What Are the Best Scooters for 3 Year Olds?
In a hurry or just curious?
The good news about buying a scooter for a 3 year old is that this is the perfect age to get them a scooter. There are many options available for this age group. They have extra co-ordination and balance that 2 year olds don't have. Being a bit taller than a toddler helps as it's easier to find a handlebar which is the right height for your child.
However, the choice available can make choosing the right scooter overwhelming. This article answers your questions and gives suggestions and advice of the best picks.
Top Choices for a 3 Year Old
|Category||Type of Scooter||Plus Points|
|Top of The Range||Mini Micro Deluxe on amazon||Respected brand
Lightweight & height adjustable.
|Best Value For Money|
3Style Scooter on amazon
Handlebar has wide
range of adjustments.
Light up wheels
|Best Budget||Zoom Cruzer on amazon||Excellent price point
Reinforced extra grip footplate
Chunky rear brake
Buying Guide for a Scooter for a 3 Year Old
3 wheels - Most 3 year olds don't have the balance for a 2 wheel scooter yet, so a 3 wheel scooter is a must. Having said this, some children approaching 4 may be ready to get a 2 wheel scooter especially if they've already mastered a 3 wheel.
Wheels - Look for wheels made out of high quality materials such as high-grade polyurethane (PU) or urethane. Most first class scooters use high quality polyurethane/ urethane (also seen as PU) as a wheel material as it offers a smooth, less bumpy ride. In comparison, plastic wheels don't absorb as many of the shocks and bumps from the pavement, so they don't offer a such a comfortable ride.
Lighweight - a lightweight scooter can be easier for younger chidren to manoeuvre and control especially when they first learn to scoot. A lighter scooter is also preferable for young children as they can pick it up to go up and down kerbs and steps and to change directions. It's also lighter for parents and carers to carry.
Deck - decks which are low to the ground are almost always a plus for any age group riding a scooter. If the scooter deck is low to the ground, the pushing leg has to bend less which equals a more comfortable ride. Lower decks also make it easier for 3 year olds to get on and off the scooter.
Smooth and Quick Ride - some 3 wheel scooters are designed to be so safe that they are also slow and clunky. Heavy scooters can also be slow. Scooters with very wide decks can be difficult to turn. Features such as these, can make your 3 year old frustrated when their confidence grows as they are unable to get up any speed or turn corners.
Look for a scooter that offers a balance of being safe but also the ability to move quickly and smoothly too. The wheels (see above) play a part in this. Read reviews to get a good idea of how the scooter moves.
Handlebar height - many 3 wheel scooters aimed at 3 year olds will have a handlebar height of around 66cm which is a good fixed choice as this should be manageable for this age group but leave some growing room too. The optimal handlebar height is around waist height which is the perfect size for them to control and move.
At age 3, the main thing to be aware of is that the handlebar is too high for your child. You will be able to see on the picture at the top of the page that the handlebar is slightly too high for my 3 year old son. And this is something you see with many young children riding scooters.
Imagine riding a scooter. If the handlebar comes up to your chest then it's going to be more difficult to control. If it's by your thighs, you will have to hunch over to ride it. This is why getting a height adjustable handlebar is advisable as it can be adjusted to the ideal height for each child.
Height Adjustable Handlebar - an adjustable handlebar is also desirable so the handlebar height can be increased for children as they grow. This may mean the scooter will last the child longer as long as the scooter quality can withstand a few years of child use. An adjustable handlebar can also be increased or decreased for siblings or friends who may want to have a blast.
Make sure the handlebar can adjust low enough (or high enough) to be the right height for your child.
Foldable - For young children, a scooter that is foldable is easier to carry when kids have had enough of scooting around. Some scooters aren't foldable but have the ability to take the stem out of the base instead. Folding mechanisms are very convenient but one downside is that they add weight to scooter. So the lightest scooters will not be able to fold.
Mini Micro Scooters
The mini micro have 2 versions of scooters that would be suitable for a 3 year old, the mini micro deluxe and the mini micro classic. Both these scooters have tilt and lean steering, which is meant to be inituitive for first time scooter users to learn. So what are you paying for when you buy a mini micro? And are they better than the other options?
Mini Micro Deluxe
Looking for a premium 3 wheel scooter with top notch features and a smooth, effortless ride? Look no further than the mini micro delxue. It's the newest scooter for preschoolers manufactured by the micro brand. It is pricey but it offers superior design and stand out features. Here is what you are getting for your money:
Lightweight - It's exceptionally lightweight (at only 1.8kg). No other scooter with a height adjustable handebar gets close to being so light. For young children the lighter the scooter the easier it is to control. Children often learn to scoot by picking up a scooter, for example to change direction. And lifting the mini micro is no problem! Even small children can easily lift it up and down kerbs and through doorways. Plus it's light for adults to carry when the kids have had enough.
Wheels - the non-marking PU wheels offer an ultra smooth ride. Like all micro parts the quality of the wheels are awesome. Some cheaper scooters have wheels made of plastic, it's best to avoid these types altogether.
Height adjustable - the mini micro deluxe differs from the mini micro classic in that it has a height adjustable handlebar. The lowest height setting is 43cm (which means it is really good for small children). The highest height setting is 69cm. This means that the handlebar will be the perfect height for each child in the 2 to 5 age range.
Well designed footplate - another unique feature is the footplate which is made of flexible reinforced fibreglass. It's super strong but really light and has an anti slip silicone footplate for extra sturdiness. You will notice from the pictures that the footplate is very close the the ground. Not only does this mean it's easy for young children to get on and off the scooter, it also makes the micro much more comfortable to ride. Little ones will not need to bend their leg too low to push along.
Handlebar - it's worth noting that the handlebar doesn't fold. The reason it doesn't have a foldable handlbar is that it will add weight to the scooter. The makers want to have something as light as possible as kids find it harder to control heavier scooters. However the handlebar is removable from the base and can be done so quickly. This means you can easily take it on holiday and it's easier to store.
Other features - It has an anodised stem which protects the scooter from corrosion. It also has a rear brake for safe stopping. The weight limit is 35kg or 5 stone, 7Ibs.
Built to last - the scooters are designed to be durable and last. The key parts of the scooter can be repaired or replaced. This is good as you can easily pass it onto siblings and the resell value is high for these on sites like ebay as well. So it's possible to recoup some of the money you've spend once you've finished using it.
Should I get a mini micro deluxe for my 3 year old?
It will very much depend on your child and your budget. The mini micro deluxe is designed for children between 2 and 5 years old and 80cm and 110cm high. What you are paying a premium for is that the scooter is lightweight, the telescopic adjustable handlebar that the can adjust to any measuement within the height range specified and the fact this scooter is known to last. It has excellent reviews spanning back the many years it has been on the market, so you know you really can't go wrong.
The handlebar has a really low setting which you don't see on many scooters. Therefore if you have a small 3 year old, this could be an excellent choice as the scooter will last them for a long time.
Lightweight scooters are easy for children to handle so the deluxe scores highly here. As a child gets older, taller and stronger they will inevitably be able to manage a heavier scooter but this is a great option for starting them off.
Mini Micro Classic
The mini micro classic has been on the scooter scene for many years. It was Micro's original design for 3 to 5 year olds. Despite being designed may years ago, it's still setting the standard for features on many 3 wheel scooters made today and it's quality and design are unrivalled by most other scooters out there.
It's cheaper than the mini micro deluxe and the main reason it's different is that it doesn't have an adjustable handlbar and its stem is made of aluminium rather than anodised aluminium. Apart from that it has many of the features of the mini micro deluxe including PU wheels, a rear brake, a fiberglass footplate and a design that's built to last.
Here are the distingushing features of the mini micro classic:
Handlebar height - the handlebar sits at 66cm which is an optimium height for a 3 to 5 year old. Obviously it's not perfect as you can't adjust it perfectly. However, having a height adjusting mechanism would add to the weight of the scooter. And really at this age, the lighter the better.
The Mini Micro classic or the mini micro deluxe?
They are both excellent scooters. If you have the budget, the deluxe is always going to be the best choice due to the adjustable handlebar. Even though it is heavier, it is still very lightweight. For a smaller 3 year old, I think it makes sense to go for the deluxe as the handlebar can adjust to quite low heights and will last longer.
We bought my son the mini micro classic as the deluxe wasn't availble at the time. You can see from the photo of him that the handlebar comes up a little bit too high, ideally it should be about waist height. He used it daily so it's been well worth the money in my opinion.
3 Style Scooters (Foldable)
The 3style is an affordable scooter which has some awesome features for your dollar. The 3style company was set up in 2015 with the aim of providing a well designed scooter at a reasonable price. The features do vary slightly from the mini micro so let's see what you get.
Height adjustable handlebar - The scooter is height adjustable from 52cm to 78cm and the handlebar is foldable. There are 4 different height settings at 52cm and moving to 70cm, 74cm & 78cm. This means that it will accommodate your child for many years. 78cm is a lot higher than the maximum height setting on the mini micro deluxe. However the micro has a telescopic handlebar so can be adjusted to any height between 43 and 69cm.
Max user weight - The maximum user weight is 50kg so it should last your child for quite a while and older sibings may be able to have a go as well. It has the largest weight limit of the 3 wheel scooters featured on this page so if you think there may be an older sibling that may want to use the scooter, this could be the one for you.
The Globber Primo is a popular brand of scooter in Australia and the US. This scooter is a great alternative to the mini micro with some unique features.
Adjustable Handleber - the handlebar has three different height settings from 67.3cm to 78.7cm
Steering - the unique thing about this scooter is that there is a button to turn off steering while kids are learning. They can learn to scoot in a straight line first. When they are ready you can turn on the steering. It's a lean to steer steering system like the mini micro.
An Affordable Choice of 3 Wheel Scooter
If you're looking for a 3 wheel scooter with excellent features and that isn't too expensive, a really good choice is the zoom cruzer.
Handlebar - the handlebar is height adjustable and has 3 settings ( 55cm - 75cm). This means it can be adjusted to best suit a 3 year old's height and will have growing room too.
Wheels - The PU wheels offer a smooth ride. The back wheel is extra wide (4.5cm). This gives extra stability and balance to young children.
Deck and footplate - The deck has grips which gives that extra bit of stability when riding too. The footplate is wide at 13cm (read more about decks and footplates in this article). This will help young children balance but it also gives a decent footspace for them to use and rest their feet when cruising.
Outcamer Scooter with LED wheels
Looking for a scooter which stands out from the crowd? The Outcamer could be the number 1 choice for you. Bright colours and LED flashing wheels means that you won't be able to miss little ones scooting around. This can be particularly good for the winter months when it's dark outside.
Not for smaller 3 year olds - There are 3 adjustable heights at 77cm, 82cm and 87cm. You will notice that the lowest height is a lot higher that other brands, so it wouldn't be the best choice for small 3 year olds. However, taller 3 year olds and those approaching 4 may be okay. Ideally the handelbara should come up around waist height for a comfortable ride.
Fun and funky, the Ozbozz light burst 3 wheel scooter has a flashing deck, which lights up when you step on it.
It's a lean to steer scooter, which is on a more afforable price point than the micro and globber scooters, although there are a couple of features it compromises on.
It features an adjustable handlebar so will grow with your child. It is height adjustable between 62cm to 73m.
It is slightly heavier than the mini micro, weighing in at 2.5kg rather than 1.8kg. Lighter scooters are better for young children as they can manage them better.
However, a 2.5kg scooter should be fine for most 3 year olds and you are obviously paying a lot less for the oboz than the mini micro.
It's not a foldable scooter and unlike the micro you can't take the stem out of the base either.
Check out more 3 wheels scooters on the 3 wheel scooter page.
The reviews are very good for this scooter and it's well worth checking out
Another Flashy 3 Wheel Option - Great Budget Option
If you're looking for some lights on the scooter for your child, you have to consider the Ozbozz Cosmic Light Flashing Deck Scooter.
It has 3 wheels and some nice features such as PU wheels. It's aimed for kids aged 3 and up and the handlebar is height adjustable to ensure that the handlebar is the right height for child. You can also fold it which makes it easy to store and carry.
Zycom Zing Complete Scooter
The Zycom Zing is affordable and ticks a lot of boxes for this age group.
Firstly it's lightweight at 2.65kg, so easy for little ones to manage.
It has 3 height adjustments at 20, 23 and 26 inches (approx 50cm, 58cm and 66cm). This is a good range for the 3 to 5 year old age range.
The handlebar is removable for easy storage and transportation.
Deck is low to the floor - making it easy for little ones to push along.
Lean to steer - lean your body weight left and right to go in the corresponding direction.
Wheels - 125mm Light Up PU Front Wheels and 100mm PU Rear Wheels - give a smooth and comfortable ride
Non slip footplate is 10cm in width giving sure footing for riders.
The maximum weight limit is 30kg which is slightly higher than similar scooters.
Character Scooters (Batman)
There are many character scooters for little ones which kids this age love because let's face it who doesn't want to pretend to go scooting around like batman. There are both pros and cons to getting one. It really depends what you want to get out of a scooter. If you are interested in your little one getting from a to b quite quickly and smoothly go for one of the other scooters like the mini micro or 3 style scooters.If you just want a sturdy, slower scooter on a budget to use outside the home this might make a good choice.
Character scooters like the batman scooter featured tend to be cheaper.
Wheels: 15cm (6") front wheel and 10cm (4") plastic rear wheels.
Steering and speed: the steering is standard handlebar steering. The scooter gives extra stability for beginners but it does go much more slowly than other 3 wheel scooters. This may be good if you are worried about chasing little ones going too fast on their scooters although some children may get frustrated as they get older.
Other Considerations: - the scooter isn't foldable. It features a colour printed anti-slip footplate.
Peppa Pig Tri Scooter
If you're little one loves Peppa Pig, they will be thrilled with the tri Peppa Pig scooter.
Like the batman character scooter, it's never going to be a super speedy scooter but it's a fun option if she's a fan of the show.
The features include:
- Fully printed anti-slip footplate with smooth sides
- Smooth ride EVA tyres
- An adjustable handlebar height 63-69cm
- 15cm (6") front wheel and 10cm (4") rear wheel with puncture-proof tyre.
Paw Patrol Tri Scooter
Another 3 year old favourite is Paw Patrol and another sturdy option of character scooter for kids who are happier with a slower pace.
Paw Patrol fans will love the footplate and plaque with graphics of characters from the show.
The specs of this scooter are identical to the Peppa Pig scooter above featuring:
- Adjustable handlebar height (63cm - 69cm)
- Smooth ride EVA tyres
- Front wheel: 15 cm (6 in)
- Rear wheels: 12 cm (5 in)
- 20kg max
3 Year Olds on Scooters For The School Run
Scooters can be great for young children on the school run whether it be to get them to nursery school or to take their older sibings to school. Scooters are great at getting kids from a to be quickly when you need to. However, there are always those days when your little one just won't budge. I used to then get my youngest son to stand on his mini micro scooter and pull him along by grabbing onto the handlebars and pulling gently.
However, I have just discovered the scooter lead.
It's basically a strap that you put onto the the scooter and you can use it to pull the scooter along with you little one standing on the deck.
It's great when you need to get somewhere quickly and they are going really slowly and won't budge.
It also doubles as a carry strap for a scooter so you can carry it over your shoulder.
It's machine washable too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Parents and carers can have many queries about scooters for 3 year olds. Here are some questions and answers:
Bike or Scooter for a 3 Year Old?
There are no easy answers to this question. The majority of 3 year olds will struggle to ride a bike with pedals and parents should consider waiting until they are 4 or 5 years old as they then have longer legs, are heavier and stronger and much more capable of handling a pedal bike. However, 3 years olds generally do extremely well on a balance bike and can get extremely speedy and quick once they have mastered the basics which doesn't tend to take very long. Also kids who ride balance bikes generally take a lot less time to graduate onto a pedal bike when they are ready.
However, there are many advantages that scooters have over balance bikes. Firstly they are lighter which means that they are easier to carry if 3 year olds suddenly decide to they no longer want to scoot in the park or on the pavement. Many fold which again makes them easier to carry.
The other advantage of a scooter, is that if you have a scoot n pull strap, you can attach it to the scooter and pull them along when they get tired.
Finally, the child in question will very be a factor in your decision. My eldest son preferred his scooter at age 3, my youngest son preferred his balance bike. You can ask them to help you pick and see which one they prefer. Or maybe they can try out a friend's first and see which they do best with.
We have written a whole article on this question, for more information check out a balance bike vs scooter.
How Far Can a 3 Year Old Scoot for?
This will very much depend on the child in question but many young children can scoot for surprisingly long distances if they are fresh and not tired. My own child could easily manage the 1/2 mile scoot to and from preschool everyday.
Like everything, the best thing is to build up the distance from short distances to longer ones but not expect too much from them and have back up plans if things go wrong. Consider getting a scoot n pull strap, so you can pull them along when they have had enough scooting. This used to work very well with my youngest son.
Go out a lot when they are fresh and energetic rather than tired as then they will associate scooting along with enjoyment and pleasure rather than something they don't want to do.
If it's something you want them to do daily, like a school run you can train them to build up the distance. If they are happy going out with you a lot on their scooter, they will enjoy it on the school run too. Then if they are doing it daily, they will just get used to it. It will build up their fitness and give them lots of fresh air so they should sleep well too!
Consider the terrain you want to scoot along, if it's quite hilly it may be they get more tired quickly, but flat ground will be easier to scoot along so they should be able to manage a further distance.
My 3 Year Old Can't or Refuses to Use a Scooter
So you've bought them a shiny scooter and they are refusing to use it. This is quite a common problem. As any parent knows kids don't always do what we want them to!
There could be many reasons for this:
1.) They've associated the scooter as not being fun.
Maybe the pressure to use it has become to much or maybe they are struggling to scoot on it so they just refuse to go out. This best thing here is to give it a break for a bit. Then when you do use it again, make it fun without there being any pressure to use it. They may just want to stand on the scooter and do nothing else at first. Or they may want to use it inside. If you have space having it inside, can just encourage them to push it around and stand on it so they get used to the scooter without any pressure.
Other ideas: Could you go out with a another child who has a scooter and uses it so they may see how much fun they are having? Perhaps seeing a sibling using a scooter may also encourage them. Offer opportunities of short bursts of having the scooter outside (5 mins at a time) may help and if they refuse to use it just put it away for another time.
2.) They're just not ready for a scooter.
Some 3 year olds just have quite developed the balance and co-ordination needed to use a scooter just yet. It might be that in another few months, it will be a different story and they'll be whizzing around. Time is the answer here. Again, a good idea is to leave the scooter around so they can get used to pushing it around and standing on it, without the pressure of having to go anywhere on it. Check out my top 10 tips of how to get a toddler to ride a scooter for more ideas.
3.) It takes longer to learn to scoot than you think
Yes, there are children who learn to scoot in no time at all but many kids take a few months or even longer to get the hang of it. The key here is to keep taking it out and keep practising to learn the skills needed to ride the scooter. Often adults aren't familiar with the process that kids need to learn to ride a scooter. It's very common for them to step of the scooter and pick it up to change direction at first. This is a step in learning to scoot. Eventually they will master the skills to turn but for the time being they have found a perfectly good method to change direction. It works! This is why many scooters are so lightweight, so young kids can easily pick them up to change direction when they need to. They can also pick them up to go up kerbs and steps as well.
4.) It's the wrong scooter.
The type of scooter can be a hindrance to some children. Some kids prefer a sturdy push along scooter. They like it slow. Others prefer the lean and steer micro style scooter. Sometimes the scooter can be too heavy for them to control and manoeuvre around, so they may need a lighter scooter to help them move around. Trying out a friend's scooter or looking at some scooters in a shop may help choose the best one. There are tons of ideas of scooters in the article above to give you ideas of one which might suit your child. Also reading reviews can help pick the best scooter for your child.