I imagine you’re planning on buying a kick scooter that your kid can use for commuting to school. Or just have kiddie fun with friends around the neighborhood. Or they want a toy and insist it need to be a kid’s kick scooter. But here’s the tricky part: how do you choose a kick scooter that’ll serve your kid’s need while not overspending or buying something your kid might not even like?
Related: Best Scooters for Toddlers
That’s what this kids kick scooter buying guide is for: to give you the confidence you need as you navigate the choice-choked world of children’s kick scooters.
This isn’t a short guide, but I believe you’ll find it helpful. So, buckle up and learn everything you need to know before picking out one scooter and not another.
First off, why is do kids need a kick scooter? Are there any real benefits of riding a scooter for kids?
Related: Electric Scooters versus Hoverboards
Electric Scooters versus Kick Scooters
Benefits of Scooting for Your Kid
How does riding a scooter help your kid? Many parents invest in a good scooter for kids to get them ready for an equally exciting outdoor activity: riding a bike. This little device is a cool and effective way of helping your kiddo learn good balance.
Scootering is also a great way to help children develop their motor skills while doing an enjoyable physical activity. What’s more, this fun outdoor pursuit is an amazing opportunity for children to learn social skills.
And for families living in crowded cities, a scooter becomes a valuable personal transporter for kids. Your kid gets an environmentally friendly transportation device that gets them to school all while having fun and exercising.
And of course, no parent wants their kid to stay indoors watching cartoons or playing addictive video games. You want your kid to be out and about, making friends, and having fun. You want them to be out there riding and burning excess fat so they can stay fit and healthy.
What is a Kick Scooter?
A kick scooter is a wheeled street vehicle with 2-4 wheels used by kids and adults as a personal transportation device. This device has a handlebar in the front that the rider uses for steering and maintaining balance. It also features a deck where the rider’s feet stay during rides. The vast majority of kick scooters today are made from steel, aluminum, and titanium.
To ride a scooter, you push off the ground and then step on the deck once you’ve built up enough forward momentum or thrust. To stop on a kick scooter, the rider steps on the fender that hangs over the rear wheel.
Related: Best Stunt Scooters for Kids
Parts of a Kid’s Kick Scooter
Below is a list of various parts of a kick scooter and the purpose they serve:
Handlebar: Normally made of steel and sometimes aluminum, the handlebar is where you place or rest your hands during rides on a scooter. Even though turning on a scooter is more about leaning into the turn than steering with the handlebar, the handlebars are still necessary when turning. Aluminum handlebars are light, and this makes them a good option for kids.
Handlebar width, height, and shape are all important considerations when buying a scooter for a child. Each rider’s size and riding style determine what width and height are right for the person. The shape of the bar gives the scooter personality or feel.
Handlegrips: These are coverings found on either side of the handlebar and they prevent your kids’ hands from slipping around while riding the scooter. Some handle grips are made from foam while others are made from rubber.
For the most part, handle grips are collapsible. And the best part? They’re replaceable, plus, they’re pretty easy to find online and offline. If your child will mostly ride on tough terrain, get them a scooter with rubber grips. These grips increase safety by not letting little hands slide off the handlebars.
Deck: Typically made of aluminum, the deck is where the feet stay during scootering. At least, it’s where the riding foot permanently stands whether you’re pushing off the ground or not. Not surprisingly, the deck is the sturdiest, heaviest, and largest part of a kid’s or adult’s kick scooter.
Kickstand: This part holds and keeps the scooter in a standing position when your child isn’t using the device. The kickstand is foldable, and it’s pretty much like a motorbike’s side stand.
Front Fender: The front fender hangs over the front wheel and protects the little scooter rider from mud, dirt, and water showers.
Rear fender: This part looks similar to the front fender, but it serves a different purpose. The rear fender keeps dirt and water from sprinkling onto the young riders clothes. Here’s another super important purpose served by the fender: stopping the scooter or slowing it down. When the rider steps on the fender and applies a certain amount of foot pressure, the device slows down and finally stops. This makes the fender an integral safety feature on a kick scooter.
Wheels: Kick scooters typically have a front wheel and a rear wheel. Regular kick scooters for children come with PU wheels (PU stands for polyurethane) and off-road kick scooters come with inflatable or pneumatic rubber tires. Nothing grips the ground better than rubber, and nothing absorbs road shocks better than pneumatic tires.
Like roller skate and rollerblade wheels, scooter wheels have a core. This core is where the wheel bearings of the kick scooter live. Think of the core as a motorbike’s wheel and the urethane or rubber as the tire. Kid’s scooters usually come (at least the more affordable ones) with a plastic core, and that’s OK.
But once your little one starts landing more and more scooter tricks with force, these cores won’t last — they’ll break. When this happens, you’ll need to buy a new scooter wheel since you can’t replace the core separately. The core and the urethane are permanently attached to each other.
Bearings: Like kid’s bikes and skateboards, kick scooters have ball bearings in the wheels. These bearings tend to be ABEC 7 or ABEC 9. Learn more about ABEC 7 and 9 wheels here. Without these little parts, your kid’s kick scooter wouldn’t roll at all. Can you replace kick scooter wheel bearings? Oh yes, you can. And the best part? Replacement bearings for these kids’ fun vehicles aren’t hard to find, and they’re relatively easy to swap out.
Wheel axle: The axle is a steel rod that mounts the wheel to the scooter’s deck. When you buy a new deck or fork, you often get a new axle as well.
Spacers: Spacers are metal cylinders positioned between the bearings in the wheel’s core. These spacers hold the bearings apart so that when you’re tightening the wheels on your kid’s scooter, the compression won’t damage the bearings. Damaged scooter wheel bearings certainly don’t perform as well as they would if they were in great shape.
Neck: This is a metal part that connects the scooter’s head tube to the deck.
Head Tube: The head tube of a scooter connects the device’s deck to the T-bar and scooter’s steering system. Usually made of high-grade aluminum or steel alloy and comes with an integrated folding mechanism.
Head set: The head set is found above and below the head tube and looks like two protruding black rings. This part contains several important parts that support smooth rotation in the fork. These crucial components contained in the headset include fork race, top cap, bearings cup, compression rings (not always), and bearings.
Fork: Typically made of steel alloy or aircraft-grade aluminum, the fork is where the front wheel attaches. The headset bearings that control steering also control the fork. The fork runs through the head tube, extending all the way to the bar where a clamp joins and holds them together.
Front Suspension: Suspension is super important in a kid’s scooter. Without proper suspension, your kid ends up absorbing all the bumps and shocks as they ride.
Steering column height locking pin: When you adjust T-bar height in a height-adjustable kid’s scooter, it’s the this pin that keeps the new height locked in.
Headset bearings: You won’t see the headset bearings on your kid’s scooter because they stay hidden, but they control ride smoothness. Without the headset bearings, it’d be totally impossible to steer the scooter.
Found just above the fork, the front suspension helps the front wheel dampen shocks and vibrations,. This removes frustration from scooter rides, making every ride smoother than butter.
Clamp: The clamp keeps the T bar fixed to the fork of your child’s kick scooter. There are different kinds of clamps, and each type is designed to be compatible with a specific T-bar size. Clamps are sold in two different diameters that fit different bar sizes. Standard clamps have an outer diameter of 32mm and are compatible with standard scooter bars.
Then there are 34.9″ mm clamps that work with extra wide bars. But if you want a replacement clamp that works with standard and oversize scooter bars, be sure to choose 34.9mm clamps. This is a kind of universal clamp that features a small tube that makes the inner diameter 32mm. Learn more about scooter clamps here.
*Some clamps come with a quick-release mechanism designed to lock in the new height after height adjustment. Not all scooters allow for height adjustment, though.
Types of Kick Scooters
There are at least 5 different types of kick scooters namely trick scooters, skate park scooters, 3-wheelers, 4-wheelers, and street kick scooters. Each of these kids’ kick scooters is a little different than the others, and you need to understand what each kind is like before purchasing. Let’s take a closer view of these 5 types of children’s kick scooters:
4-Wheeled Kick Scooters
This scooter has 4 wheels as the name suggests. It’s the kind of scooter to buy for a pre-school or any 2-year-old. It focuses on stability, safety, and balance. You want to keep an eye on your little one to make sure they’re OK and help where necessary.
3-Wheeled Kids’ Kick Scooters
These are for slightly older kids (2-5 year old kids). Like 3 wheelers, 4 wheelers prioritize safety, balance, and stability. They have three wheels, and they’re the type of scooter kids graduate to once they outgrow a four-wheeler.
There are 3 kinds of three-wheeled kick scooters namely:
- Triders: This scooter looks different than most. Instead of one foot deck, it has two. It has three wheels, one in the front, one in the rear of one deck, and the other in the rear of the second platform. It’s easy to ride and quite stable.
- Kickboards: This one has two wheels in the front and one wheel in the back. The deck is all plastic and looks similar to a skateboard’s deck. This is pretty easy to ride, and whenever the little rider shifts their body weight to the right or left, the thing turns in that direction. In other words, it’s a lean-to-steer scooter for kids.
- Seat-and-Parent-Handle kick scooters: This is for parents with very young kids, parents who don’t like little surprises while shopping or walking around with their kids. This one comes with a handle which you can instantly grab and steer your little one out of trouble whenever you need to. What’s more, this scooter features a comfortable seat so your kiddo can scooter in restful comfort. This is a good option for 2-3 year olds.
Skate Park Kick Scooters
There are skate park skateboards, and then there are skate park kick scooters for kids. If your child will spend most of their leisure time riding their scooter at the local park, get them a scooter suited to that riding environment.
The skate park is a durably built kick scooter that’s able to take abuse from big, forceful landings, tricks, and jumps. Make sure your kid understands the skate park rules and is ready to obey them. I suggest you do 2 or 3 visits to the park and watch other kids scootering there to familiarize with the rules. You may also talk with these kids’ parents just to be sure.
If you’re not sure which is the best kid’s kick scooter for skate parks, consider the Arcade Plus Pro Scooter or the Arcade Defender Pro Scooter.
Street Kick Scooters
Like skate park kick scooters, kick scooter for riding streets have a solid build because they’re designed to withstand all sorts of massive jumps and tricks. These scooters also easy to maneuver to avoid ramming right into people and objects. The safety of your kid, pedestrians and bystanders, and the kick scooter itself is paramount. These scooters are durably built yet light enough for kids.
Trick Kick Scooters (Also Known as Stunt Scooters)
Whether you want to do tricks and stunts at a skate park, out on the street, or anywhere else outdoors, choose a stunt kick scooter. Like street and skate park kick scooters, trick scooters have tons of solidness and sturdiness poured into the scooter design. Yet they’re not too heavy that a child can’t lift them or go up to get air on them.
This scooter type typically features aluminum-cored wheels with PU “tires.” These are the only kind of wheels that can withstand the intense pressure from concrete-ramp-aided tricks and adrenaline-powered outdoor stunts, hops, and jumps.
Imagine your kid lifting their scooter off the ground and then hitting the ground with tons of force. Or wheeling around with all their body weight distributed over the rear wheel while the front wheel is up in the air. Or scootering backward and whatnot. They need an extremely strong yet lightweight kick scooter for these kinds of maneuvers and stunts.
Wondering what the best stunt kick scooter for younger kids is? The Fuzion Pro X-5 is a decent bet for younger kids, and it’s not too expensive. And if your kids are older, get the Fuzion Z250 Pro Scooter. This one is made from aircraft aluminum, which makes it really strong yet extremely lightweight. As you might expect, the wheels are rather small at just 100mm. But these wheels are alloy-cored, which means they super strong and durable.
What to Look for When Buying a Scooter for a Kid
Shopping for kind of gear that costs more than $10 can be a confusing and tiring process. There’s just too many choices, price ranges, sizes, handlebar shapes, colors, deck designs to consider. If you’re buying your kid their first scooter ever, there’s a few things to watch out for, and this guide reveals what things are.
Size the Scooter Right: Buy an Age-appropriate Scooter
If there’s one thing you MUST get right when buying a scooter for a kid, it is size and fit. If it’s not the right size for the child, they won’t be comfortable riding it, and chances are that they’ll ride it less often.
The right scooter for a child is determined by their height. Well, age isn’t the best way to size a scooter since not all kids develop in the exact same way. Below is scooter size chart to help you decide the right size for your little one.
But how do you size a kid’s scooter right? Measure the child’s height and see what scooter size (height) a reliable scooter size chart recommends. I got the chart below from the Skatepro, a company that deals in all kinds of outdoor gear.
What about handlebar height and width? For most kids, a handlebar with the same height as the child’s waist height should feel comfortable enough. As for handlebar width, choose a scooter whose bars are as wide as the your kid’s shoulder width. This doesn’t need to be a hard-and-fast rule, though.
|Kid’s Age||Kid’s Height (cm)||Kid’s Height (inches)||Recommended Scooter Height(cm)||Recommended Scooter Height(inches)|
|3-5 years||95-112||37.40″-44.09″||Under 70||Under 27.56″|
Deck Width, Length, Weight, Comfort, and Safety
As mentioned above, the deck is an important part of a scooter. Also, deck size is critical when it comes to sizing a kid’s kick scooter. This platform is where the little rider rests their tiny feet as they scooter to their heart’s content. It needs to sturdy, light enough, resistant to slipping, and wide enough.
Since safety is critical for kids, select a scooter with a reasonably wide deck as wider decks provide greater stability during use. As for deck length, a shorter deck length (16″long decks are considered short) means more maneuverability while a longer one translates into greater stability.
Deck length is the distance between one end of the scooter ‘s flat section to the other.
Stay away from decks that are too small. If it’s too small or narrow, stability and safety take a backseat, and danger takes the steering bars!
Also, avoid scooter decks that are too heavy. A scooter deck that’s too heavy tends to increase the odds of riding-related scooter injuries.
Resistance to Slipping
We all like smooth things and surfaces, but when choosing the right scooter for a child. Imagine what would happen if you bought a scooter whose deck was too smooth. Your kiddo would keep slipping around and eventually falling off the scooter. And who knows what’s lurking in the rocks or grass!
Safe scooters for kids come with a deck that has anti-slip properties. Once the kid steps on the deck, the feet stay where the child plants them and don’t keep sliding around. Usually, scooter decks have certain treatments that make them anti-slip and therefore safe for children and adults. Sometimes, the anti-slip treatment can be grip-tape like anti-slip stickers, or it can be rubber-coated sections that add friction between the foot and the deck.
Choose Scooter Wheel Size Carefully
What to remember: Smaller scooter wheels accelerate faster and make the scooter more stable because the deck rides closer to the ground. They’re also lighter compared to larger wheels. On the other hand, larger wheels don’t accelerate as fast, but they give the rider a smoother, faster ride.
Choose a scooter whose wheels will conquer the obstacles on the terrain they’ll mostly ride on. Another consideration should be the riding style of the child. If the surfaces are mostly even and smooth, a scooter with smaller wheels is preferable.
Such a scooter would be more stable since the wheels deck stays closer to the ground. And if your surface isn’t a little bumpy or has small potholes, go for an option with larger wheels.
Kids’ scooter wheels have a diameter of between 100m and 125mm or 3.94″ and 4.92″. Small wheels build up momentum faster than larger wheels, but larger wheels are faster in the end and reach higher top speed.
If your child is experienced enough to ride a pro-style kick scooter, they need an option with smaller wheels. Because they need more stability when doing tricks and jumps on their scooter. But they’d have to sacrifice a little ground clearance and speed if they go with smaller wheels.
In most cases, stunt scooters come with 100mm wheels, but 110mm wheels seem to be gaining popularity. The typical beginner scooter for kids tends to have 100mm wheels.
Advanced scooter riders can use 125mm wheels. These riders can travel much faster all while doing tricks and stunts. The standard stunt scooter comes with 110mm or larger wheels, and this isn’t what your kid wants if they’re going to own a scooter for the first time.
Scooter Wheel Core Matters, Too
A scooter wheel consists of three main parts: the outer part that stays in contact with the ground (urethane), the core (a spoke-like feature), and ball bearings. The core is designed to provide support as well as strength to the wheel.
Pay attention to the kind of core the wheels on the scooter you’re eyeing have. Generally, there are two kinds of scooter wheel cores. There are metal cores and plastic cores. If you’re buying a recreational scooter for your child, going with plastic cores is OK. But plastic doesn’t last as long as metal, huh?
If your kiddo is an advanced scooter rider who won’t stop until they’ve shown their playmates what they’re made of, get them a scooter with metal-cored wheels. Wheels with a metal core are way stronger and more durable, and they’re able to take abuse at all levels and retain their integrity.
Standard scooter wheels have a nylon core and are light and relatively strong. If you look this wheel, it looks like a roller skate wheel complete with spokes. And scooters designed for performing aggressive tricks and stunts have either an aluminum core/metal core or a hollow core. Hollow-cored scooter wheels are really strong, stronger than nylon ones. While they may not be as tough as aluminum-cored wheels, they’re lighter, and they’re what extremely good riders prefer.
Scooter Wheel Material
If buying for a toddler, plastic wheels are OK. But for older kids who are average riders, go with polyurethane wheels with a nylon core. But for advanced scooter riders, opt for PU wheels with a hollow or metal core.
Plastic wheels are heavy and have little if any rebound. You don’t want your child rolling over bumpy surfaces with plastic wheels that don’t absorb shocks at all.
And if your son or daughter loves getting off the beaten path to explore the wonderful worlds beyond, give them large (125mm) rubber wheels. Because nothing bests rubber when it comes to absorbing shocks.
Number of Wheels:4 wheelers, 3-wheelers, or 2-wheelers?
How many wheels should a kick scooter for a kid have? There are 2-wheeled scooters and 3-wheeled options, so which should you choose? Generally, the more the wheels, the greater the stability of the scooter, but the slower the vehicle.
For very young kids such as preschoolers, it’s best to choose a four-wheeled scooter for them. This is a super stable scooter for lightweight kids who need stability and comfort more than they do speed. You want to introduce your preschooler to this kind of a scooter before they’re old for a three-wheeler.
Three wheelers are also stable and safe scooters. And they’re a good buy for toddlers. Triders, kickboards, and seat-and-parent-handle are all different types of three-wheeled scooters for kids.
Light Up Wheels for Even More Fun
For very young kids, what’s the harm in adding a little pop to their fun? Light-up wheels have always been something young kids love to have on their rides, whether that be a kick scooter, rollerblade, or roller skate.
Scooter Height Adjustability
Being able to adjust the height of a kid’s scooter is generally a nice thing, but not always. For younger kids, those in the 2-5 age range, a scooter that offers handlebar height adjustability makes sense. This is because kids in this age range see some serious growth spurts of 3-4 inches each year.
If you have kids in this age range, consider choosing a scooter that’ll grow with your child. One beautiful thing about a scooter like this is that siblings can share the scooter.
Scooters with height adjustability aren’t the most durable. They’re best for toddlers and older kids who crave cruise-y fun without doing tricks and stunts of any kind anywhere.
For older kids and more advanced riders, it’s best to purchase non-adjustable scooters. Non-adjustable height scooters tend to have a really solid build, which means they’re sturdier and more durable. For youngsters who are always out at the skate park doing all kinds of maneuvers on their scooter, buy an option that doesn’t offer height adjustability.
Do you know why adjustable scooters aren’t recommended on stunt scooters? It’s because the last thing any parent wants is the handles sinking into the head tube just when the child’s landed a big, happy jump.
Compact Design: Is the Scooter Foldable?
Everyone travels with kids and their scooters at some point, and it’s nice to have a foldable scooter on your trip. If your kid is anything like mine, they’ll really love their scooter and want to travel with it.
That’s where foldable scooters that fold down to a much smaller, easier to carry size come in. With these travel-friendly kid’s scooters, all you have to do kill all the bulk is press a button and voila! A smaller, easier to store and transport kick scooter.
Will your kid use the scooter to commute to school? If yes, buy them an option that folds down reasonably smaller. Pick out something they’ll be able to store in the locker. If they’ll use public transit some of the time with their scooter, choose something with a carrying strap.
Not all kids’ scooters are foldable, though. For example, pretty much all 3 wheelers don’t come in a foldable design. However, you can always detach the T-bar from the deck and carry or store the three-wheeled scooter more conveniently. Also, three wheelers are typically smaller than the standard kid’s scooter, which is a huge advantage when traveling.
But foldable scooters aren’t the best option for every fun-loving child. If your kid is a real pro or has a decent amount of riding experience under their belt, don’t buy them a foldable scooter. A foldable scooter, especially one that offers handlebar height adjustability, lacks the solidness and sturdiness that a trick scooter needs.
For pro scooter riders, you should pick out an option with a solid build, one that won’t fall apart as a result of too much force. A good trick scooter is also designed to minimize instances of injury from jumps and stunts and tricks.
Kids’ Kick Scooter Price and Best Kick Scooter Brands
How much does a kick scooter for kids cost? Budget kids’ kick scooters costs around $50-$70. Decent ones cost anywhere in the $100-150 range (you can get an electrified one at this price!), and top-end children’s kick scooters cost $200-ish.
As for brands, Fuzion, LaScooter, Razor, and Micro Kickboard are all good brands. Not saying they’re the only ones though.
Kick Scooter for Kids FAQs
What is a Kick Scooter?
A kick scooter is a 2 or 3-wheeled human-powered vehicle with a foot deck and a steering handlebar. Kids and adults use this device for personal transportation, whether that is commuting to school, a friend’s birthday party, or even work. The rider stands on an anti-slip surface (deck) and pushes off against the ground to propel the scooter forward. Stopping the scooter requires the user to press down on the rear fender with the pushing or riding foot.
Kick Scooter for Kids FAQs
What Age is a Kick Scooter for?
Kids as young as 2 years can safely ride a scooter as long as it is the right kind of scooter for their age. If a preschooler rolls around on a three-wheeled or four-*wheeled kick scooter along with parental supervision, there shouldn’t be a problem. In general, any kid who’s learned to walk with a straight, steady gait can safely ride a kick scooter. As for whether young kids can ride electric scooters, that’s a different question altogether since these are powerful motorized vehicles.
How Do I Choose a Kick Scooter for My 5 Year Old?
Choose a 3-wheeler when buying for 2-5 year olds. Alternatively, choose a scooter that allows handlebar height adjustability. The wheels need to be relatively small for stability, and they should preferably be PU wheels rather than plastic ones. The width of the handlebars should be about the same as shoulder width while the height should be more or less the same as the kid’s waist height.
Is Kick Scooter Good for Kids?
Yes, a kick scooter is a nice micro-mobility vehicle, one that’s relatively environmentally friendly, easy to ride, and reasonably safe. It’s an affordable way for kids to get around or even commute to school while having fun and becoming less of a couch potato.
What Age Can a Child Ride a Scooter?
Any kid who’s just learned walking can ride a kick scooter. Most 2-year-olds can ride a standard kick scooter without a problem.
Who Invented the Kick Scooter?
The earliest kick scooter was a wooden contraption that had skate-like wheels, and it was invented in the late 19th century. It was a pretty crude invention, but it worked really well.
2 or 3 Wheel Scooter for 5 Year Old?
Most 5-year-old kids can rollerblade or roller skate, and they should be able to handle a kick scooter as well. But if your little hasn’t yet developed the level of motor skills required to safely scooter, let them ride a 3 wheeler instead.
2 or 3 Kick Scooter for 6 Year Old?
Most 6-year-olds can comfortably ride a kick scooter. If they can’t at this stage, it’s likely they’re a little behind the motor skill development curve. If they need a little more time riding a three-wheeler, be patient.
How Fast Can You Go on a Kick Scooter?
A kick scooter travels at an average speed of 8-10 mph, which is faster than walking. The average person walks at a speed of 2 mph, which significantly slower than a kick scooter. Yes, buying a kick scooter even when everyone else says you should buy an electric scooter still makes sense.
Final Thoughts on Buying a Kid’s Scooter
At this point in this kick scooter for kids buying guide, choosing the right scooter for your loved little one shouldn’t feel too intimidating. You now have a clear idea about what features and specs to look for. You even know how to choose an age-appropriate kick scooter for a child.
So, what’s next? Head over to Amazon or wherever you shop and pick out a decent kick scooter for your kid. If they’re a pre-school, choose a 4-wheeler. If they’re a little older all the way to age 5, get them a 3 wheeler. And if they’re 5 years or older and their motor skills are where they should be, definitely get them a 2-wheeler.
If they’re novice riders who are only interested in cruising around on their scooter, get them an affordable recreational-style kick scooter. But if they’re a badass kick scooter rider who lands really impressive jumps and stunts, definitely purchase a pro-style or stunt-style scooter for them, one with hollow or metal core wheels.
Oh, and get them to helmet up before stepping on the deck. Life happens all the time, even when a kid is traveling at 10 mph on a kick scooter. Here’s a bunch of dual-certified skate helmets your kiddo can use to cover that little melon.