- Value: 17/20
- Functionality: 17/20
- Quality: 18/20
- Aesthetics: 17/20
- Maneuverability: 16/20
Despite just turning two, my daughter’s the size of a 3-year-old…and thinks she’s 12. When she sees older kids zipping down the sidewalks on scooters, she wants to be right behind them, only she hasn’t quite mastered the fine art of balancing on one leg while pushing off with the other. That hasn’t stopped her from trying—or from her share of subsequent meltdowns. We’ve tried out a few scooters, but none really clicked for her until we tried the SkipHop Zoo Three-in-One Ride-On. It’s the kind of grow-with-me toy you can introduce when your kid hits 14 months or so, but keep around for the next two years until they’re ready for a Micro Mini or Razor.
For littles just getting the hang of walking, you can use it as a wagon—there’s a bucket that pops into the base of the scooter, so you can fill it with toys and let them push it around. Then, once they get a little more confident, you can flip the bucket upside-down, lock it into place, and boom! It’s now a ride-on unicorn they can sit and scoot around on.
Once they’ve mastered those levels, you can ditch the bucket entirely (something my daughter wanted to do from the get-go, admittedly) and use it as a scooter. The plastic wheels keep it from going very fast—something older kids complained about when they took it for a spin—but for the under-three set, it’s just the right pace to prevent the scooter from slipping out from under them.
My daughter loved the unicorn design; I liked the cheery-but-not-in-your-face pastel color palette—and the fact that while it plays music, it wasn’t so loud that you can’t hold a conversation with another parent during a playdate.
At $60, it’s a big-ticket birthday or holiday gift, but not as outrageous as some of the other ride-on toys out there. And setup is so straightforward you don’t even need the directions to put it together, which is crucial considering how much of every parent’s Christmas morning is spent fighting over tiny plastic parts that. Just. Won’t. Go. Together. Stress-free assembly? Now that’s a holiday miracle in and of itself.