From wooden turtles to soft toy cows, these are the best pull along toys for toddlers and babies from John Lewis, Jojo Maman Bebe, Liewood and more
The humble pull along toy has been entertaining children for years, and unlike many toys the concept still remains the same… a toy on wheels, which can be pulled. Genius. And it’s that simple notion that babies and toddlers love.
While the concept hasn’t faltered, there is now a huge range of pull along toys to be enjoyed. From vintage throwbacks such as Fisher Price’s hugely popular chatter phone (£12.99, Johnlewis.com), to pull along toys which double up as other playthings, to the downright cuddly, here’s looking at you Hubert (£29.95, Naturalbabyshower.co.uk).
In true timeless style, the pull along market is dominated by wooden construction, which not only looks sweet in a little one’s clutches, but also means it’ll stand the test of time and can be passed down the generations.
Many standard pull along toys are suitable from 12-months, as many babies begin to find their feet and it’s a great way to encourage independent walking, but always be mindful to check age recommendations.
Instantly gaining a friendly follower, these toys prompt self-confidence as young ones find pulling their toys behind them extremely rewarding. While fun is order of the day, as children play with their pull along pal there’s a whole host of developmental benefits too, from practising coordination and balance to igniting their imagination as they enjoy pretend play.
How we tested
Our 14-month-old and three-year-old testers happily obliged as they played with a selection of pull-along toys. Designed for use on smooth surfaces, we kept play to a strictly indoor affair, testing the toys over the course of a week.
We looked at how captivated our mini testers were and how long the toy in question held their attention, and whether they went back for more. Movement is hugely important from how they glide across the floor to how they wiggle when pulled. Fun additional features such as bobbing body parts or multifunctional elements were well regarded, and we appreciated rubberised wheels for noise limitation. We gave extra points for sweet designs, after all they need to not only attract a young one but live in the house, too. These are the best ones to shop.
The best pull-along toys for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Janod sweet cocoon rainbow turtle: £29.95, Naturalbabyshower.co.uk
- Best for movement – Djeco Vilma rhino pull along: £27.95, Tickety-boo.co.uk
- Best budget toy – Hape pull along lady bug: £8.99, Hape.com
- Best for nostalgia – Fisher-Price chatter telephone: £12.99, Johnlewis.com
- Best for sustainability – Le Toy Van pull along wagon cart: £79.95, Letoyvan.co.uk
- Best for development – Hape pull along Noah’s ark: £29.99, Hape.com
- Best soft toy – Little Bird Told Me pull along cow Hubert: £29.95, Naturalbabyshower.co.uk
- Best engaging toy – Jojo Maman Bebe safari pull along truck with animals: £28, Jojomamanbebe.co.uk
- Best light-up toy – Brio pull along fly: £23.99, Brio.co.uk
- Best for high quality – Vilac Toutou dog pull toy: £43.50, Kidly.co.uk
- Best for stylish design – Liewood Tyra wagon: £100.96, Liewood.com
Janod sweet cocoon rainbow turtle
You’ll get two toys in one with the sweet cocoon rainbow turtle from top toymaker Janod. Made from hardwearing beech and cherry wood, it’s been finished using gorgeous pastel water-based paints, which looks adorable in the rainbow formation. This isn’t just a fantastic pull-along toy, there’s also a wonderful stacking element too, which is great for baby’s development.
Suitable to use from 12-months-old, our youngest tester was fascinated with the turtle’s wobbling head, while we were happy for it to have noise-reducing rubberised wheels. The soft string also has a bit of stretch for ultimate pulling and felt comfortable in our tiny tester’s clutches.
Djeco Vilma rhino pull along
Best: For movement
It tickled all of us watching Vilma the rhino wiggle her derriere as she was pulled along by our mini testers. In fact, everything waddles because she’s made up of three separate wooden body parts: bum, back and a decoratively illustrated face, complete with horn. There’s also a sweet little penguin which sits on top of the rhino’s back, which is attached by a spring meaning as this toy is pulled, it jiggles too.
We love the bright design, and were pleased to discover that the decorated wheels are designed to be silent thanks to the rubberised centre. Suitable for 18-months plus, naturally this rhino is quite a large pull-along toy, but the string was the perfect length for our three year old tester.
Hape pull along lady bug
Best: Budget toy
Small but mighty, this ladybug from Hape is certainly the most compact pull along we tested. As she’s pulled her spotty wings flap, and the faster the wheels turn the faster the flapping. Suitable from 12-months, both of our mini testers enjoyed having this cute ladybug follow them about, and the clever yet simple body movement fascinated all parties.
Fisher-Price chatter telephone
Best: For nostalgia
Nostalgia reigned as we unboxed Fisher-Price’s chatter telephone. First on the scene in 1961 – known as the “talk back” phone – toy giant Fisher-Price recently relaunched a range of its “yesterday’s classics” from the Sixties, and it’s safe to say they continue to be a huge hit.
With funny rolling eyes, a dial which rings as its turned and a telephone attachment, our little testers were fascinated with this toy, before they even clocked it could be pulled along too. Suitable for those aged 12-months plus, there’s something wonderfully friendly about this toy, which attracts children of all ages.
Le Toy Van pull along wagon cart
Best: For sustainability
Le Toy Van specialises in classic wooden role play toys, and the pull along wagon cart is a truly beautiful example from the sustainable toymaker. Priding itself on the brand’s eco approach it exclusively uses sustainably sourced materials, repurposed wood and ethical production methods, creating carbon-neutral toys. And the quality of this vintage-style cart can’t be denied.
Our three-year-old tester loved piling in her teddies and taking them on their own adventure, and we love that this pull-along cart really allows little ones to use their playful imaginations. It glides across hard surfaces and the wood is tactile with a smooth finish using non-toxic water-based paint. The attention to detail is apparent, making it well worth its price tag, from the gold painted accents on the wheels to the neutral white and natural wood colour combination. We were delighted that there’s not too much DIY involved either, as you’ll only need to attach the handle.
Hape pull along Noah’s ark
Best: For development
The good thing about Noah’s Ark is there’s two of everything, which is great when sharing doesn’t come naturally. This Noah’s ark toy from Hape goes beyond just the classically designed pull along toy, as the pull element is actually secondary to what is a fantastic wooden toy set. There’s some shape sorting required as little ones line up which animal fits through the different holes, plus some simple matching as you pair the 16 passengers ready to board the boat.
Suitable for those aged 12-months plus, our three-year-old tester loved seeing the characters topple overboard or fall over when pulled along with conviction. We didn’t find the wheels glided along the surface as well as some of the others we tested, and there was no rubberised section so it was a little noisier than the competition. But needless to say, this one certainly captured our little testers’ attention.
Little Bird Told Me pull along cow Hubert
Best: Soft toy
Our little testers couldn’t wait to say hello to Hubert, the shaggy highland cow. Lovingly made by Little Bird Told Me, a British brand known for its traditional rocking horses, there’s something fondly charming about this pull-along toy. Complete with long horns, a super soft coat and smiling face, the standout feature is that Hubert can be removed from the wooden wheels, presenting a truly huggable toy.
We did find that Hubert didn’t perform quite so well on his hoofs – or wheels – mainly due to the lightweight wheels, therefore both our testers often dragged him along the floor, but that didn’t seem to affect their enjoyment. It was also lovely to see this toy arrive plastic free, coming in a material drawstring bag.
Jojo Maman Bebe safari pull along truck with animals
Best: Engaging toy
Our three-year-old tester’s reaction to connecting trucks or trains is like a moth to a flame, and many little ones love transport toys like this great example from JoJo Maman Bebe.
The Safari adventure pull along really has all the ingredients for an engaging toy. Wooden construction? Check. Multiple carts? Triple check. Animal figures? A big, fat check; there are seven animal figures including a giraffe, tiger, zebra, rhino, monkey, elephant and lion.
Suitable for 18-months plus, our tester loved moving her animal passengers around and pulling them along the floor to their next destination. The wheels aren’t rubberised so there’s a bit of wood knocking as it’s pulled but it’s not offensive, plus the noise was mainly drowned out by our tester giggling away as she played.
Brio pull along fly
Best: Light-up toy
Eyes lit up when this Firefly came to life with its blinking light and buzzing sound. The only pull-along we tested is battery operated (two AAA are required), and it’s amazing what a flashing light and funny noise can bring to the table, as both our testers happily pulled this around the house. It comes with spring loaded antennas which wobble as it moves, plus the two wheels have rubberised centres. Unlike some all-singing-all-dancing toys, to parents’ relief, the noise isn’t grating and the light is subtle. Our mini testers loved having the light turned off and following the glow.
Vilac Toutou dog pull toy
Best: For high quality
This pull-along toy from French toymaker Vilac is barking with retro charm, and was an instant hit with our dog-loving duo of testers. With attention to detail, this doggie comes with a felt tongue and super soft ears, alongside a spring-loaded tail. Handcrafted from lacquered hardwood and metal, there’s good movement as Toutou is taken on his walkies as his tail wags, body sways and head comically bobs up and down.
The colourful wheels have been rubberised for noise control and this toy comes beautifully boxed too making a great first birthday present. We can assure you that the quality will ensure it can be passed down for generations, with its vintage style making it a timeless family toy.
Liewood Tyra wagon
Best: For stylish design
Ultra-cool Danish brand Liewood has an effortless Nordic design aesthetic in each collection and this wagon is no exception. Not only do they keep baby and children’s paraphernalia stylish, they also keep it sustainable, made from quality beech wood and plywood… in turn creating a sturdy, high-quality toy that’ll be treasured for generations.
It’s worth noting that you’ll need to do some assembling, it took us about 20 minutes to put together, but the result is worth it. The Tyra wagon is the Ferrari of pull-along carts. The wheels are rubberised sailing across the floor and the ergonomic two-handed handle came in handy when our little tester enthusiastically overfilled the vessel. It also meant our tester could push the wagon, too.
A truly stylish toy, you can choose from a pink and gold, gold and sand, or blue and oat mix. While it doesn’t come cheap, it would make a wonderful gift.
The verdict: Pull along toys
A pull-along toy which doubles up as a stacker… genius! Janod sweet cocoon rainbow turtle was a top performer. A clever design, sturdy wooden construction, and complete with bobbing head made it a worthy winner for us.
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