coaster | Family Fun

Coast into Top Cognitive Benefits of Coaster Toys

Roller coaster toys are an exciting addition to any child’s outdoor play space. From encouraging physical activity to assisted development of gross motor skills and the concept of sharing, kids roller coaster toys pack a big cognitive punch! Explore top cognitive benefits of kids and toddler roller coaster toys with Step2.

STEM Learning

Basic mechanical principles like gravity, ramps, force, and motion are all present with ride-on coaster toys. During coaster playtime, kids will get acquainted with these STEM concepts and continue building on them! Observing the simple machine coaster car and how it works together with the riding track and platform will enhance their play with even more STEM learning.

Play Tip: Engage your child with STEM concepts by asking questions that pertain to the coaster toy: “What happens when you push off lightly?” and “Why does the car stop at the end?”.

Motor Skill Development

Gross and fine motor skills get a major workout with ride-on roller coaster toy play through balancing, climbing, and gripping handles. The motion of climbing on and off of the coaster car requires physical dexterity, building gross motor skills every time a child lifts their leg up and over the car. Similar to going down a slide, little ones use their core muscles to balance while on a coaster car and cruise down the track to avoid tipping. Plus, the “back and forth” nature of coasters, like slides, encourages physical activity when kids take the car back to the platform and ride down again.

Play Tip: Help your child climb up onto the platform and onto the car until they’re comfortable enough to do it on their own. Always show them where to place their feet and how to hold onto the handles for safe ride-on coaster play!

Outdoor Play

It’s no surprise that physical outdoor play is important for a child’s development. Ride-on kids roller coaster toys are full of physical motion and a great addition to an outdoor play space because of their large footprint! The “back and forth” activity that comes with coasters, like a slide, encourages walking back to reset the car onto the platform to climb up and ride again — the more kids play, the more exercise they’re bound to get. With such a cool toy waiting for them outside, that’s just one more reason they’ll want to go out and play!

Play Tip: Some Step2 ride-on coaster toys can be used indoors too – if you have the space! Coasters with shorter tracks like the Extreme Coaster are great for indoor play spaces. Longer tracks like 14′ track of the Hot Wheels™ Extreme Thrill Coaster are better suited for the outdoors.

Exercise Opportunity

Kids don’t realize how much exercise they get while playing with a coaster toy. Ask your child to exercise today and you’ll probably be met with a groan or an eye roll. Ask them to go outside and play with the ride-on coaster toy, and suddenly they’re all about it! It’s a win-win for you and your child thanks to the “back and forth” play coaster toys provide. They’ll cruise down the track and walk the car all the way back to the platform to ride again.

Play Tip: Exercise is a hidden benefit of coaster toys! Help your child walk the coaster car back to the platform for some light exercise for yourself as well. The Step2 Up & Down Roller Coaster™ includes 10ft. of riding track, creating a long way back for some extra exercise!

Social Skills

Toddler roaster coaster toys are a fun attraction, so don’t be surprised if all of the kids want to try it! The single-rider design of roller coaster ride-on toys prompts a lesson in sharing and taking turns during playdates. On the flip side, those watching their friend ride down the track learn patience as they wait in line for their turn. Resetting the roller coaster car at the top of the platform is a great way to encourage teamwork among kids as they help their friend put the coaster car back for the next rider.

Play Tip: Verbalize how important it is that kids stay off to the side while their friend is coasting down the track to help avoid accidents and build good behavior for future roller coaster play!

Building Self-Esteem

Parental supervision is very important when coaster toys are in use, and the lightweight coaster car design lets older and younger kids reset the car all by themselves when they’re ready! Resetting the car and pushing off by themselves fosters independence and a sense of accomplishment for kids, both valuable ways to build self-esteem.

Play Tip: Show and tell your child how the roller coaster toy works and goes together. Through repetition, they’ll get the hang of it and feel proud they can operate the toy on their own.

Sensory Exploration

Coaster toys are typically used in outdoor play areas, so they open kids up to new sights and sounds not found in their usual daily routine. The quick movement down the track introduces new sensory concepts like feeling the wind on their face and the sound of the wheels on the track.

Play Tip: As the coaster car comes down the track and stops on the bare ground, ask your child to explain the differences between the two terrains. They’ll get a hands-on lesson in STEM learning and sensory exploration as they describe their thoughts and feel the difference on and off the coaster car.

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