The Top 10 Best Kids Rocking Horses in 2019
Rocking away on a toy rocking horse is a wonderful tradition which has brought children joy for decades. There’s something uniquely soothing about seeing your child having fun by moving back and forth when they’re surrounded by family.
If you’re looking to bring a rocking horse into your home, you may find that there are a lot of different rocking horses for kids out there.
Picking the best kids rocking horse can be difficult, which is why in this article we’ll help you by reviewing the top 10 best kids rocking horses and explaining which kids rocking horses are great pickups and which aren’t.
Quick Picks: See Our Top 3 Favorite Kids Rocking Horses
Rocking Horse Reviews
Ready to see which rocking horses made our top picks list? Read on.
Our #1 Choice – Little Tikes Rocking Horse Magenta
When you’re looking for a rocking horse that’s easy to leave outside or bring to the beach, this Little Tikes Rocking Horse is a colorful and durable choice.
- Hot pink aesthetic
- Highly durable
- Great for the tiniest horse lovers
- It may be a bit of an eyesore for some adults
The best feature of this Little Tikes Rocking Horse is that it’s nearly indestructible. Because it’s made of single-bloc plastic, it’s very difficult to damage with physical force or the elements. It’s also extremely stable, so there’s no chance of your child falling off the front or the back.
The cheerful magenta coloring may lead you to want to leave this rocking horse outside and out of sight, however. While children probably won’t mind, adults will probably find its color and minimalistic graphics to be too childish to be attractive.
Our #2 Choice – Rockin’ Rider Lucky Talking Plush Spring Horse
For children who want a semi-realistic rocking experience, this Rockin Rider is a great choice because of how dynamic its rocking motion can be.
- Great for older children who want to practice for real riding
- Includes rocking and wiggling motions
- Sings songs
- Very large footprint
This rocking horse is more exciting than most rocking horses because it can rock on two axes rather than just one. Your child can slightly rock from side to side in addition to the traditional forward and backward rocking.
The only issue is that this rocking horse is positively huge. Its footprint is at least three times that of most other rocking horses for children, and it also requires considerably more vertical space on account of its struts which lift it off the ground.
This means that you may have a little trouble storing this rocking horse. On the bright side, it’s easy on the eyes.
Our #3 Choice – AmishMade Wooden Rocking Horse
For adults who remember the high quality and beautiful wooden aesthetics of the rocking horses of old, this Amish made rocking horse is an excellent choice which could easily become an heirloom toy for the next generation of your family.
- Unparalleled build quality
- Timeless aesthetic
- Requires assembly
This rocking horse is a cut above most of the other ones on the market because of its artisan-made oakwood construction.
While the seat is a little bit uncomfortable and you’ll need to do some assembly work to make the horse come together, the lacquer on the wood ensures that it won’t rot or tarnish, even with extensive use.
So, this rocking horse is more than just a toy — it’s a treasure for the family. But, you’ll need to make sure your child appreciates it as much as you will.
Our #4 Choice – Rockin’ Rider Turbo Rocking Horse Ride On
When your child loves plushiness and the feeling of riding a real pony, this Rockin Rider Turbo Horse might be right up your alley.
- Comfortable saddle
- Simple design
- Mouth moves while it sings songs
- Batteries required
The appeal of this rocking horse is that it’s a very comfortable steed for your child. They’ll love to hug its plushy exterior while they rock back and forth on the wooden slats. You won’t find the horse to be an eyesore thanks to its simple but pleasing construction.
If your child likes a musical accompaniment, the horse will sing with them at the push of a button. You’ll need to provide batteries to make sure that the horse can keep up its performance routine, however, so be sure to have a few extras laying around.
Our #5 Choice – Little Bird Told Me LB3022 Pixie & Fluff Infant Rocker Ride On
For the children who love floral designs and princess-like ponies, this Little Bird Told Me Pixie mount is a gorgeous and functional choice.
- Gentle rocker design
- Includes pouch for carrying toys
- Lightweight birchwood
- Some children may prefer more strenuous rocking
The gentle rocking provided by this horse is excellent for children who want to lull themselves while they are pretending that they are on a beautiful pasture. While some children may want more power and speed from their rocking, this horse is best for placid rocking.
The lightweight birchwood construction of this horse makes it especially beautiful, but you should be careful not to tarnish the wood’s exterior.
Our #6 Choice – Rockabye Angel The Unicorn Rocker Ride On
Young princesses love to ride on unicorns, and that’s where this unicorn rocker is uniquely positioned to be a great rocking horse.
- Compact design
- Cute aesthetic
- Great for young princesses
- Difficult to repair if damaged
This unicorn sings four different semi-educational songs once you provide it with batteries. As a result, your little princess will enjoy gentle rocking and singing along for as long as they decide to play with it.
You may find that the horn and tassels on this rocking horse are easy to break off if your child isn’t careful. Furthermore, if the exterior of the unicorn is damaged, it isn’t very easy to repair. So, be wary of where the unicorn is stored and how your child is riding it.
Our #7 Choice – Rockin’ Rider Charger 2-in-1 Pony Ride-On
Rolling around on the floor is something that children love — but they also love rocking. With this Rockin Rider Charger horse, your child will be ready to rock — or to roll — at a moment’s notice.
- Innovative wheel-and-rocker design
- Cheerful horse expression
- Great for rolling or rocking
- Not durable
The advantage of this rocking horse is that you only need to purchase one toy for both rocking and rolling, which means that you’ll have less clutter laying around your house.
With the cheerful look of the horse and the cheerful sound of its songs, your child will love scooting or rocking.
You need to be aware that you probably need to help your child transition the horse from rocking mode to rolling mode, however. Furthermore, you should also be careful when transitioning the horse from one mode to the other, as it can break at the hinges if you force them incorrectly.
Our #8 Choice – Rockin’ Rider Legacy Grow-with-Me Pony
If you have a vigorous child who wants to do high-speed rocking, this Grow-With-Me pony will offer an engaging play experience no matter how old they are.
- Configurable for your child’s height and age
- High-speed rocking
- Seat is easily removable if children find it uncomfortable
- Careless children may fall off of the saddle
With this pony, your child will be able to rock as fast as they want — or convert the entire pony into a spring horse without using any tools.
Likewise, as this child grows, the pony will grow with them thanks to the adjustable points attached to its feet. But, you’ll need to explain to your child that they need to take care while they are rocking.
Rocking at high speeds might cause some tall children to fall off the horse. While they won’t get hurt, it’s still something that you should be aware of.
Our #9 Choice – VTech Gallop and Rock Learning Pony
If you’re looking for a compact rocking horse that can also roll, this VTech Gallop and Rock Learning Pony might be a good choice.
- Includes more than 60 songs
- Batteries included
- Not effective at rolling
The bright aesthetic of this rocking horse means that it will fit right into the play area. Likewise, its repertoire of songs is impressive, with more than 60 different selections. It may have the most songs of any rocking horse on the market.
The issue with this pony is that it doesn’t roll very well. Your child may struggle to roll the horse around the house when they aren’t rocking in one position. On the bright side, this means that the unit is hard to lose track of in the yard.
Our #10 Choice – Loopsy Wooden Rocking Sheep
When your child loves rocking on anything, even if it isn’t a horse, this Loopsy rocking sheep is a magical addition to the family.
- Super soft plush exterior
- Great for the youngest of rockers
- Fits right into your child’s room
- Not technically a horse despite making clopping noises
The wool exterior of the sheep makes it super comfortable. Whether your child is rocking or hugging the sheep, they’ll feel great. The cute look of the sheep will make it aesthetically consistent with a young child’s room — or your living room.
There’s one small issue with the sounds that this sheep makes. The sheep clip clops around as though it’s a horse wearing steel horseshoes. While most children won’t mind the discrepancy, you may wish for some sheep-like sounds to replace the horse sounds.
Frequently Asked Questions
How should I pick the right rocking horse for my child?
When you’re shopping for a rocking horse for your child, you should look for the following things to make sure that you’re getting a good one:
- Good aesthetics
- Maximum rocking pace
- Song repertoire
Good aesthetics are important because they determine how your child imagines themselves playing with the horse while they rock on it. Furthermore, you will also need to be looking at the rocking horse whenever your child is playing with it as well as afterward.
In other words, if you pick a rocking horse that’s an eyesore, you’ll have to deal with it for a long time. But, if you pick a rocking horse with a timeless and polished aesthetic, it’ll be a delight for long after your child has grown out of riding on it.
The rocking horse’s maximum rocking pace and range of motion is an important feature because not all children like to rock in the same way. Young children may prefer a gentle rocking motion, whereas older children may prefer to get practice riding at a more vigorous pace.
The range of motion determines how vigorous the rocking can be. Gentle tilting back and forth is best for the life of the rocking horse, but it may be boring for children who are looking for stimulation.
Most rocking horses for children can only rock forward and back. This means that they can be built to a high standard of durability and safety. But, some rocking horses can also rock from side to side.
Side to side rocking increases the chances of your child falling off the horse, but it also opens the horizons of play to include more interesting movements than back and forth rocking alone.
So, if your child has a lot of energy, you should consider getting them a rocking horse with a large range of motion. Just make sure that they understand how to rock safely when they’re rocking from side to side.
Durability is a concern for most kids rocking horses. As with many toys, there are a plurality of low-quality rocking horses on the market. These rocking horses will be more than sufficient to entertain your child, but they may not last for much longer than your child wants to use them.
Alternatively, they might break at an inopportune time if your child rides them too vigorously too frequently. Thankfully, there are many rocking horses which are of high quality. In fact, many rocking horses are built by artisans.
They are such high quality that you could consider them heirloom toys. You’ll need to pay extra for the additional build quality and aesthetic appeal of super-durable rocking horses, but it might be worth it for you.
As a further concern, you should know that rocking horses with multiple axes of motion and multiple configurations tend to be less durable than rocking horses which only rock forward and back.
The additional pieces required to make rocking horses which tilt and transform means that there are more modes of failure. So, the most durable and highest quality rocking horses are probably those which are the simplest.
For the rocking horses which have built-in songs, the song repertoire is a minor feature that you should pay attention to. Most rocking horses with songs only play five or six different tunes, which means that their replay value is relatively low.
On the other hand, there are also a few rocking horses which have dozens of songs. This means that your child will enjoy exploring the options for songs while they rock.
It also means that there is a lower chance that you will be frustrated by the repetition of the same four songs over and over again while your child is riding. But, to put the issue into context, you should be aware that song selection isn’t as important as build quality.
Is there anything I should avoid when shopping for a rocking horse for kids?
There isn’t anything in particular which you should avoid while shopping for a rocking horse. So long as you are mindful regarding what your child likes in terms of aesthetics, it’s hard to make a bad choice, assuming that the rocking horse you choose is age-appropriate.
Are rocking horses for children safe?
Yes, rocking horses are generally very safe. When children sit on their toy to rock back and forth, they are often in a special seat or saddle which will prevent them from falling off. Likewise, most rocking horses have handles which children grasp to enable their rocking motion.
Even when children do fall off their rocking horse somehow, most of the time they aren’t falling very far. There aren’t many pieces which can hurt a child if they were to fall onto them in an awkward way thanks to the way rocking horses are designed.
Similarly, rocking horses for children are made with materials that are child safe in the majority of cases.
If you want to be fully confident that the rocking horse is only constructed from materials that are uncontaminated, you should opt for materials like wood rather than fabrics or plastics. While wooden rocking horses may be less comfortable, they tend to be higher build quality.
Are there educational opportunities when playing with rocking horses?
Most rocking horses are not especially strong in terms of their educational opportunities. Rocking horses aren’t intended to teach your child lessons so much as to keep them busy and enjoying themselves.
But, some rocking horses do purport to have built-in educational materials in the form of songs which are played while your child is riding.
While we’ve already discussed how song repertoire is a feature that you should be looking for in a rocking horse, you shouldn’t be swayed by the claims of education contained in the songs. The songs are often very basic, describing topics like the alphabet or numbers.
It may be good for your child to reinforce their knowledge of the alphabet or numerals while they are riding on their horse, but the action of the horse’s rocking may be distracting to many children.
Alternatively, some children may finally take to the alphabet when they are allowed to move while learning, but you shouldn’t count on this being the case.
The songs sung by rocking horses are rudimentary without exception, which means that there is not much educational content even when your child’s learning conditions on the horse are favorable.
The one exception to the above is that some more advanced rocking horses are effective for gauging your child’s interest in riding a real horse or pony.
If your child takes to the rocking their horse at a vigorous pace, they’re probably someone who would be thrilled by riding a real animal.
Keep in mind that for these children, a rocking horse is not a substitute for a riding lesson so much as it is a tiny glimpse into the world of riding.
Are rocking horses good for developing my child’s motor coordination skills?
While rocking horses do require your child to move extensively as a core element of play, there isn’t much evidence which might suggest that riding on a rocking horse helps your child to develop their motor skills.
Movement is helpful for your child to be active, but the movements required to operate a rocking horse are not particularly complex, even for a child.
The rocking back and forth motion is largely carried by momentum, and there isn’t too much need for your child to identify issues with their application of force and modify it accordingly. This means that if your child’s motor control skills are lacking, a rocking horse won’t help.
On the other hand, rocking horses can provide parents with a good indicator for how their child’s general motor development is proceeding. If your child can mount and dismount with grace, there’s a good chance they’re more advanced than others at their age.
But, if your child struggles to rock the horse to their satisfaction and stumbles when they’re trying to mount up, it may be a sign that you should invest more effort in teaching your child how to move properly via calisthenics or sports.
Rocking horses with a rolling feature are somewhat better for helping your child learn how to move than rocking horses that are stationary. When your child rolls around the house, they have to exert multiple groups of muscles in concert if they want to go anywhere.
When your child pushes the horse, they must focus their arms on their intended destination and make sure that their legs don’t get in the way with each push. Many children also enjoy pushing with their legs at the same time, making a rolling horse a full-body workout.
More importantly, if your child wants to roll to a specific place, they need to make a differential force by slackening the force that they apply with one side of their body so as to turn themselves in the other direction.
This skill is important because it teaches motor control, hand-eye coordination, and foot-eye coordination. It also helps your child to practice for when they ride a bike, when they’ll need to be moving their body cohesively if they want to make any progress.
Interestingly, rocking horses that can tilt may also be better at teaching your child motor coordination than stationary units because they open the possibility of using feet to push off of the floor and gain more momentum.
Thus, a rocking horse with a tilting component can mimic a seesaw in the sense that your child will need to keep one set of muscles still while using the other set of muscles at the appropriate force.
While it isn’t exactly fine motor control, it might be useful for teaching your child that sometimes the best way to move in the way you want is to leave many of your muscles so that they don’t disrupt the activity of other muscles that are doing the important work.
When should I purchase a rocking horse for my child?
You can start your child on their rocking horse at a young age. Some people purchase a rocking horse for their child as early as age two. Age one is probably too young for your child to appreciate the horse, but not all children are the same.
Keep in mind that you need to purchase an age-appropriate rocking horse, however. Different rocking horses have different sizes, ranges of motion, aesthetics, and build quality.
Younger children should use rocking horses that are closer to the ground and which have a smaller range of motion to ensure that they don’t overexert themselves.
Similarly, the aesthetics of rocking horses intended for younger children are typically more along the lines of Fisher-Price style, with gaudy colors. Typically, the rocking horses intended for the youngest children are not the highest build quality.
After age six, you should probably be purchasing a larger and more advanced rocking horse than what you might purchase for a five year old.
After age seven, you should carefully consider whether your child will appreciate a rocking horse or whether it will be something they find too childish to enjoy.
Now that you’re well-versed in the world of rocking horses, you’re ready to pick a rocking horse that your child will love. Don’t be afraid to take a gamble on a rocking horse that’s a bit higher quality than you would otherwise want.
Your child will love to pass on their high-quality rocking horse to their children when it’s time. Just remember that it’s totally fine to be sentimental when you pick something for your child to cherish.