Are you on a toy hunt for your child’s next birthday present? Do you want to make sure these toys also have educational value? You might be surprised to learn that race track toys can fill that role.
Don’t worry, we’ve all experienced that last-minute panic to find the perfect toys for our children. While we used to play with basic cars and tracks back in the day, our kids have a lot more to choose from.
In fact, some of them are fantastic for helping your child with mental and social development. Let’s take a look at why play is important, what features to look for in race track toys and finally, our top picks for you.
Why Is Play so Important?
Playtime can have social, physical, and emotional benefits, including socialization, improving coordination, and more (1). Playing is also an excellent time for you to bond with your child. These days, we all live busy lives, but playtime is essential as a family and can enrich your child’s life (2).
Types Race Track Toys
There are many different race track toys to fuel your child’s imagination. The most common types include manual, motorized, and “launcher” styles.
- Manual: Of course, the manual style is self-explanatory. Your child will enjoy pushing the car around and creating a scenario on the tracks in any shape or form they like. This can suit young and older children alike.
- Motorized: These race track toys generally involve the cars being powered along the tracks by batteries. This can be a good option for inquisitive younger kids that love to watch the motion.
- Launcher: Race track toys that have a launcher are all about speed and being daring. Often, this can include racing or performing stunts. It might be a good option if your child likes high-paced play, and enjoys socializing with other children.
Features to Look For
When you’re choosing a race track toy, here are some things to look for.
- Number of Track Configurations: Especially for older children, being able to arrange and rearrange their race tracks might keep them entertained and encourage decision making.
- Indoors or Outdoors: Playtime can be versatile when race track toys can be used both inside and outside. Depending on the durability of the toy and what outdoor surfaces are available, your child can play in the sun, as well as indoors on the carpet.
- Storage Friendly: Race track toys that can be taken apart are going to be easier to store. Some toys even include a trunk or box which helps keep everything organized.
- Programmed Songs and Sounds: When the race track toy has sounds and music, younger children may be more interested in engaging with it. Music may also stimulate curiosity and encourage a focus on play.
The Best Race Track Toys of 2020
Now that we’ve covered why you might want to encourage playtime and what features to check out, let’s look at the best race track toys. Whether you have a toddler or a child nearing “double digits,” we have something for you.
1. Glow Race Track Set
Don’t you love it when your child’s face lights up with excitement? With this set, your child’s face won’t be the only thing lighting up.
These glow-in-the-dark tracks are easy to assemble. All you have to do is bend, twist and snap them together, to create your own race track, with many possible configurations. This is a great feature if your child normally gets bored playing with the same toys.
2. Hot Wheels Track Builder Stunt Box
As parents, we all know that keeping the house clean and tidy can be difficult. But this race track toy might make life a little bit easier. It comes complete with its own stunt box, where you can store everything away after playtime.
It’s easy to take apart and bring with you, whether you’re going to grandma’s, or on a family vacation. Plus, it’s a whole lot of creative fun for your kids to enjoy.
3. TrackGo Race Car Track Builder
Looking for speed? This mega looper doesn’t require any batteries, but that doesn’t mean it’s not fast.
All you’ve got to do is pull the car back and watch it go. It’s a thrilling game with lots of different ways to build the track and loops. While a younger child might need a little help, it could help develop their problem-solving skills.
4. Top Bright Wooden Race Track
This toy has been fully tested for safety to make sure it’s suitable for toddlers aged 1–2 years old.
It’s also great for developing focus and more. They can set the cars in motion and watch them roll and flip down the track, depending on the way they’re moved. Then they can park them in the parking lot up top.
Plus, the rainbow track and bright colors will encourage your child to enjoy independent play.
5. Liberty Imports Magic Speedway
If your child likes to create stories, you can encourage their imagination with this police-based track.
The tracks are colorful and easy to connect. The design of the track means high-speed chases and crashes are possible. Your child can learn about the role of the police, with motorized cars featuring flashing LED lights.
6. Mickey and the Roadster Racers
Is your child a Mickey Mouse fan? Bring some Disney magic to your home with this race track.
It’s a fun and goofy game for children to play together, with its double-level raceway. It encourages socialization, with two cars that can race each other to the finishing line. Let’s see if they can figure it out for themselves.
7. KidKraft Mega Ramp Racing Set
What we love about this toy is the fact that a lot is going on, so there’s room for others to join in. It could help your children think creatively and make decisions. Will they use the racing ramp, fly the helicopter, or visit the gas station?
This toy is great for encouraging imagination and roleplay. Given it’s suitable for children up to 15 years of age, siblings can enjoy this together.
8. Inspiration Play Tube Race Track
So, this toy isn’t the most advanced on the list, but it’s actually a lot of fun for your child. They’ll love learning what angles to use to make the cars run down the tube. Plus, they can use objects from around the home as well.
What’s more, it takes seconds to set up, without needing any tools, and there’s no need for batteries. This is pure, old-fashioned fun. It also comes in three pieces, which makes it simple to store away or pack and take with you.
9. Disney Pixar Cars Racetrack
If your child loves the movie “Cars,” you may want to consider this toy as a present. Now they can get creative and build their own racing world. They can also play the roles of Lightning McQueen or Cruz Ramirez.
It’s easy for kids to put the pieces together and the wood is sturdy, making it suitable for indoor and outdoor play. Plus, no batteries are needed, which is a great bonus when you’re traveling.
10. Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends TrackMaster
Racing doesn’t have to be on the road, it can be at sea too. This toy is a little different, with Thomas the Tank Engine rolling into the docks and onto the ship.
Your child can learn about journeys on land and at sea. There are different colors, movements, and textures along the way. Batteries are required, but the track is easy to set up in order to set sail.
11. Race Car Educational Track Set
We all worry about our kids and what ends up in their mouths. But the best thing about this toy is that it’s made from non-toxic and BPA-free plastic.
With over 240 pieces of track, you can encourage your child to think about different ways to assemble the colorful roads. They can also position trees, street signs, and bridges.
12. Lydaz Race Track Dinosaur World
You can step back into the Jurassic period for some fun with this one. The flexible tracks are a great feature for creating endless routes to dodge dinosaurs. It lets your child’s imagination run wild.
Furthermore, it’s easy to take apart, which is fantastic if you’re on the go, or if you want to teach your little one how to deconstruct and pick up their toys.
13. BluTrack 18” Starter Set
This race track toy may entertain your kid for hours, with countless configurations. The track is flexible, which means your child can bend and twist it any way they want. There’s the ability to create loops, ramps, and jumps.
Plus, it’s designed to be durable for lots of excitement indoors and outdoors. If your child already has toy cars, they’re able to use them and have fun on this track.
14. Hot Wheels Versus Track Set
For a classic take on racing, this one fits the bill. There are multiple ways that your child can customize the tracks and jumps, which will test their creativity.
In addition, they can enjoy both side-by-side and head-to-head racing with a friend. There’s even a clamp included, to hold your tablet in place while you record all the action.
15. Hot Wheels 4-Lane Race Track
Friendly competition, anyone? There are four lanes for high-speed fun on this track, which can fold up easily when it’s time to stop playing.
It’s easy to assemble, and the launcher means it’s also simple to operate and have fun with. While four players can join at once, only one makes it to the finish line, as the lanes become narrower the closer it gets to the end.
16. HOMOFY Dinosaur Track Set
Kids have big imaginations but we say the bigger, the better. This lets your child build their own roads and set up dinosaurs for their story.
A great thing about this track and accessories is that they’re made from non-toxic plastic. The military vehicle is battery-operated, which some moms may find annoying. But it can be fascinating for kids to watch and understand movement.
17. Liberty Imports Track Racer
What we love about this race track is that it’s made from recycled ABS plastic. This makes it non-toxic and eco-friendly.
Children can watch the cars race around the track by themselves, which could keep them amused for hours. There are ramps for added excitement, as well as a flying helicopter.
18. Fisher-Price Disney Mickey’s Wild Tire
This toy is easy to assemble, and a cinch to store away at the end of playtime. Could it be possible to have a tidy house after all?
If your child loves Mickey Mouse, he or she can hit the “Goofy gas launcher” and see how fast he goes around the loop-de-loop. Time to defy gravity, Disney style.
19. Fisher-Price Loops ‘n Swoops
Let’s be honest, children like to push the boundaries. But you can now encourage it when it comes to this fun racing toy. Your toddler can have a blast, pushing the two-wheeled vehicle down all of the ramps and loops of the amusement park.
What’s great are the songs and sounds that can help your child learn and work on their speech while having fun.
20. VTech Go! Police Station Playset
Does your kid want to be a policeman or woman when they grow up? This toy is more about tuning your child’s fine motor skills than racing.
Your child has the chance to learn about the importance of responding to a “911 call” with their police car. They can listen to the new phrases, sounds, and music of this interactive and colorful toy.
21. Fisher-Price Thomas & Percy’s Race Set
Thomas and Percy race head-to-head, letting you bond with your child through play. The toy trains are motorized for excitement, with separate tracks to see who can win.
There are also bridges and curves along the way. This is a great toy if your child loves Thomas the Tank Engine.
The Finish Line
There you have it, my list of the best race track toys on the market. Setting time for play can help children with social, physical, and emotional development. Not only is your child having fun, but learning too.
It’s also important to use playtime as bonding time. This can be as rewarding for parents as it is for the child.
My top personal favorite is the Glow race track set. I love how easy it is for children to be creative with the different configurations, and that it comes with light-up cars and a glow-in-the-dark track.
So, what’s your favorite race track toy from the list? Let us know which one you’ll be buying for your child’s next birthday in the comments below.