How Does Playing with Cars Help a Child's Development?

How Does Playing with Cars Help a Child's Development?

It is easy to assume that a simple toy car is just a way of entertaining your child when you’ve run out of other activities and need a break. When, in fact, toy cars can provide an array of development benefits to your child that can be transferred into their school lives and help them to grow into a well-rounded young adult. We’re here to explain how playing with toy cars can help a child’s development as well as what children learn from playing with them.

So, how does playing with cars help a child's development? Playing with toy cars encourages children to develop social skills through interactive play. In doing so, children learn to communicate effectively, learn to share fairly, and develop a clear understanding of having patience whilst they wait for their turn to play.

Carry on reading to find out more about how toy cars affect a child’s development and what type of toy cars are good for a toddler’s development. 

How Does Playing with Cars Affect a Child's Development?

Playing with toy cars can affect a child’s development in a positive way because it can encourage the use and development of STEM skills. STEM skills are the real-world group of critical thinking skills that are developed and focused on within schools. Playing with toy cars engages these critical thinking skills and develops intellectual curiosity by giving the children the freedom to discover problems and the solutions.

For example, children may find that certain cars won’t push along as well on carpet as they do on wooden floors. Without playing with the toy cars, children would not have identified this issue and developed this level of intellectual curiosity. Alternatively, children might try to fit their toy cars through tunnels which helps them to develop an understanding of size and proportions. Even though these may seem like simple pieces of knowledge to us, to children these are big discoveries and are part of the milestones of growing up.

What's more, when children play with cars they tend to develop a simple understanding of the world and mimic actions they experience when they are in the car with their parents. For example, when playing with their toy car children may stop and start the car at certain points to pretend they are at traffic lights. This helps them to become more aware of their surroundings and can help when it comes to teaching them important lessons in the future, such as when it is safe to cross the road.

What are the Benefits of Playing with Cars?

Playing with toy cars can provide an array of benefits to children alongside being entertaining, but often they are underestimated. Below we have detailed the main benefits of playing with cars to show you exactly why you should encourage the use of cars in your children’s playtimes.

Cognitive Skills:

One advantage of playing with toy cars is that it can help children to develop their cognitive skills and abilities. Such cognitive skills are developed through initial trial and error. For example, a child may notice that if they put an action figure on top of the car that it slows down the speed of the car when it is pushed around due to the weight. It is only by playing with the toy cars that they are given the opportunity to test and develop this level of cognitive understanding.

Fine Motor Skills: 

Toy cars are also a great way of developing children’s fine motor skills. Whether on a very basic level whereby toddlers are developing their ability to grab and clasp objects in their hand, or be it a more advanced level where children learn how they can push objects to make them move. Toy cars are versatile in their ability to develop fine motor skills; this is important because as your child progresses, it means that they can acquire different levels of fine motor skills from their time playing with toy cars along the way.

Social Skills: 

Playing with toy cars can also help to develop children’s social skills. When children are playing with toy cars alongside other children, it requires them to communicate with each other. This can be to decide who uses which colour car, to communicate the start of a race or even just to decipher whose turn it is to push the toy car down the ramp. These are the fundamental basics of communication and can even contribute to children developing an understanding of sharing.


Another benefit of toy cars is that they are completely inclusive of all genders due to them coming in a variety of colours and designs to appeal to everyone. This means that your child will not be limited to who they play with and as a result, they will be exposed to social interactions that will positively challenge them and stimulate their development into a well-rounded individual. At The Early Teacher we are passionate about not allowing gender stereotypes to impact your child’s opportunities.

Which Toy Cars are Good for a Toddler’s Development? 

Due to there being such a large amount of toy cars on the market, it can be difficult to determine which ones are safe and appropriate for young toddlers whilst also being good for development. Below we have detailed what we believe to be some of the most appropriate types of toy cars for your children.

For toddlers that are around 1 to 2 years old you need to ensure that the toy car you choose is safe to handle by young children. Keeping an eye out for any sharp edges or potential choking hazards is imperative. A wooden fire engine toy would be ideal for a toddler of this age because they are made from a solid structure with no fragile pieces. Furthermore, it would encourage the development of cognitive skills and the use of imagination during imaginative play.

For toddlers that are aged 3 or above and are requiring a little more cognitive stimulation, a 1 2 3 Build It Car could be ideal. Whilst being structurally safe to use, this toy car is more complex due to there being multiple pieces that can be swapped around. This is good for development of problem solving skills, fine motor skills and imagination skills which are all valuable for when children enter school.

Toy Cars at the Early Teacher

The Early Teacher provides a range of toy vehicles for toddlers and older children to help encourage the development of your child, whatever stage they are at. The toy cars and vehicles are also ideal for encouraging the development of your child’s STEM skills and improving cognitive development. Our range of toy vehicles have all been safety tested with your child’s safety in mind. For more information on our toy cars don’t hesitate to take a look today.