Scooters fall somewhere between a toy and a fun mode of transport. They not only help make walks with young children more pleasant, but they’re also indispensable for getting older kids to school. Getting your child their first scooter is a big moment in a family’s life: weekend strolls of a few blocks will no longer take the better part of an hour, and there are likely to be fewer tantrums when you spend less time on the road and more time enjoying the destination.
Typically, kids as young as two years old can use basic kick scooters (you may even find those with older siblings start as young as 18 months). There have been lots of new innovations recently to accommodate even younger children, like two-in-one ride-on/scooter hybrids that can transform from seated “bike” to standing scooter.
School-age children use scooters as a mode of daily transport; as they get older, you’ll notice two-wheeled, all-terrain, BMX big-wheeled and stunt scooters (the latter are an extremely popular style, whether or not your child can pull off tricks like wheelies).
As scooters become more ubiquitous, so too do circular economy subscription schemes, which allow you to rent scooters and bikes. The Bike Club - which has the ultimate aim of getting families “to throw away less and consume more” – is nationwide and stocks Micro Scooters, which families can rent from £3.25 a month (you can also rent accompanying safety gear and accessories).
“Scooters have really caught on; they come out for other things compared to bikes. They’re an additional mobility piece, for parks, for the shops. Kids can ride them from as young as two,” James Symes, co-founder of The Bike Club, says.
Safety is a big concern once your little one has their own set of wheels: intense supervision is required, especially in the early stages, and road safety conversations will start young and continue for years to come.
“The most important thing is to make sure that they can follow your instructions, to use the brake and to have sufficient coordination to avoid large obstacles. Always make sure that your child wears a helmet at the very least and ideally also protective padding on the upper and lower limbs,” advises Dr Jet Khasriya, an NHS-registered and private GP for GPDQ, the UK’s first doctor-on-demand service.
We have been testing a variety of scooters for toddlers, school kids and tweens daily for the past two months (and the last eight years before that). They’ve been tested inside the home – turns out scooting in circles is a thrilling activity for kids who can’t attend school during lockdown – on the pavements, in the park, on the grass and dirt, as well as going to and from school and on long walks and adventures. There is an immense variety available to parents now, with scooters at all price points and styles, many with kid-pleasing extras like baskets and LED light-up wheels.
One thing to note: these scooters require some level of self-assembly, ranging from securing a handlebar to a base to rather more advanced full-fledged assembly with gears and screws, including setting up brakes in some cases. Unexpected bonus: our co-reviewers spent quite a lot of time honing their engineering skills and, rather impressively put together a few of these which we had failed to assemble solo.
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Trunki small folding kids scooter with carry strap
Trunki is an innovative kids’ brand best known for cutesy pull-along suitcases and backpacks that can transform into on-the-go car seats. Trunki’s scooter really impresses, too, especially for the price. Both our three and five-year-old testers went straight for it, and even though it can easily support a child up to age six, our eight-year-old tester was happy to scoot along on it as well and seemed well-supported (for £10 more, you can get a bigger version).
The bright, gender neutral colours appeal right away, but it’s the extra bits that make this a winner not only for kids but for exhausted parents everywhere. There’s a clip-on/off carry strap, which can be used to pull children who don’t feel like moving. The strap can be used to sling the scooter on your shoulder or hang it from a pushchair when not in use. This three-wheeled scooter also folds up simply (just push the front and underside button simultaneously), which makes it easy to tote around (that’s the thing about scooters; parents inevitably end up carrying them for part of the journey).
The lean-to-steer design helps keep little ones balance when they’re first learning the basics, and it’s fitted with a rear brake. The handlebar adjusts to four height positions to grow with kids, so it’ll last a while. It also comes with its own carry bag.
Micro crossneck stunt scooter
We have been Micro Scooter devotees for years: the many Micros we have used over the years have been top quality, built to last and were easily passed down from one sibling to the next.
Certain styles have more "wow factor" than others: this crossneck stunt scooter, designed for kids aged seven and up, might just be the brand’s best yet. Since it’s a stunt scooter, it’s non-foldable and non-adjustable, to help maintain strength and stability for children performing jumps and tricks. It has a wide, sturdy handlebar, and we can attest that it fits a range of heights because our eight and 10-year-old testers use it with ease, as do we.
It’s absolutely beautiful, in a shiny metallic gold colourway, and is a very in-demand commuter scooter for secondary school kids (our eldest has been using it for school and we’ve noticed several of these models among her classmates and older students). It’s quick and lightweight, especially considering how sturdy it is, and even though it’s over £150, it will easily take your child through their tweens and teens in style (if a part breaks, it’s designed to be replaced rather than repurchased).
If the kids are into stunts, even better – it includes a set of stunt pegs and is used by the Micro Xtreme stunt scooter team. Not content with simply using it for practical purposes, our 10-year-old tester is now determined to learn some tricks on it.
Scoot & Ride highwaykick 1
Austrian brand Scoot & Ride makes some of the most stylish scooters available, with a brand ethos of prolonging each item’s use thanks to innovative design and styling, so kids can have them for years.
The highwaykick 1 lives up to that brand promise, and will work for kids from the age of one to about five or six. Younger kids – up to the age of three, even – can use the scooter as a ride-on bike (it has the sweetest padded seat), which, with a couple of tool-less adjustments, can transform into a scooter. The seat twists up and becomes the handlebar; it’s seriously cool.
Our three-year-old tester is obsessed, regularly demanding for it to be switched from ride-on to scooter, which can be done in seconds, so we don’t mind acquiescing. It works really well on pavements, picking up impressive speed along the way. We like the stylish colour selection, too – kiwi green, peach pink, steel blue – it’s more sophisticated than your typical scooter palette. The one negative? The bike-scooter hybrid design means it’s a bit heavier to carry when your child decides they don’t want to scoot anymore, which they always, eventually, do.
Birdie kids scooter
Bird is a California-based startup that’s one of the pioneers of the electric scooter revolution; the brand also has a non-electric design, the Birdie, for kids.
It just might be the most stylish kids’ scooter imaginable: it comes in three colours, dove white, jet black and rose, looks like some kind of luxury transport and is made from high-tech materials like aircraft-grade aluminium for the handlebar and fibre-reinforced nylon on the deck.
It’s a lean-to-steer design, and the handlebar adjusting is easier than on any other scooter we’ve tried (there’s a turning mechanism on the handlebar that you move left and right in order to change heights, and then tighten to secure). Longevity is a big part of this scooter’s design: it has a super-wide deck and wheels, and extends to a height that is comfortable for adults, so a toddler can use this for years to come. Our little testers found that it provided a smooth, pleasant ride, and worked well on city streets.
Globber primo foldable wood lights
The immense appeal of LED light-up wheels for a young child can’t be understated. Like a magpie and something shiny, those wheels are attractive enough that a toddler who refuses to walk will jump out of a buggy and start zooming around the park once they see them in action. The Globber’s red, green and blue lights helpfully don’t require a battery to work; movement is enough to get them flickering.
This scooter isn’t just a fun toy, though; the sturdy design features a seven-ply FSC-certified sustainable solid wood deck, mounted on reinforced metal, with a rear brake and three adjustable handlebar heights. It works for kids aged from around three to six, and in addition to the lights, it can fold, although it’s not always so easy (we managed it every one out of three to four times). However, it’s lightweight enough that you can place it on the buggy without finding it too annoying. There’s a steering lock at the front to help kids get confident, and you have to lean to turn, which takes a few tries for little ones to get the hang of.
Ozbozz scissor scooter
This scissor scooter is a three-wheeled delight: we wouldn’t recommend it for commuting, but it can’t be beat for fun. It has handlebar brakes, a bell, an adjustable handlebar to accommodate children of different ages and, best of all, space for two legs instead of one.
It works the inner thighs and bum muscles since you need to push out with your legs and squeeze them back together to move it. The ride is smooth and this scissor scooter is remarkably sturdy; it says it supports up to 50kg, but we couldn’t stop ourselves from riding it regularly around the home, so we can confirm it supports more than that.
We’d recommend this for park scoots – it’s not as stable on pavements, although in a pinch, it can be used in the same way as a more traditional kick scooter. Treat it like you would a pair of roller skates or rollerblades and it will provide hours of fun on smooth, flat, park roads.
ATK off road scooter
This scooter appeals to us for a few reasons: it’s made from sustainable high-grade plywood, so is one of the few wooden scooters for kids available, plus it has 10” pneumatic tyres which can handle all terrains, going over grass, gravel and through woody paths covered in sticks (sadly, we haven’t had the opportunity to travel far beyond our local parks with it as we tested during the UK’s lockdown period, but imagine this is a great choice for all sorts of family adventures).
It’s designed for kids in the age five to 12 bracket, although it’s sturdy enough to support an adult’s weight, too. We had fun building this one together as a family – it took less than ten minutes – and our eight-year-old was beaming when she rode by a group of teenagers on it and they shouted, “sick wheels”. It has a brake at the back, directly in front of the rear wheel.
Atom blast kick/push scooter
A well-constructed commuter scooter for teens, the Atom Blast is designed for everyday use and long distances. It has lots of little details that make it an attractive purchase: a reflective panel at the back so your child is visible in the dark, pneumatic tyres with 200mm wheels, the ability to fold up easily with one click, and a matching travel bag for easy portability and storage.
The lightweight design has dual suspension, making it one of the smoothest rides on a variety of surfaces, and allowing tweens to speed quickly ahead of parents cramping their style as they scooted along with friends. Our eldest tester has been enjoying it, finding it an effortless yet "cool-looking" choice for 20-minute school commutes. With its black aluminium frame with bright purple and yellow accents, the Atom Blast looks good, too.
Osprey BMX scooter
We had to include this BMX big wheel scooter because it’s really one of a kind: it’s a scooter that’s comparable to a decently sized bike, with a 20-inch large spoke front wheel and 16-inch large spoke rear wheel, so it can handle all kinds of terrain: dirt, pavement, etc.
We’re really impressed with the longevity and quality of this one: it says it’s designed for kids five and up, although only our older co-testers trialled this one. We actually found ourselves using it quite a bit: it can easily accommodate an adult, with a weight capacity of up to 100kg (we felt really well-supported and stable whenever we rode it, and the handlebars are extendable too).
It has front and rear brakes and is a good option for long distances – and long-term use. One caveat: it’s not easy to assemble.
EVO+ mini kids scooter
This basic, no-frills scooter is a value-for-money buy that’s a fraction of the price of most other scooters on the market. It’s sturdy and good-looking and comes in purple/mint green/pink and blue/orange colourways.
We’d recommend this one as a good starter scooter for two to three-year-olds; our three-year-old tester grew in confidence and was pleased with how quickly she could zoom around on it (we were less excited, but on the plus side, we got a cardio workout from non-stop running after her). It has a rear footbrake, adjustable handlebar, and anti-slip footplate, and will work for kids up to age five or six. It can support children up to 20kg.
Decathlon oxelo mid 9 scooter
Decathlon is a very good go-to for affordable kids’ sporting accessories, and you’ll notice every French friend you have buys all of their gear from there. The scooters are great; we not only tested the mid 9 but spent a day with family members whose children had a couple of other oxelo models, so we can attest various styles are sturdy and comfortable for little ones.
The mid 9 is a great two-wheeled option designed with kids nine and up in mind. Most impressively – and unlike some other two-wheeled models we’ve tried – you’re not doubled over in pain if you accidentally hit your shin on it, which happens fairly regularly with metal two-wheelers, in our experience.
It’s super-lightweight and easy to ride, and both our ten-year-old and eight-year-old testers love whizzing around on it, with its wheel and handlebar brakes and front suspension. Bonus: it folds super easily, too, and it can support up to 100kg. It comes in a choice of four colours, from black to bright.
Stoy my first scooter
Early years scooters in the sub–£50 range all have a similar silhouette: a smaller, raised deck, plastic wheels instead of rubber ones and appealing extras (cute colours and prints, bells and other accessories).
Stoy is a Scandi kids’ brand, so you know the styling is going to be good: this scooter instantly appealed to our toddler tester thanks to a handy basket, which is perfect for stashing a few on-the-go kiddie essentials. It comes in lovely pastel sherbet shades – choose from lemon, turquoise or pink – and although it’s recommended for ages three and up, we think this one could be used with a keen 18-month-old. It’s not very speedy, so it’s ideal for indoors, back gardens, and bringing to the park for a play. It’s remarkably lightweight but difficult to put together.
The verdict: Kids’ scooters
The versatility of Trunki’s folding kids’ scooter made it an instant favourite that combines longevity, style and convenience, all at a well-priced £50. Micro’s cross neck stunt scooter is our top choice for a tween/teen, whether you’re looking for a commuter scooter for school or want to interest your child in a new outdoor hobby: stunt scooting.
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