driving an toy car, epic parent. power wheels

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My kids have never had those large electic vehicles and they would agree emphatically that I am not an epic parent. More of a nagging, annoying kind of parent. We just don’t have the space either in our back yard to ride it nor in our garage which strongly is packed to the gills with bicycles, sleds, snow shovels and other gardening junk.

A few of their friends have these ride on epic toys. PickyKidPix spent a happy afternoon a few years ago riding her friend Caroline’s large electric jeep toy. Caroline’s parents said that the toy car actually got a lot of use though mostly from playdates.

There are downsides to large electric vehicle toys:

  • expensive
  • takes up space to store
  • not used frequently

… but here’s an unexpected upside. I think these large car toys help teach kids driving skills. A life skill that kids will need.

As my husband and I are shocked that our eldest, Grasshopper and Sensei is just two short years away from her learner’s permit. In Massachusetts, you have to be 16-years-old, but when I was a kid, I had my driver’s permit at 15 and a 1/2. (California, in case you wondered).

Yikes! How did that happen so fast? She has had limited driving experience thus far, mostly from theme park rides and golf carts.

dad and son golf

Because my husband plays a lot of golf, my kids have “driven” a golf cart for short distances on his lap since they were old enough to walk. These days, he or I work the pedals, while our child steers the golf cart.

driving an toy car, epic parent. power wheels

My kids got even more experience driving a golf cart when we were on vacation at North Captiva Island in Florida because no cars are allowed, so residents use golf carts like cars. Of course, kids are not supposed to drive the golf carts … but we were on a quiet street and they drove very short distances.

And this is how we discovered our kids’ driving shortcomings.

– Grasshopper and Sensei can’t corner very well because she hasn’t figured out how to slow down as you turn.

– PickyKidPix can back up and even parallel park, but she drives way too fast on the straight aways.

– My son over steers when trying to go straight. He seems to think the golf cart is like a video driving game.

This may sound crazy, but I think those large driving vehicle toys WOULD actually give a kid a feel for driving a car. And, they would be able to get the hang of using the pedals while steering!

We will probably not be epic parents this holiday season, but I would be up for a timeshare in an electic driving car. But, you’d have to store the car. There just isn’t room in my garage!

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Jeanette Nyberg

    That’s a good point, Mia, about helping them navigate driving. We don’t have a big old electronic vehicle either. I need my kids to master their peddle-able thingies first!
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…Easy Art Projects to Keep Your Kids Busy While You…My Profile

  2. Hi Mia, great post, I too recently bought my kids electric cars and after 2 months they finally can drive in a straight line. Next part is the brakes! How did you get on teaching them to park?
    Justine recently posted…The Best Electric Cars for Kids For Hours of Fun on WheelsMy Profile

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