- What: Tonka Dump Truck
- When: One year and up
- Why: Indestructible
- Where: Amazon
We bought our youngest a Tonka Dump Truck for his first birthday after he fell in love with one before he could even walk at a children’s museum. He is three years old now, and despite my original objections due to its large size (and therefore difficult storage issue), I have come to love it.
We’ve kept ours indoors for its entire lifespan, which may be while it still looks brand new – except for the fact that my eldest practiced his burgeoning writing skills by writing his name on it in permanent marker. (WHO left the permanent marker in the kids’ reach? I guess I should be glad it wasn’t worse.) I think you could easily keep it outside in a storage bench and it would look just as good. It seems impervious to the dirt and wet things my kids have dumped on it. Unlike some plastic versions, the wheels keep turning even when sand gets into the axles.
My kids inevitably ride in it, and surprisingly, even the seven year old can still squish his bum in it to get pushed around by his siblings. I do not recommend pushing your kids around yourself unless you sit on the floor, because it’s much too low to be kind to your back. But despite the fact that they’ve rammed every wall and other piece of furniture in the house as well as each other with it, the toy and the walls hold up well. It can be painful on your ankles if you don’t see it flying across the room in time. But unless the kids run over each other’s fingers, they don’t complain about injuries incurred while playing with it.
It takes a little work to get used to sitting in it just right, so younger kids get dumped gently on the floor before they learn to propel themselves or get rides from siblings.
They use it to load up anything and everything in the house, from toys to clothes to the pets if they can catch them. It works great moving toys from one room to another during clean up, but most off all I’m impressed by its longevity and continued appeal.