1 Kick Tail Scooter
The biggest of the bunch, this behemoth requires some muscle and puff to get it going. Pumping the life out of the back pedal to propel yourself along adds an extra dimension to the ride (although you could just use your foot like a normal person). With large wheels for extra speed and a wide deck for extra stability and control, this is a high-quality model with a durable feel; although, because of weight, it’s definitely aimed at older, stronger kids with the push power to get it up to speed. Once you’re off, it’s a pretty nippy number, which is where the hand-operated brake will come in useful.
Other colours: No
Suitable for: Ages 5+
Dhs499 from Early Learning Centre (04 394 1204)
2 Mini-Micro Scooter
Apparently it’s almost impossible for a child to topple off this sturdy three-wheeler. Sure enough, the double wheels at the front, low-to-ground design and back brake mean it’s stable and takes corners smoothly. Kids who’ve ridden other scooters may find the steering a little odd – the column moves from left to right rather than turning – but they will soon get used to it. Aimed at children aged three to five years, even our two-and-a-half-year-old tester – a novice scooterette – felt very confident on it from the word go and was zipping round the living room like a pro in no time, albeit with little desire to use the back brake. Thankfully, it’s built with lightweight, furniture-friendly pliable plastic and is definitely the easiest of the lot to assemble (just click in the steering column and off you go). The only downside is that the column is fixed at one height, so when junior gets too tall you’ll need to buy the next model up in the series. With various micro models going all the way up to adult-sized, that’s pretty easy but could get pricey.
Suitable for: 3-5 years
Other colours: Pink
Dhs325 from Kidz Inc (04 340 5059)
3 Disney/Mondo My First Scooter
Your heart will no doubt sink when you open this box and discover a scooter in five parts and a plastic bag full of wrenches, screws, nuts, bolts and mystery plastic bits. Ours did, but we persevered in an attempt to assemble this vivid purple three-wheeler, despite a single-page illustration more cryptic than The Times crossword. Amid much naughty language (assemble this one when the kids have gone to bed), we finally gave up after two hours with little progress made. Something so difficult to put together may not, in our view, be the safest piece of kit. Despite the tot-friendly illustrations, bright colours and cute travel bag, this scooter is a bit cheap and nasty for our liking. It’s worth forking out a few more dirhams for something at least partially assembled.
Other colours: No
Suitable for: Maximum load 20kg
Dhs119 from Babyshop (04 515 4309)
4 Mondo Street Scooter
The street scooter comes in various colours and characters, from High School Musical to Barbie to Power Rangers. Relatively easy to put together, the handlebars lock in and the steering column comes up straight via an easy-to-use lever and screw combination. Three height options mean the scooter will grow with the rider, although on some models we tested, the lock button wouldn’t click through the hole – something mums and dads should check in store or pretty soon after they get the scooter home. Some designs are a bit garish although kids will no doubt love ’em. In our view the Street Scooter is neither the slickest nor the sturdiest on the market.
Other colours: Yes (Princess, Barbie, Power Rangers, Cars, Spider-Man)
Suitable for: 3 years to 50kg
Dhs129 from Babyshop (04 515 4309)
5 Razor A3 Kick Scooter
In stylish aluminium, this scooter is not only robust, but it has a classic, sleek design that will appeal to older kids. Apparently it features a shock-absorbing system that makes bumpy pavements feel smoother, although that was difficult to verify when whizzing round our tiled living room. With little assembly required, this two-wheeler folds to almost nothing so it’s easy to fling in the car for trips to the park. The steering column, while easy to adjust, has just two height options, but once extended it seems sturdy enough to last until the teen (or at least tween) years. The brake slows you down but doesn’t bring you to an outright stop (perhaps that’s a good thing?). One word of warning: watch your ankles when spinning the scooter round 180 degrees… we still have the bruises as evidence.
Suitable for: Ages 5+ up to 65kg
Other colours: No
Dhs299 from Toys R Us (04 206 6564)