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Horses are an animal that children have always loved, and probably always will. Rocking horses have been around for centuries, hobby horses or “cock horses” have been around since the 1500s, tin horses and soldiers have been popular since the mid-1700s, and Barbie has been riding her own horse since at least 1980. There’s just something about these four-legged animals that kids can’t resist.
If you’re looking to satisfy your young aspiring equestrian and horse lover without getting an actual pony, there’re plenty of options available. We’ve compiled a list of the coolest and best horse toys for kids of all ages.
- Best Horse Toys: For Toddlers
- Best Horse Toys: Crafts
- Best Horse Toys: Ride-On Toys
- Best Horse Toys: Playsets
- Best Horse Toys: Unique Gifts
- Final thoughts
Best Horse Toys: For Toddlers
For your artistic toddlers and preschoolers, this washable pony comes with four markers of different colors and hours of potential entertainment. The manufacturer recommends this for kids 3 and older, and that only the included markers be used. But we think smaller children can use it if supervised, and most washable markers should work fine. Simply put it in the washing machine later and all the colors come off.
Rocking horses are classic, beloved toys that toddlers have enjoyed for generations, and Little Tikes’ model has been a popular choice for years. It features a low, deep seat to help with the rider’s stability and a high back on the seat that keeps the rider from falling backwards. It also has easy-grip handles and can hold up to 50lbs. Plus, parents love that there’s no assembly required.
There’s also a blue rocking horse for those who prefer that.
If your little one is on the more active side, a bouncy horse like this might be an alternative to the standard rocking horse. Since it’s made from sturdy rubber, the kids can use it for hopping outdoors too, and can even take it into the water. The saddle height is only 28cm (11”), making it safe for toddlers, even those as young as 3.
This adorable plush set comes with four 11” horses of all different colors, plus a 6” farmer and barn with windows and a zippered door. The horses and farmer can fit inside the barn, which can be zipped up and carried around with its carrying handle, making it perfect for on-the-go play. Plus, everything is machine-washable to ensure safe, clean play for your little ones.
The telescopic stick on this sweet hobby horse stretches from 21” to 30” or even 36” and makes it a great choice for toddlers of all sizes. The plush horse’s head features reins so your kiddo has more control over their bucking bronco, and when the pony’s right ear is pushed, they’ll hear an impressively realistic neigh and galloping sounds. The head easily screws off the stick for easy washing or transportation.
For the smallest of cowgirls and boys, this activity horse from Melissa & Doug features multiple textures, sounds, colors, and decorations to keep little ones engaged and entertained. Kiddos can experience the different textures and sounds, thereby honing their fine motor and auditory skills, or let loose their imagination by pretending to ride it around the room. There’re plenty of ways for toddlers to play with and learn from this toy.
Best Horse Toys: Crafts
Figurine painting is a great way for your kids to indulge in their interests while also expressing their creativity and exercising great precision with their art. The five included horses are a Tennessee Walking Horse, an Arabian, a Sport Horse foal, a Friesian, and an Andalusian. Also in the kit are six colored paints and instructions for how the artist is to paint the horses, according to their breed.
Don’t be dismayed if they want to paint the horses other colors though! That’s what being creative is all about, even though the end result may be horses that no one on earth have seen before. 😉
These “magic canvases” are made from vellum paper, which means the paint can only stick to certain areas. The paint colors can be mixed to create the perfect shade for your child’s masterpiece, and each brushstroke can be painted over until the artist is satisfied. The kit includes four different pictures, five non-toxic colors, a paintbrush, and a pallet for mixing. A different experience than a typical paint-by-numbers as it offers much more freedom for creativity.
For the sticker-crazed kiddo in your home, this kit is great for any gender or age over 3 years. The four horse-head shapes can be decorated with the 24 sheets of stickers that include eyes, eyebrows, mouths, and adorable little bows. Great for birthday party favors, sleepovers, or just plain fun on a rainy afternoon, this sticker set is a fun activity for all horse lovers.
Your kiddos will love this art set that comes with five colored pencils, two different colored ink pads, and ten stamps, each featuring a different horse or barn accessory. The ink easily washes off skin and surfaces, and the sturdy wooden box makes cleanup and storage easy and convenient. For children ages 4 and up, this stamp set provides an opportunity to engage in creative play as they create artwork that features their favorite animals.
Best Horse Toys: Ride-On Toys
This is an adorable electric ride-on toy. The seat is only 18” from the ground, has a unique safety seatbelt, and two grips for little hands, meaning it’s very safe for your little riders. It’s battery-powered and needs about 12 hours to charge before the initial use, but after that, it simply takes two hours to charge. This horse can be used indoors as well as outdoors on pavement or concrete.
Radio Flyer is known for creating classic, quality toys and accessories for kids. This interactive riding horse responds to the motion your child makes while riding it and makes three types of realistic horse sounds, including walking, trotting, and galloping. Your children will want to spend hours riding this toy and pretending to race with the greats. The options for imaginative play are endless.
When your child wants a pony, but you have no room for the real thing, this handmade plush pony is the perfect alternative. It has a soft coat, mane, and tail, and is almost three feet tall, making it perfect for kids to snuggle with, dress up, and engage in all kinds of imaginative play. While it isn’t recommended for riding or climbing, your child’s dolls or other animals can easily take rides on this majestic steed.
This interactive riding horse is formed by stretching soft, padded polyester over a sturdy metal frame, which means it can hold up to 110lbs. Riding this horse is easy too: the rider holds onto the handles and when the head is pushed, the whole horse’s body moves forward. A button on one ear turns on the surprisingly realistic “neigh”-ing and galloping sounds, so your child can truly feel like they’re riding the real thing.
Best Horse Toys: Playsets
This fantastic playset with 59 individual pieces is part of Shleich’s line of quality-made horse and farm-related toys. The tiny fences are adjustable, the horses are beautiful and realistically painted, and there’re endless options for your kiddos to configure their own horse show. The kit provides hours of imaginative play either as a standalone set or combined with Schleich’s other Horse Club collection sets.
This wooden stable has room for the eight included horses, and each horse stall has a spot for a label (stickers included) so your child can name each horse and label its stall. The stable can be opened or closed using the doors on the back with a secure latch, plus it has a carrying handle for easy transport and on-the-go play. Young horse lovers will appreciate that each figurine has unique coloring and markings.
This playset includes an adorable red barn with three horse stalls, two horse figurines with individual colors and stances, four pieces of corral fencing, a horse jump fence, a water trough, and two racing barrels. It’s everything your kiddos need for hours of play with their favorite animals. The value is great for the reasonable price, and it’s a Parents’ Choice Award winner.
LEGO fans will love this 337-piece set that includes pieces to create a two-story show jumping competition arena. It includes two jumps, a winners’ podium, a viewing balcony, grooming station, horse stables, two horses, and two people. The horses have saddles and bridles plus snacks and grooming accessories. Great for master builders and role-players!
Not willing to spend so much on LEGOs? Here are tips on how to get LEGOs cheap.
With three people figures, three ponies, a stream, tree, squirrel, opossum, groundhog, and other accessories, kids who can’t actually go on a country horseback ride can enjoy pretending with this Playmobil playset. Keep in mind though that there are small pieces that children ages 3 and under (the box says 4+) shouldn’t have.
Barbie makes an impressive contribution to this list with a playset that contains two dolls, two horses, and more than 15 accessories. The details have all been thought of too: the bale of hay looks like it has individual straws, there’s a special bottle for feeding the young pony, and both horses’ heads bobble to mimic real animal movements. Plus, the horses’ manes are just as soft as the dolls’ hair.
Best Horse Toys: Unique Gifts
The price isn’t the best thing about this booklet of horse tattoos (though it’s a definite plus). Each page contains several detailed pictures of various breeds of horses, and each picture can be easily transferred onto the skin to produce a super cool tattoo. Kids can choose from tattoo designs of six different horse breeds: Appaloosa, Mustang, Arab, Pinto, Palomino, and Hanoverian. These beautiful temporary tatts are non-toxic and safe, and are easily removed with soap and water.
When your little one isn’t satisfied with playing with horses, give them this cozy wearable blanket and they can pretend to BE a horse themselves. The hood is embroidered with an adorable cartoon-ish horse face, there are pockets for the wearer’s hands so they look like hoofs, and the tail and mini-mane make the ensemble extra realistic. It’s made from 100% coral fleece and polyester, creating a soft and snuggly costume — or blanket — for your child.
This beautiful 3D illusion lamp is the perfect nightlight for your horse-loving young one. Soft LED lights create the shape of a majestic horse in a rearing position, and with the flick of a switch, the horse can change from purple to white or any of the other seven colors. While this item can obviously be used as a nightlight or table lamp, your imaginative little horse lovers will surely find many ways to enjoy it.
This special item can be used as a standard jewelry box, a treasure chest, a musical device, or any other use your child dreams up. Beethoven’s Fur Elise plays when the box is open and the prancing pony spins in circles. It only takes a few twists of the wind-up key to get it started. Because the horse figurine is tiny, this item is only recommended for kids ages 4 and up.
Horse toys come in all sorts, and there’s no shortage of options to choose from. However, you’ll need to consider their desirability along with their safety ratings, durability, and value for money. All the items we’ve deemed as the best horse toys here ensure that whether your child prefers realistic-looking figurines, adorable stuffed animals, creative crafts, or playsets with lots of rearrangeable pieces, you’ll find one that’s sure to please them.