There’s a snowstorm in the forecast. Winter coats: check. Gloves and hats: check. Snow bibs: check. Snow boots: check. What else do you need for maximum winter fun? You need a great sled! Our family has tested a few on our own toddler and preschooler, and here are the results.
This lightweight, plastic, circular sled is great for an elementary age sledding pro. It really only seats one rider, so the child needs to feel comfortable going down the hill alone. These sleds may spin the rider backwards during the trip down the hill. This does not scare an older, experienced sledder. Instead, they scream and laugh in excitement! In addition, a taller child has less difficulty carrying the sled back up the hill. It is awkwardly large for a preschooler to carry.
These sleds are inexpensive and can be found practically everywhere. If they break, they are easy to replace. I highly recommend for any child 7+. But for the little ones? It’s a no-go.
This lightweight, plastic pentagon-shaped sled is great for riding with a partner down a hill. Parents can take toddlers, preschoolers, and young elementary-age children. Bigger kids can ride with a friend. Even tall dads can fit on the sled as a single rider or in tandem with a child. These sleds may curve to the left or right as they go down, but they do not spin backwards like the saucer sleds. With their added size, these sleds are impossible for small children to carry back up the hill.
I wouldn’t say that these sleds are equally as easy to find and as cheap to buy as saucer sleds, but many stores carry them. I would not consider them to be expensive either. If the store has anything to do with the outdoors or sports, you should be able to find a two-seater sled there.
Tandem Sled and Pull Rope
This sled is my number one recommendation for a must-have snow accessory if you have a toddler or preschooler. The only difference between this tandem sled and the previous tandem sled is the pull rope. After taking your toddler down the hill, you now have to carry your toddler and the sled back up the hill in 3+ inches of snow. A toddler simply cannot manage a hill with heavy boots, lots of clothes, and snow. Their legs aren’t long enough!
We find it is much easier to pull the child back up the hill in the sled. (I advise taking the least steep slope back up even if it is the longest route.) Your child will love the ride back up as much as they love the ride down. In fact, our toddler doesn’t even need a hill to be happy in her sled. She just loves being pulled around in our front yard by my husband and me. (Hey, that’s a great way to get some winter cardio in as well!)
Just be careful with the rope as you go down the hill. We hold it like horse reins in front of whichever daughter is sitting on our lap. Two preschoolers using a tandem sled can also manage the rope in the same way no problem. In addition, they able to pull the sled up the hill themselves using the rope. Awesome, I know!
This type of sled will not be any more expensive than the tandem sled without a rope, but it may be more difficult to find. However, it is worth the search. This sled was the most desired sled to use on the hill by the preschoolers and parents alike. The preschoolers could go down the hill and back up together, or they could go with adults. It made it easier to get the toddlers back up the hill and transport them in the snow after they went down a hill. Best sled ever!
When it comes to sleds, I wouldn’t wait for a snowstorm to hit. I would look for a few good sleds when winter begins. Then, you are prepared.
Share with us! What is your favorite kind of winter sled for kids?