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Best Pulling Toys of 2023

Updated
Build your baby’s confidence on their feet.

Pull toys remain a firm favorite with little ones, and the range of options is far greater than what was available even a decade ago.

But when shopping for a pull toy, you want to ensure you get the best bang for your buck.

We’ve spent a lot of time researching these cute toys for early walkers and created this list of the best pull toys available. We based our top picks on their appeal to children, safety features, educational value, ease of use, and skill-building abilities.

Encourage your little ones to move past stationary play with one of these high-quality pull toys.

Our Top Picks

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Image
Model
Product Comparison Table
Features

Product Image of the Wooden Giraffe Pull Along
Best Overall
Wooden Giraffe Pull Along
  • Long-term quality
  • Made from high-quality wood
  • Completely safe for children
Product Image of the Fisher-Price Lil' Snoopy
Best Budget Pick
Fisher-Price Lil' Snoopy
  • No batteries required
  • Encourages early role-play
  • Interactive sounds and motions
Product Image of the Hape Walk-A-Long Snail
Best Multifunctional Toy
Hape Walk-A-Long Snail
  • Removable shape sorter shell
  • Durable and sturdy wood
  • Award winning
Product Image of the Brio Pull Along Duck
Best Moving Parts Pull Toy
Brio Pull Along Duck
  • Perfect for boys and girls
  • Handcrafted
  • Safe, non-toxic paint
Product Image of the VTech Pull and Sing Puppy
Best Musical Pull Toy
VTech Pull and Sing Puppy
  • Over 60 songs and noises
  • Encourages kids to walk
  • Builds motor skills
Product Image of the Hape Elephant Wooden Pull
Best for Little Hands
Hape Elephant Wooden Pull
  • Child-safe materials
  • No batteries are needed
  • 100% solid wood
Product Image of the Hape Wonder Walker
Best Push-and-Pull Toy
Hape Wonder Walker
  • Beautifully made
  • Non-toxic finishes
  • Offer strong support
Product Image of the LeapFrog AlphaPup
Most Educational
LeapFrog AlphaPup
  • Teaches the alphabet and phonics
  • 3 learning songs
  • Velvet-soft floppy ears
Product Image of the PlanToys Dancing Alligator
Most Unique
PlanToys Dancing Alligator
  • 24-inch pull cord
  • Uses non-toxic dyes and pigments
  • From chemical free rubberwood trees
Product Image of the Walk Along Puppy
Award Winning Design
Walk Along Puppy
  • Encourages active play
  • Parents Magazine Best Toys award winner
  • Low-maintenance


The Best Pull Toys of 2023

Here are 13 great pulling toys for toddlers and babies.

Brio Pull Along Giraffe

Best Overall Pull Toy

This timeless wooden toy has been a favorite for over 60 years. Kids ages 12 months and over will love pulling along the sturdy little giraffe. They’ll enjoy seeing its neck and head move.

The gloss-paint finish over the smooth sanded wood is toxin-free, so no worries about safety here.

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Fisher-Price Lil' Snoopy

Best Budget Pick

This adorable and affordable little puppy wiggles its ears, shakes its tail, and makes clicking sounds as it follows your little one around. It’s suitable for ages 12 months and over. Your toddler will enjoy taking it for a walk.

Why not take the opportunity to use this pull-along toy to teach children how to look after animals? Try giving them pretend food and water bowls, and watch as their imagination develops.


Hape Walk-A-Long Snail

Best Multifunctional Pull Toy

For 1-year-olds and up, this toy takes on double duty as a pull-along and shape sorter. Your child can remove the snail’s shell and sort the three wooden blocks through the shaped holes in the side.

An elastic band on the other side allows easy removal of the blocks, but it stops them from falling out when the toy is in motion. The snail tail waves as it’s pulled along, the shapes rattle, and the shell rolls.

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Best Moving Parts Pull Toy

Best Moving Parts Pull Toy

This little wooden duck will waddle along behind any child and is suitable for children 12 months and older. Its head moves from side to side, and its wings flap as it moves. The four bright red wheels are designed to roll easily along any floor surface.

The pull toy is handcrafted from solid beech wood, and its painted surfaces are safe and non-toxic.


VTech Pull and Sing Puppy

Best Musical Pull Toy

This adorable push-and-pull puppy toy builds motor skills and plays music for endless entertainment and education. The three buttons on the side teach kids motor skills, numbers, colors, and associating sounds.

It also encourages kids to walk since they now have a new fun buddy to take with them. This dalmatian puppy has flashing lights and playful language to engage with children, even if they have short attention spans.

It has over 60 songs and cute puppy noises. This pup is a favorite amongst children ages 6 months to 36 months — and parents love it too.


Hape Elephant Wooden Push Toy

Best Pull Toy for Little Hands

This attractive elephant can be a good companion for your toddler. It helps promote hand-eye coordination, encourages creativity, and sharpens balance.

The center cut-out makes it easy for little ones to grab the elephant and carry it when they don’t feel like pulling it.

This is one of the best pull toys for younger tots ages 12 months and over.


Hape Wonder Walker

Best Push-and-Pull Toy

What kid wouldn’t like to have their own wagon? They can move things around the yard, take their teddies for a walk, or use it for cleanup at the end of the day.

The wagon’s wooden construction is stable, and all materials are safe for children ages 12 months and over.

You can lock the handle into place so your child can work on their walking skills by pushing the toy. Then release it to convert it to a pull toy. This wagon will be a favorite for a long while.


LeapFrog AlphaPup Toy

Most Educational Pull Toy

LeapFrog toys are always a favorite. And your little one will learn the alphabet with this interactive puppy pull toy.

Turn it on and press the letters on the dog’s back to hear two phrases for each letter of the alphabet. You can also listen to the alphabet song, a numbers song, or a walking song as your toddler pulls the toy along.

We especially appreciate this toy’s educational properties and love that it’s fun enough for kids between 12 and 36 months old.


PlanToys Dancing Alligator

Most Unique Pull Toy

A friendly green gator will follow your little ones around as they pull it along. It will make a “click-clack” noise and open and close its mouth to keep kids entertained.

The stable wheels move together and apart to make the alligator’s body wiggle and dance as you pull it. It’s suitable for ages 1 and over.


Award Winning Pull Toy

Obedient Dog

This award-winning puppy toy was one of our toddlers’ favorite toys.

They loved that they could take it for a walk, let its head dip to “sniff” the floor, and make it sit or stand. Its ears wiggle, and its tail wags as it moves along.

Parents love that it’s made from quality wood, so it should last for years. You can choose from a bright blue or orange version. Kids over the age of 1 will love taking their own puppy dog for a walk.


Toomies Quack Along Ducks

Best Engaging Toy

Suitable for babies from 10 months to toddlers, this mommy duck and her two ducklings quack and waddle as they move. Made from high-quality, safe plastic, this Tomy toy is easy to clean.

Little ones will love the noise the ducks make, although — you’ve been warned — moms and dads might find it a bit annoying after a while.


Melissa & Doug Deluxe Frog

Funniest Pull Toy

This friendly frog pull toy is suitable for toddlers from 18 months upwards. When pulled along, it leaps up and down, and its googly eyes wiggle in its head, making children laugh in delight.

Walking along with this toy will be fun and exciting, and the brightly-painted colors entice little ones to play. The non-toxic paint makes this a safe option for younger kids who still enjoy chewing on their toys.


Fisher-Price Chatter Phone

Best Retro Pull Toy

Back in the day, before cell phones, this was a favorite toy with many kids. I remember using mine as a child, and the very same one is now being used by my own children.

Even though little ones may not recognize this as a device used in the home, they still love the fun designs and will chatter away into the receiver.

When it’s pulled along, the eyes roll up and down, and the mouth chatters. For quiet play, the dial rings, and the telephone can inspire the imagination.

This pull-along phone is suitable for toddlers ages 12 months and over.

The Benefits of Pull Toys

While a child is learning to walk, a push toy is a valuable option, as it will help them balance and build their confidence. Once they master this step, they’ll be ready to progress to a pull toy. Some toys combine pushing and pulling actions.

Pull toys require a little more balance and concentration. Your toddler will need to make sure they aren’t going to walk into anything as they check on their buddy behind them. They’ll also need to be pretty steady on their feet as they take their pull toy for a walk with nothing to help keep their balance.

Pulling a toy along will help a child’s gross motor skills as they navigate. They’ll develop their fine motor skills as they grasp the string. Pull toys teach toddlers about cause and effect, as the rolling of the toy is often accompanied by noises and movement.

Children can also improve their coordination and problem-solving skills as they multitask with their pull toy: pulling, watching, navigating, and balancing at the same time (1).

How to Choose a Pull Toy

You’ll want a pull toy to keep your little one safe and engaged. Here are a few things to consider:

Age-Appropriate

Choose a pull toy that is age-appropriate for your baby or toddler. If you provide them with a toy that’s too advanced for them, they could get frustrated. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that using a pull toy is an 18-month milestone, although every child is different.

Weight

Make sure the toy is light enough for your child to maneuver behind them. However, it must be stable enough not to tip over all the time.

String Length

The ideal string length on a pull toy should be 12 inches or less to avoid strangulation (2). If it’s longer, cut it short or make sure your toddler isn’t left unsupervised with the toy.

Avoid Beads or Attachments

Steer clear of any attachments on the string that can form loops or nooses.

String Thickness

Ensure the string is not so thin that it could cut a child’s skin. It should be at least 1.5 millimeters or a sixteenth of an inch (3).


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Headshot of Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Reviewed by

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN

Mary Sweeney, BSN, RN, CEN is an oncology nurse navigator and freelance medical writer. Mary has 4 years of experience as an officer in the Navy Nurse Corps. including emergency/trauma, post-anesthesia, and deployment medicine.