Best toy ambulance

Pretend Play

Modern toy ambulances often come with realistic features, such as doors that open and close, sounds, lights and other interactive elements for imaginative play.

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Which toy ambulance is best?

Toy ambulances are a great gift for toddlers as well as many older children. Many toy ambulances are highly detailed with a number of moving parts, such as side and back doors that open. Some are even remote-controlled and have realistic sirens. 

If you are interested in a toy ambulance that’s durable enough for toddlers and complex enough for older kids, check out the PLAYMOBIL Rescue Ambulance. Our top choice, this model comes with poseable figures, a stretcher and more.

What to know before you buy a toy ambulance

Intended audience

  • Ages 1-3: These toy ambulances are usually simple and have very few moving parts. Very few of these toys have accessories, though some might have basic lights or sounds. Most of these toys have larger parts to prevent choking.
  • Ages 3-5: In this range, you’ll find toy ambulances with more interactive features like working buttons, lights, moving parts, and sounds. These toy ambulances are typically medium-sized and a little more complex than those for younger children.
  • Ages 5 and up: Children in this age range are more likely to engage in imaginative play or make-believe. Toy ambulances made for them are typically more complex and interactive than those made for younger kids and come with more advanced features.

Individual toys or sets

Some toy ambulances come individually packaged, while others are part of a set that may include other vehicles or figures, like nurses or patients. The different vehicles and parts in toy ambulance sets are usually around the same size. Purchasing a set over an individual toy ambulance gives your child more opportunity for engagement. Sets are also great for inspiring creativity and role-play when your child interacts with other children.

Learning benefits

Complex, interactive toys such as toy ambulances have several benefits to a young child’s development. They help teach fine motor skills and hand-eye coordination as well as help with cognitive development.

Along with this, toy ambulances and other interactive toys facilitate role-playing, which can help develop the child’s imagination and creativity. This can have many other benefits, such as improving their problem-solving skills or communication.

What to look for in a quality toy ambulance

Material and structure

Like other toys for toddlers, most toy ambulance trucks consist of hard plastics, such as polypropylene or polyethylene. These materials influence the durability of the toy, as well as the weight. For instance, a toy ambulance or car made of high-density polyethylene is usually strong and lightweight. Some toy ambulances for toddlers are made of wood, but be sure any paint used on the toy is non-toxic. 

When it comes to toy ambulance tires, they are typically made from PVC, or polyvinyl chloride. This rubbery material is also durable and allows the toy vehicle to move when rolled.

Some toy ambulances, particularly those made for older audiences, consist of die-cast materials.

Sound effects and lights

Many toy ambulances come with sound effects, like sirens or the sound of tires screeching on the road. These sounds add a level of realism to the toy.

In addition to the sirens, some toy ambulances may have lights that stay on or flash. Keep in mind that toy ambulances meant for toddlers may have some of these features or none at all.

Operation

Toy ambulances with interactive features may require batteries. They are also typically more expensive than manual ones.

Other features

More complex toy ambulances have other features that make them unique and fun to play with, such as:

  • Side or back doors that open and close
  • Seats for toy figures
  • Lights that turn on and off
  • Motors that move when pulled back and let go
  • Rear-view and side-view mirrors

Younger and older kids can enjoy toys with some moving or intricate parts, but if you’re looking for something for a toddler, go with something simpler.

Accessories

If you want to add to the complexity and fun of the toy ambulance, consider these accessories:

  • Toy hospital building
  • Other similar toy vehicles, like emergency vehicles and helicopters
  • Miniature people
  • Toy stretchers

How much you can expect to spend on a toy ambulance

Most toy ambulances cost $5-$30. Those that come as part of a set may cost more depending on the number and quality of accessories.

Toy ambulance FAQ

Are there any safety concerns with toy ambulances?

A. Some toy vehicles come with small moving parts that could be dangerous if swallowed. To avoid choking hazards, look for larger toys without a lot of intricate or tiny components. If the toy ambulance is made of plastic, make sure the child playing with it doesn’t try to chew on it.

What’s the safest, most eco-friendly material for toy vehicles?

A. Although plastic is generally safe if not ingested, a more eco-friendly option is wood. Keep in mind that wooden toy ambulances with nontoxic paint don’t usually have moving parts or features like sound or lights. If you want something environmentally safe, look for a toy that uses nontoxic vegetable or water dyes.

What’s the best toy ambulance to buy?

Top toy ambulance

PLAYMOBIL Rescue Ambulance

PLAYMOBIL Rescue Ambulance

What you need to know: This realistic toy ambulance comes with several toy figures, including a patient and EMTs, that engage children and help them learn about taking care of others.

What you’ll love: This ambulance toy truck comes with soft, rubber tires, a stretcher and several other accessories for interactive play. The figures can sit, bend and turn their heads as well.

What you should consider: The roof comes off fairly easily during play. The space inside the toy vehicle is also a little tight, especially in the driver’s and passenger’s seats.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top toy ambulance for the money

Rescue Team Ambulance

Rescue Team Ambulance

What you need to know: Made from a combination of die-cast metal and plastic, this toy ambulance is perfect for children and anyone who wants to start a model collection.

What you’ll love: This toy ambulance has rear and side doors that open and a pullback motor for realistic play.

What you should consider: The vehicle is on the small side, so it may be difficult to find figures that fit inside.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

JOYIN 4 Pack Friction Powered City Hero Play Set

JOYIN 4-Pack Friction Powered City Hero Play Set

What you need to know: This set comes with several emergency vehicles, including a toy ambulance truck, police car, helicopter and a fire truck, making it a perfect start or addition to a miniature town.

What you’ll love: These matching toys are friction-powered, meaning they can move on their own after an initial push. Each toy has unique features, such as ambulance doors that open and a rotating helicopter propeller blade.

What you should consider: The build quality may be a little fragile. Also, the siren sound on each vehicle is the same.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Angela Watson writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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