kids

ROAD TEST: The iconic kids' car you had as a child is still around, and still great.

Little Tikes
Thanks to our brand partner, Little Tikes

One of the most satisfying feelings I can describe is the sense of pure joy that comes from watching how happy my daughter Nia is when she is playing.

The corners of her mouth break into an open-mouthed smile. She’s constantly curious, carefree and always grateful for whatever surprises or presents come her way.

Sometimes, I wish I could go back to that time of beautiful imagination and curiosity myself. And just last week, I did.

At the ripe full age of two-and-a-half years old, last week Nia asked me casually if she could have her own car.

My mind automatically skipped to those electronic cars that kids drive inside the house these days, and the thought of our original 1950s floorboards getting absolutely wrecked. I quickly answered “Nia, no”.

Hubby and I told her we don’t have enough space in the house for her to get an electronic car, she sadly nodded and then quickly diverted her attention to finishing her mandarin.

Later that day, while driving Nia to the park in my own car, I pondered how I could make this ‘car’ dream come alive.

That’s when I started to recall my “first car” from my own childhood, when I was around Nia’s age. I couldn’t remember what it was called, but I remember the distinct yellow roof of this open car.

While waiting for my takeaway latte, I Googled ‘yellow roof kids car’, and there it was, in Google Images, Little Tikes Cozy Coupe. It turns out it’s been around for exactly 40 years, which is why so many of us have had the Cozy Coupe in our own backyards as kids, with hazy memories of spring and summer afternoons rolling around our homes and neighbourhoods.

I was instantly transported to my nappy days. I was a child again. Those happy memories I shared as a child, and playing with my cousins in our front yard – it felt like it was just yesterday.

little tikes car
The distinctive yellow roof. Ah yes, I remember you. Image: Supplied.
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So, it was with genuine excitement that I accepted a chance to review Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, something I was planning on getting for my budding little driver anyway.

Fast forward a few days and the package was delivered. We picked Nia up from daycare, and told her in the car that there was a surprise waiting for her at home.

She exclaimed in true Nia style with her hands on her face, and a shocked face saying ‘Oh my goodness’!

We were all excited, and so impatient to get home. She ran through the front door and screamed "Oh my goodness, Nia’s new car, Nia’s new car – it’s so beautiful!", referring to the images of the little kids on the box sitting so happily in their new car, knowing that would soon be her too.

I cannot even begin to describe the amount of absolute happiness that filled the room. We quickly unboxed this box which was bigger than her, and she sat there patiently, as hubby put the parts together.

It had been raining all week, but today the sun was shining so bright. Now it's spring, we're taking more walks - or for Nia, drives.

We had a quick snack, popped Nia's water bottle in the cup-holder, and took the new wheels for a test drive.

little tikes car
There's that smile. Image: Supplied.
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little tikes car
Yes dad, I'm ready to drive. Image: Supplied.

That week, every day after school, we were outside playing with her car and she was having the time of her life.

We drove up and down footpaths and driveways, inside parks and playgrounds, through puddles and grass. Like real car tyres, these ones are durable and can handle different terrains.

We took breaks where she filled up petrol (it has a petrol cap that opens and closes), and she stopped and started the car with the clicking ignition. Just like a real car.

Her favourite thing to do was opening and closing the door, and locking it. She would beep the horn when she saw dogs, and wave to other kids, a little bit proud of herself and loving every moment.

little tikes car
In the driver's seat. Image: Supplied.
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little tikes car
Fun for her, her dad and me. Image: Supplied.

She drove her car most of the time by using her feet on the floor or as I call it, "running while sitting down".

And when she felt like the Queen, hubby popped in the removable floor panel and pushed her like she was in a pram, using the rear handle on the coupe.

Watching her in that little red and yellow car gave me all the feels. I had those exact memories with my parents, rolling around in my little car with a wide grin on my face.

Now I get to relive those memories, but also make completely new ones with my girl, the driving force in my life.

Little Tikes Cozy Coupe retails from RRP $139 and is also available in different styles.

Explore the range and find your nearest stockist by searching “Cozy Coupe” on Google.

Little Tikes

At Little Tikes, we understand every day is an adventure with more to discover. We make products that encourage active and imaginative play. Products that get small bodies moving spark curiosity, create wonder and let kids dream big. With 50 years of expertise in play, we're experts at doing it right! We are known for our playhouses, ride-ons, sports, sandboxes, climbers, slides, role-play, infant and preschool toys and we love what we do. Check out our range at one of our participating retailers, or online at www.littletikes.com.au

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