Which Balance Bike is Best? [8 Top Bikes Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

Whether you call them balance bikes, walking bikes or running bikes, the idea is the same–kids learn balance while riding these pedal-less bikes and thus learn how to ride a “big kid bike” more easily. Kids can use them as soon as they can walk and are big enough to sit on the seat and still have their feet reach the floor. We went the training wheels route with my son, and I soooo wish we had done the balance bike instead. I really think he would have learned to ride a two-wheeler more quickly.

There are a dozen or so models out there in wood, metal and plastic. Which is are best for you, and how much should you pay? I’ve updated this rundown of eight top models with links to the bikes at Amazon (so you can learn more) and Buy-It-Now prices.

Do pay attention to the seat height when you buy. Kids should be able to sit astride the bike and touch the ground on both sides. The seat should be about an inch less than the stride. The lightest bikes are easier to handle for smaller kids, but generally have lower weight limits. Weight limit may not be as important as you think. The primary age of use is about two to four years.

Wooden Bikes

Note: Steering is limited on this style of bike, however that can be a good thing because they can’t turn abruptly (which often leads to falls).

The Skuut Active balance bikes have a generous weight limit of 75 lbs. They feature spokeless rubber wheels and an adjustable saddle. List price: $100 | Buy-It-Now price: $60. 

Top-selling Smart Gear classic balance bikes offer spokeless rubber wheels, an adjustable saddle and a built in carry handle. 60 lb. weight limit. List price: $90 | Buy-It-Now price: $63.

Metal Bikes

The lightweight Strider ST-3 is the bestselling kids’ bike on Amazon, earning 4.5/5 stars from 127 buyers. It features and can hold kids up to 60 lbs. Great for the youngest riders. the ST-3  features adjustable seats and handlebars, a footrest, optional hand brakes and foam tires. A longer seat post is available for bigger kids. Available in eight colors.List price: $110 – $120 | Buy-it-Now price: $75.

Kazam bikes have a footrest built into the frame. They feature quick-release adjustable seats and inflatable tires with steel spokes. Weight limit; 75 lbs. Comes in five colors. List price: $110 | Buy-It-Now price: $95.

Glide Bikes Mini Glider Balance Bike: Features a high weight limit, hand brake, foot pegs, airless tires and “mountain bike geometry.” For kids 2 to 5 and up to 100 lbs. List price : $112 | Buy-It-Now price: $90.

Trikke Bikee Balance Bike:  This 7 lb. bike has been on the market for less than a year. It holds kids up to 60 lbs and features airless tires and a footrest.  List price : $70 | Buy-It-Now price: $65.

Plastic

The popular YBike is a fat little plastic balance bike that’s also a good choice for kids up to three years old. It has two back wheels for added stability and comes in four colors. #4 seller in kids’ bikes on Amazon. List price: $90 | Buy-It-Now price: $59.

PlaSmart’s PlasmaBike. This unique-looking newcomer on the balance bike scene is made by the folks who make PlasmaCar. Its wide wheels help with balance. This lightweight bike is for kids 18 months and up and up to 55 lbs. List price: $80 | Buy-it-Now price: $57.

Want to see the bikes in action? You’ll find lots of balance bike video reviews on YouTube. Just do a quick search to find them.

Note: “Buy It Now” prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the current sale price or “lowest price ever” price (through they may be the same). You may be able to beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great deal.

Do you have any of these? What do you think? How did your child like a balance bike?

Related:

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Updated: “Buy it Now” Prices for 50 Top Toys [Part 2 – Bigger Kids]

Screen shot 2013-09-06 at 1.26.21 PMHere’s the second part of our “Buy Price” list. You can see the first part (and read more about what this is) here.

The first price is the list price and the second is the recommended “buy” price. The “buy” price is based on sales price histories.

Think any of these “Buy” prices are out of line? Let me know!

See all the Toys That Get Played with Lists

More Buy-it-Now prices:

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Updated: “Buy it Now’ Prices for 50 Top Toys [Part 1 – Little Kids]

Screen shot 2013-09-06 at 1.24.03 PMWe’ve talked about which toys have proven track records, what they all have in common, and how the “hottest” new toys of this holiday season measure up. (Whew!)

The next step? Figure out the “Buy Price” for the toys on the lists. Typically, you can expect toys to go to about 40% off list price around the holidays. Not all of them will, though. Some will only go as low as about 20% off, and the hottest and newest toys may be in such high demand that they don’t go on sale much at all.

Tracking past sales and price histories allow us to estimate the price a smart shopper should pay for these toys. Could the price go lower? Sure. Whether you wait to see if it does depends on your tolerance for risk.

So here we go, starting with toys for the littlest kids. I’ll be breaking the post into two parts due the the amount of info I’ll be dishing up. The links go to Amazon so that you can learn more and read reviews.

Note: The first price is the list price and the second is the recommended “buy” price.

Think any of these “Buy” prices are out of line? Let me know!

Next: “Buy it Now’ Prices for 50 Top Toys [Part 2 – Bigger Kids]

See all the Toys That Get Played with Lists

More Buy-it-Now prices:

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Updated: The BC Guide to Choosing a Play Kitchen [And Buy-It-Now Prices, Too]

The BC Guide to Choosing a Play KitchenPlay kitchens are on our all star toys list. They’re hits for both girls and boys from about age two to age five. With all the models out there, how can you pick the best play kitchen for your home?

This guide will help. It’s even got buy-it-now prices so you know when you’re getting a great deal. Enjoy!

Considerations

  • Consider your space carefully. How much room do you have? Would a corner kitchen work better than a straight one? Take time to measure your available width and depth before your shop.
  • Consider your budget before you buy so that you won’t be tempted to spend more than you should. Kitchens list from about $60 to $300 and up.
  • Consider checking your favorite second-hand sources for a gently used kitchen.
  • Does then kitchen need to allow room for more than one kid to play at once? A larger kitchen or a kitchen with two-sided play can help avoid squabbles.
  • Do you care if the kitchen you choose requires batteries? Most of the plastic kitchens need them to power lights, bells, whistles, etc.
  • Don’t be afraid to get a “simple” kitchen. Kids are creative and will fill in for the missing bells and whistles with their imaginations. Electronic bells and whistles can get annoying for grownups, too.
  • Allow plenty of time for assembly. The wooden kitchens generally take longer to put together than the plastic kitchens.
  • Does the kitchen offer room for play food and utensil storage? If not, think about how you’ll corral those small pieces.
  • Be prepared to secure the kitchen to the wall if you think there’s any possibility of tipping.

Popular Kitchens and Buy-It-Now Prices

All of these kitchens are top sellers with great ratings. I’ve linked to these kitchens at Amazon so that you can learn more and read customer reviews. Unless otherwise noted, the appropriate age for these kitchens is 3 and up.

“Buy It Now” prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to  beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

Note that the buy-it-now prices may be up to 45% of the list prices. Expect to see lots of deals on play kitchens in the weeks starting after Halloween.

See the kitchens after the jump.

[Read more…]

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Top Trikes: Push Bar Models Under $100 [Plus Buy-It-Now Prices]

A child’s first trike. What a fun milestone! With all the models on the market, you may need a little guidance about which one to buy. Here’s a comparison of five top selling trikes under $100 on the market that feature parent push bars. I’ve listed Buy-It-Now prices (i.e. very good sale prices), too. You may want to wait until prices drop to these BIN prices to buy.

Push bars allow you to push and steer the tricycle for younger kids who can’t do it on their own. They cut down on frustration–both for you and your tot.

You’ll also want to consider other features, like whether the pedals can serve as footrests when the parent bar is in, whether the child can steer while you’re pushing, and weight limits for the trike. I’ve listed a few specs on each trike below. Click through and find out more about each tricycle at the product description on Amazon. You can also read reviews there.

Little Tikes 3 in 1 Trike: List price: $99.99 | Buy-It-Now price: $70

  • 9 months to 3 years (up to 50 lbs)
  • converts from parent push trike (child can’t steer) to parent-guided trike (child steers) to kid-powered trike
  • 4 seat positions
  • 5-point harness
  • foldable/detachable pedals
  • bestselling trike at Amazon

Fisher-Price Rock Roll and Ride Trike: List price: $60  | Buy-It-Now price: $32

  • 18 months to 5 years
  • rocking toy for smallest users
  • base converts to (removable) push handle
  • #2 seller at Amazon and #1 seller at Walmart.com

Radio Flyer Steer & Stroll Deluxe Trike: List price: $80 | Buy-it-Now price:  $55

  • 2-5 years (50 lbs.)
  • removable push handle
  • adjustable front seat
  • covered storage bin

Schwinn Easy Steer Trike: List price: $103 | Buy-it-Now price: $68

  • 20 months and up
  • removable push handle
  • 5-point harness
  • wide tires
  • removable canopy
  • Rear plastic bin
  • Front basket

Radio Flyer Classic 10″ with Push Handle: List price: $60| Buy-it-Now price: $55

  • 2-4 years (42 lbs.)
  • removable 3-position push handle

If you’re still on the fence, check out the tricycle action at local parks and playgrounds and talk to parents about what they like and don’t like about the models they chose.

How about you? Do you have any of these tricycles? What do you love or hate about them?

Coming soon: Comparing Balance Bikes

Related:

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Buy-It-Now Prices for 12 Popular Ride On Toys and Wagons

As promised, here’s a list of my Buy It Now (BIN) prices for 12 of the most popular, highest rated ride-on toys and wagons for toddlers and small children. Use these prices to help you decide when to pull the trigger on a purchase and when to wait.

I’ve linked to the toys at Amazon so that you can learn more about them. I’ve also listed the lowest current (as of 3/13) online prices I could find on the items. Since these are heavy items, for the most part, you may be able to find them in-store cheaper. Just be sure your car is big enough to handle the boxes!

Note: If you’re new to my Buy-It-Now price lists, here’s what you need to know: “Buy It Now” prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great deal.

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe 30th Anniversary Edition: List price: $59.99 | BIN price $42 (30% off) | Current price: $44.99 at ToysRUs with coupon code 950054 (free pick up at store).

Fisher-Price Rock, Roll ‘n Ride Trike: List price: $54.99 | BIN price: $40 (27% off) | Current price: $44.99, shipped at Amazon or $42.96 with free pickup at Walmart.

Little Tikes Push & Ride Racer: List price: $30 | BIN price: $20 (33% off) | Current price: $32.98, shipped at LittleTikes.com.

Step2 Push Around Buggy 10th Anniversary: List price: $49.99 | BIN price: $40 (20% off) | Current price: $39.97, shipped at Amazon. Below BIN price!

Radio Flyer Scoot-About: List price: $59.99 | BIN price: $39 (35% off) | Current price: $38.99 at Amazon. Below BIN price!

Radio Flyer Deluxe Steer n Stroll Tricycle in pink: List price $80 | BIN price: $50 (38% off) | Current price: $64.99 shipped at Amazon.

Power Wheels Barbie Jammin Jeep Wrangler: List price: $299.99 | BIN price: $250 (17% off) | Current price: $269 at Walmart.

Power Wheels Little Quad: List price: $99.99 | BIN price: $77 (23% off) | Current price: $82.99 at Amazon.

PlasmaCar: List price: $69.95 | BIN price: $48 (31% off) | Current price: $47.41 in Purple at Amazon. Below BIN price!

Radio Flyer Pathfinder Wagon, Red: List price: $119.99 | BIN price: $86 (28% off) | Current price: $74.74 at Amazon. Below BIN price!

Radio Flyer All-Terrain Steel and Wood Wagon: List price: $178.49 | BIN price: $116 (35% off) | Current price: $138.98 at Amazon.

Radio Flyer Ultimate Comfort Wagon: List price: $219.99 | BIN price: $150 (32% off) | Current price: $174.15 at Amazon.

While you may get a better deal shopping in store, make sure the box(es) will fit in your car before you buy.

Related:  Buy-it-Now Prices for Top Outdoor Toys [Sand/Water Tables, Playhouses, More]

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Buy-it-Now Prices for Top Outdoor Toys [Sand/Water Tables, Playhouses, More]

Spring is in the process of springing and the birds are singing–at least here in the South where I am. With the weather improving you may be considering picking up a few outdoor toys for the kiddos.

Here are my Buy It Now (BIN) prices for 15 of the most popular, highest rated outdoor toys. Use these prices to help you decide when to pull the trigger on a purchase and when to wait. I’ve linked to the toys at Amazon so that you can learn more about them. I’ve also listed the lowest current (as of 3/13) online prices I could find on the items. Since these are heavy items, for the most part, you may be able to find them in-store cheaper. Just be sure your car is big enough to handle the boxes!

If you’re new to my Buy-It-Now price lists, here’s what you need to know: “Buy It Now” prices are what I consider “very good” prices on the item. They’re the best sale prices you can expect to find fairly regularly, based on records of previous sales. Don’t confuse these with the “lowest price ever” price. You may be able to beat this price if you happen onto a unusually great sale.

Sand and Water Tables

Sandboxes

Playhouses

Climbers and Playground Toys

Sports Toys

And don’t forget: You can save even more on these items if you can find them second-hand at Craigslist, a yard sale, etc.

Related: Buy-It-Now Prices for 12 Popular Ride On Toys and Wagons

This post may contain affiliate links. See BC's disclosure policy for more info.