If you’re looking for a rocking animal for your child, you’ll be pleased to find that hippos, giraffes, dragons and others have joined the zoo of safe and fun ride on toys for kids. There are many plush rocking animals that will help kids master balance, improve coordination and self soothe – some of them even have built in learning features. If you’re wondering how to choose from the menagerie, we took a ride around the 10 best stuffed rocking animals to buy in 2019 to give you a closer look.

How to Pick the Best Stuffed Rocking Animal

1. Recommended Age

Recommended age is always an essential factor to examine when you’re buying something for your child, but when you’re buying a ride on toy, it’s especially important. They require a base amount of strength and balance that some younger kids and all babies do not have, and it’s not safe for them to use ride on toys. Older kids may be too big to use them safely, so look at the age a ride on toy is intended for before purchase.

2. Animal Theme

There’s a wide variety of animals to choose from in this zoo. If your child has a favorite or their nursery or bedroom has a special theme, the type of stuffed animal you choose might play into that. 

3. Color

Favorite colors can be a big deal to kids, and choosing an animal in their beloved hue will delight them. Color can also come into play when you’re trying to coordinate your pick with the colors in their bedroom or play space, so if it’s important to you, make sure to take note of the color options.

4. Does It Have a Belt?

Present on some models, a safety belt that clips easily secures a child into the seat of their ride on toy. It’s a great feature for younger kids who meet the age range for a toy but struggle with balance related developmental milestones, so if you feel like it could benefit your child, it’s a possible feature to look out for.

5. Special Features

Some ride on toys have unique features like educational audio or sensory touch areas. They add a new dimension to the concept of a ride on toy and can make it more versatile and beneficial to a child. That said, some parents strongly prefer to avoid toys with audio, so this is helpful information to know in that instance as well. 

6. Batteries Required

As we mentioned, some rocking toys do have audio features which are powered by batteries. This is pertinent info, because it’s disappointing and frustrating to receive a purchase only to quickly discover you don’t have its needed batteries. We’ve noted where batteries are required in the toys on our list and if they’re included.

The Winners

#1

Rockabye Poof the Lil' Dragon

Best Overall

Sweet little Poof the Lil’ Dragon Rocker has a soft, durable plush construction and high quality finished maple hardwood rails that are safe for little hands to touch and which come standard as a part of Rockabye ride on toys. He helps kids learn the alphabet, numbers, colors and more through the use of 4 original educational tunes they can trigger using buttons on the back of his head (don’t worry, batteries are included). Also a standard for Rockabye toys, Poof features low back support to help kids stay safe while developing balance.

  • You'll love: Kids can learn important concepts through songs played by the ride-on, and batteries are included

Recommended Age: 9 months +
Animal Theme: Dragon
Color: Green, purple, orange, red
Has a Belt: No
Special Features: Educational songs
Batteries Required: 3 AAA batteries included

#2

Labebe Green Plush Crocodile

Upgrade Choice

There’s a lot for little ones to do when they ride on their fun Labebe Green Plush Crocodile pal. His crinkling spikes are fun to play with, and he’s accompanied by a bird friend who has crinkling wings. Pockets on the toy’s sides feature a button and a mirror, and a fish rattle and dragonfly with shimmering wings complete the set. All those features plus Labebe’s exceptional construction and stain resistance make this pick a standout.

  • You'll love: There's no shortage of sensory stimulation for little ones, some of which will encourage small motor development

Recommended Age: 1 – 3 years
Animal Theme: Crocodile
Color: Green and purple
Has a Belt: Yes
Special Features: Pockets with sensory interactivity
Batteries Required: No

#3

Rockabye Owliver Green Owl

Best Budget Buy

Owliver by Rockabye is an adorable owl and is the perfect addition to woodland nurseries. It features the strong plush construction and maple hardwood that make Rockabye toys distinctive as well as educational tunes to facilitate learning and lower back support that keeps kids safe and comfortable. Soothing green with friendly eyes, Owliver comes with batteries and is ready for run right out of the package.

  • You'll love: It's a great pick for woodland nurseries, and Rockabye makes sturdy, educational ride-ons

Recommended Age: 9 months +
Animal Theme: Owl
Color: Green
Has a Belt: No
Special Features: Educational songs
Batteries Required: 3 AAA batteries included

#4

LaBebe Pink Unicorn Rocker

Best Unicorn Rocker

LaBebe’s Pink Unicorn Baby Rocker is a sweet pink rocking ‘horse’ that features a safety belt and a high-backed seat which make it a great pick for kids with limited balance capability. The cute, shimmery wings and big, soft plush limbs and head are soft to the touch, the wooden base is smooth and splinter free, and the high quality, easy to clean plush remains intact throughout many uses, even if toddlers try to take it apart. Additional sensory stimulus is offered through the unicorn’s ears, which are rattles.

  • You'll love: It's great for kids with developmental balance delays, extra safe and would look great in a pink nursery

Recommended Age: 1 – 3 years
Animal Theme: Unicorn
Color: Pink and white
Has a Belt: Yes
Special Features: Ears are rattles
Batteries Required: No

#5

LaBebe Plush Elephant Rocker

Best Elephant Rocker

The rubber wrapped wheels of LaBebe’s Plush Elephant Rocker let kids use it on any surface. The sturdy plush construction and smooth wooden base of LaBebe ride on toys keep kids safe and comfortable during their frolics, and sensory stimulus is offered to little ones through the elephant’s ears, which squeak when squeezed. As always, Labebe toys are made with stain and spill resistant plush that’s excellent at standing up to childhood mess.

  • You'll love: The rubber wrapped wheels prevent floor damage that's sometimes caused by other ride on toys

Recommended Age: 1 – 3 years
Animal Theme: Elephant
Color: Pink and grey
Has a Belt: No
Special Features: Ears squeak when squeezed
Batteries Required: No

#6

LaBebe 2 in 1 Giraffe Rocker

Best Giraffe Rocker

LaBebe’s 2 in 1 Yellow Giraffe Rocker features wheels as well as the traditional wooden rocking mechanism. It also checks all of the LaBebe standards- durable stain resistant plush, a smooth wooden base, plus additional sensory features to stimulate baby. Here, they come in the form of a crinkling mane and paws. It’s a sweet addition to any nursery or bedroom, but this sweet giraffe would look especially cute when paired with a jungle theme.

  • You'll love: It's great for boys or girls so it's good for handing down to siblings

Recommended Age: 1 – 3 years
Animal Theme: Giraffe
Color: Yellow and orange
Has a Belt: No
Special Features: Crinkles
Batteries Required: No

#7

Wonderworld Rocking Caterpillar

Best Caterpillar Rocker

A great multipurpose pick, the Wonderworld Rocking Caterpillar can be removed from his base and used as a cushion during play or rest. As is, though, he’s a great ride on with a rattle nose that offers extra sensory stimulation to kids. He’s full of bright colors and soft to the touch, plus he’s made of biodegradable fabric, so you’re making an environmentally conscious pick by choosing this toy.

  • You'll love: It can be used as a ride on or a cushion

Recommended Age: 18 months +
Animal Theme: Caterpillar
Color: Yellow, red, green
Has a Belt: No
Special Features: Rattle nose
Batteries Required: No

#8

Rockabye Bonita Butterfly

Best Butterfly Rocker

Pretty pink and green Bonita Butterfly by Rockaby features signature educational tunes, sturdy construction and maple base in a design that would look great in a nature-themed nursery or bedroom or any color scheme that includes pink. She also has cute side sensory features, like a lace-bordered mirror and extra soft flower decal. Lower back support makes her safe and comfortable for little riders.

  • You'll love: It's a sturdy ride on with great sensory features from a trusted company

Recommended Age: 9 months +
Animal Theme: Butterfly
Color: Pink and green
Has a Belt: No
Special Features: Educational songs
Batteries Required: 3 AAA batteries included

#9

Rockabye Fossil Dinosaur

Best Dinosaur Rocker

Little paleontologists will love Rockabye’s Fossil Dinosaur Rocker – it’s one cool dino ride on toy! He features squeakers and crinkles that offer extra sensory stimulation to kids in addition to Rockabye’s standard offerings of durable plush construction, maple hardwood base and educational audio. He’s a good pick for a boy nursery, but all kids love dinosaurs – and you don’t see rocking dino ride-ons every day, so this is a unique pick.

  • You'll love: He's a unique dino that's fun for kids who love them (which is most kids)

Recommended Age: 9 months +
Animal Theme: Dinosaur
Color: Blue and grey
Has a Belt: No
Special Features: Educational songs, squeakers, crinkles
Batteries Required: 3 AAA batteries included

#10

Rockabye Gracie The Hippo

A great ride-on toy for girls that skips the popular full-pink color scheme, Gracie The Hippo has Rockabye’s awesome construction and educational features as well as extrasensory stimulation in the form of squeakers, crinkles and her ruffled tutu. Soft and fun to ride, her vivid purple plush adorned with a little blue bow is bright and cheerful, and her pink toes add a cute and unexpected touch.

  • You'll love: There are lots of sensory features and bright, unique colors here

Recommended Age: 9 months +
Animal Theme: Hippo
Color: Purple
Has a Belt: No
Special Features: Educational songs, squeakers, crinkles
Batteries Required: 3 AAA batteries included

Quick Decision

Rockabye Poof the Lil’ Dragon Rocker – Best Overall
Soft and sturdy, it offers educational audio they’ll benefit from

Labebe Green Plush Crocodile Rocker – Upgrade Choice
It offers lots of sensory stimulation with durable construction from a trusted manufacturer

Rockabye Owliver Green Owl Rocker – Best Budget Buy
Inexpensive and so cute, it’d look great in a woodland nursery

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Hannah H.

Hannah H.

Hannah is both a parent and a freelance journalist and author. You go, girl! She is an impeccable wordsmith and her warm and witty outlook on life makes her pieces a joy to read.

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