12 best rocking horses your toddler will love

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Best rocking horse for toddlers

An all-time favorite classic toy, the rocking horse has maintained a place in American households for generations.

best rocking horse for toddlers


Our favorite rocking horses for toddlers:

The history of rocking horses can be traced back to the hobby horse of the Middle Ages, but they have come a long way from the original fake horse’s head attached to the end of a long stick, which would be positioned between their legs to simulate riding. It is even believed that children were often gifted these early rocking horses and hobby horses to practice the rudimentary jousting techniques prior to graduating to actual horses.

Around the 16th century, this version was replaced by a barrel horse, a circular log propped up on four legs and adorned with an imitation horse head. It wasn’t until the early 17th century that bow rockers, which first truly resembled the modern rocking horse, were invented. During the World Wars and the Great Depression, the craft declined almost to the point of disappearing forever, and indeed by the 1960s there had been a significant decline in rocking horse manufacturers. It was around this time that a small community of  skilled craftsmen began restoring antique rocking horses to their original glory and creating new designs which ultimately led to the examples we see being manufactured today. In 2004, the rocking horse was inducted into the Strong National Museum of Play National Toy Hall of Fame.

Best rocking horses for toddlers

How to pick best rocking horse for your child

Best wooden rocking horses

1. KidKraft – Derby Rocking Horse – Natural
Sturdy, solid wood construction with a real wool mane and tail, with unique anti-tip rockers for added safety. This timeless, heirloom-quality rocking horse is treasure for every child.

2. Hape – Rock and Ride Wooden Rocking Horse
This classic rocking horse toy provides hours upon hours of imaginative exercise by gently rocking at a steady pace or safely galloping, while helping to develop basic balance and coordination skills. High quality finishes are all non-toxic and child safe.

3. EverEarth – Bamboo Rocking Horse
Made with sustainable resources, water based paints, recycled packaging, and manufactured to the highest quality, this bamboo rocking horse encourages your child’s imagination and fine motor skills development. Check price

Best antique rocking horses (classic rocking horses)

2. Amish Heirlooms – American Antique Rocking Horse
This beautiful handcrafted solid maple horse measures 34″ by 11″ by 25″, with countersunk screws and and covered with matching hardwood dowel plugs for a sturdy yet authentic antique rocking horse feel.

For a more modern take on the rocking horse, check out these spring powered rocking horses:

Best Spring Rocking Horses

1. Rockin’ Rider – Lucky Talking Plush Spring Horse
This soft huggable plush rocking horse also talks and sings “I’m a Little Pony” song, 6 talking phrases, and other sound effects from its synchronized moving mouth. The 3-position stirrups grow with your child and the sturdy steel frame ensures safety for ages 2 to 5 years and up to 65 lbs., making this one of the best spring horses for kids.

2. Radio Flyer – Blaze Interactive Riding Horse
This horse has 3 distinct riding actions: walk, trot, and gallop. The built-in safety straps provide added protection and the easy climb step allows easy access and dismount for kids up to 60 pounds. The best rocking horse for a 3 year old!

Best rocking horse for babies (rocking horse with safety seat)

rocking horse with safety seat
Rockin’ Rider – Legacy Grow-with-Me Pony
Rocking horses with safety seats are best for babies that are still developing their balance. Converts in minutes without tools to grow with your child from a bouncer, to a rocker, to a spring horse. Recommended for as young to 9 months, converts at 12 and 24 months (up to 50 lbs.) Babies will love the soft, huggable plush, detailed saddle, and embroidered eyes, and are soothed by the gentle rocking in the removable safety seat. The best rocking horse for 1 year old!

#1 Best rocking horse for toddlers

Best plastic lightweight rocking horses

Best modern portable plastic rocking horses

Looking for kids plastic rocking horses?

1. Little Tikes – Rocking Horse
The small size is portable and ideal for indoor or outdoor play areas. The seat and easy grip handles are designed to keep kids from falling forward or back, and the  sturdy construction and unique design will keep kids in the saddle for hours. 
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2. Step2 – Patches the Rocking Horse
The charming yet sturdy double wall poly construction is durable and will last for years, and prevent rocking or tipping. The contoured seat and easy grip handle bars are designed for optimum comfort, and the lightweight design makes it extremely portable and easy to store. 
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3. VTech – Gallop and Rock Learning Pony
Grows with the user by transforming from a simple rocking horse to a ride-on or rolling toy. Encourages rocking and riding with motion detectors that activate  realistic horse sounds, fun phrases, 60+ songs, melodies, sounds and phrases for imaginative play. A different, fun spin on kids plastic rocking horses. 
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Best inflatable rocking horse

Inflatable rocking horse

This Inflatable Rocking Rody Rider has a detachable base that converts it to an adorable and safe rocking horse. Remove it, and the Rody returns to it’s original hopping and bouncing form, making him grow with your child. Regular play with the Rody has been shown to tone muscles, improve balance and heighten cardiovascular exertion.

Record breaking rocking horses
To date, the most expensive rocking horse solid on record was a solid 18k gold rocking horse, which was handmade by Japanese designer Ginza Tanaka. It sold for  $600,000 in 2012 to Jay-Z and Beyonce for their daughter Blue Ivy. The title for the largest rocking horse on Earth is held by Yilan, China for a structure that weighs 4.5 tons, measures over 27 feet (8.3 meters) long, and is 10x the size of an average rocking horse.  The record for the largest hand-carved wooden rocking horse is held by Katlinel and Les Hartness of California – it was built in 2000 and measures 7 feet 8 inches tall and weighs 1,200 pounds.

Beautiful in it’s simplicity, a rocking horse is also a great way for young kids of a variety of ages to remain active, even indoors, and also improve their balance and coordination. Nowadays, two primary styles of rocking horse are manufactured: the type that moves in tandem with its rockers, and the type that rocks within its own frame.

A classic symbol of childhood, rocking horses and activity rockers have always been a hallmark of play. Keep the rocking horse tradition alive in your home with these best rocking toys for toddlers

best rocking horses for toddlers

Best rocking horse for toddlers

Thanks for reading!

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No aggregators or algorithms on our “best rocking toys for toddlers” list- all of these amazing wooden rocking horses, kids plastic rocking horses, and spring rocking horse for kids are hand picked! Please make sure to confirm manufacturer recommended age, safety details, materials, instructions, and other warnings. We may receive commission from certain affiliate links including the Amazon Affiliates Program, which allows you to support our site’s mission at no additional cost to you. You can read our full disclosure here. We strive to bring you the best!