-large rocking horses with high weight capacity for special needs children and adults.

A Rocking Horse Can Become an Heirloom

Do a quick online search for vintage rocking horses and you will find lots of rockers from every era that sell for more today than they did when they were new. This is because a high-quality rocking horse like the JOON Cowboy Rocking Horse can last for generations and is always an appreciated hand-me-down. You can count on a sturdy wooden rocking horse to last for decades if taken care of properly.

Taking Care of Your Baby’s Wooden Rocking Horse

For us, the main appeal of a quality rocking horse featuring a wooden frame is that it is built to stand the test of time. Here are some tips for keeping your baby’s rocking horse looking great and rocking smoothly for years to come.

  • The best way to keep wooden parts of your baby’s rocking horses looking shiny is with regular dusting. Over time, dust tends to settle on wood and can create marks. Soft cloths and feather dusters work best for this purpose.
  • Even if the wooden parts of your child’s rocking horse are protected with finish or varnish, you want to make sure to clean up any spills right away. Wood surfaces should be routinely cleaned with a soft cloth with warm water.
  • Rocking horses are meant to be used, so it’s only natural that your little one’s rocking horse will have some nicks and scratches after lots of rocking. There are a variety of methods to fix these and keep the rocking horse looking like now, some are outlined in this video.

Rocking Horse FAQ

Q: What is the best rocking horse for toddlers and older kids?

A: Our favorite rocking horse for kids who are at least two years of age is the Radio Flyer Interactive Riding Horse. This rocker has a bouncy, spring-powered motion and variable sounds that change depending on how quickly your little one is rocking.

Q: When can babies begin riding on rocking horses?

A: With supervision, babies can begin riding rocking horses that have proper support for their back once they are able to sit up on their own power while rocking. Babies are ready for this by around their first birthday.

Q: What is the best rocking horse for babies?

A: Our favorite rocking horse for babies as young as 12 months old is the Baby Elephant Rocker by labebe featuring a seat with three high, cushioned walls, your baby is kept firmly in place while they rock with or without help from you.

By choosing the product that best suits you and your childs needs, you’ll be selecting a well-built toy that should keep your little cowboy in training happy for years to come.