Introducing a toy crane into your child’s truck collection opens a whole new world of imaginative play. Designed to function like real cranes, this selection of toy cranes provides infinite possibilities for your child to create, imagine, and develop essential skills. From nontoxic and classic wooden options to high-quality and durable ABS plastic models, you can find a crane that will withstand all of your children’s creative ways to play. Whether you’re looking to include a toy crane in your child’s sandbox for outdoor play or a lifelike metal option that looks and feels like the real deal, these toy crane options will entertain all your construction enthusiasts, big and small.
Best Toy Cranes
(Best remote control option — $$)
Why it’s great: The cable remote control on the DICKIE TOYS Mighty Construction Crane with Remote Control provides endless ways for your child to move, rotate, and lift items. This toy crane features a movable trolley and wince and can spin 360 degrees with the simple press of a button. At 48” tall, this toy crane includes various attachments to lift and move a plethora of objects, enabling your child to imitate real-life scenarios.
Keep in mind: Due to the height of this toy crane, it works best if a counterweight, not included, is used across from the lifting arm to prevent it from tipping over.
Good for: Kids who want a toy crane that can be controlled with a remote.
(Best realistic material — $$)
Why it’s great: Made with real steel, this toy crane can rotate, lift, and carry just like the real thing. The Tonka – Steel Classics Mighty Crane includes a Bonus Tonka collector card that is sure to please all truck enthusiasts. This toy crane features thoughtful, authentic details that encourage active play and can be used to lift dirt, sand, and rocks among other items.
Keep in mind: Only a portion of the truck is made from real steel, while the other parts of the truck are made from plastic and other materials.
Good for: Children who want a toy crane that closely resembles the real deal.
(Best for fine motor development — $$$)
Why it’s great: This working toy crane is combined with the freedom for your child to build and construct the trucks and buildings as they see fit using oversized Duplo blocks. The Lego Duplo Construction Tower Crane allows your child to exercise their imaginations with an infinite number of ways to play with their crane. Featuring lights and sounds, this construction site comes to life with all the accessories.
Keep in mind: The light and sound feature does not have an on/off switch.
Good for: Parents who want multipurpose toys that are not only fun but also your child’s fine motor development.
(Most fully functional option — $$$)
Why it’s great: The Top Race15 Channel Remote Control Crane is battery-powered and works just like a real crane. This toy crane can move in most directions and has a cable hook that goes up and down in addition to a boom that extends up and down as well. Built at an impressive 1:14 scale, this option can be used both inside on various or outside for even more sandbox fun.
Keep in mind: A fully charged battery lasts a little under half an hour.
Good for: Kids who want a toy crane that can move in and lift in all directions.
(Best budget option — $)
Why it’s great: At a wallet-friendly price point, this toy crane offers lights, sounds, and movable parts for an engaging play experience. From the additional support legs and soft wheels, this toy crane option doesn’t miss a detail and is an accurate replica of a real crane. The pivoting base and extendable crane ensure your kids can get the job done.
Keep in mind: The truck is on the smaller side and the small hook can not lift large toys.
Good for: Parents who want a toy crane that won’t break the bank.
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(Best nontoxic option — $$)
Why it’s great: The Hape Award Winning Playscapes Crane Lift Playset is made from child-safe materials and non-toxic finishes so you can rest assured that this toy is safe for little ones. At over 21 inches tall, this toy crane offers super-sized fun with its ability to rotate 360 degrees, move forward and backward, and rise and fall. Made from solid wood, this toy is not only durable and high-quality, but it will also perfectly complement your child’s play space.
Keep in mind: This crane connects with two pieces that can come apart if picking the crane up to move it.
Good for: Parents who prefer toys made from safe, non-toxic materials.
(Best for indoor and outdoor play — $$$)
Why it’s great: Made of the highest quality ABS plastic, the Bruder Mack Granite Liebherr Crane Truck, your kids can freely play with this truck both inside and outside. The operator’s cab has a sliding panel door for easy access and the crane swivels 360 degrees. An installed counterweight can be filled with sand to make this toy crane even more stable to lift and move heavy items.
Keep in mind: The light and sound module is not included in the toy purchase.
Good for: Kids who want a toy crane that can work both inside and outside play.
The DICKIE TOYS Mighty Construction Crane with Remote Control is our overall top recommendation. It's the highest quality product we have found with the most affordable price making it the best value on our list..
FAQs about Toy Cranes
1. How do I introduce a toy crane into my child’s play space?
Before offering a toy crane for independent play for your child, it’s helpful to model the appropriate way to use the toy in front of them. Offer loose guidelines in order to show your children how to use the toy safely, and then give your child room to explore and create different ways to engage with their toy crane on their own.
2. Can toy cranes work like actual cranes?
Scan the features of the toy crane of your choice before purchasing. Most toy cranes offer a wide away of capabilities, from being able to lift and haul various items, to rotating and moving up and down. Some toy cranes are mechanical while others use a battery.
3. What are the benefits of playing with a toy crane?
Toy cranes promote open-ended play which can encourage little ones’ imaginations and creativity. Manipulating the toy crane and its supplies can help remote fine motor skills and problem-solving skills. Plus, working with a toy crane with friends offers experiences in cooperative learning, turn-taking, and sharing.
4. At what age can my child play with a toy crane?
Follow the recommended age guidelines on the toy crane of your choice. Be wary of any toy cranes that come with small parts that may be considered a choking hazard for children under three years of age.
5. Which toy crane is best for my child?
With a number of styles and designs to choose from, opt for the two cranes that is tailored to your child’s age and current ability level. Large, Lego-style cranes are perfect for little hands to manipulate. Heavy-duty, intricately designed toy crane models work best for the older crowd.
Toy cranes are fun, engaging toys for children of all ages. Not only do they encourage cooperative play, but they’re also perfect for developing fine motor skills and promoting little ones’ imaginations. Created for open-ended play, this selection of toy cranes can be used in various settings, from driveways to playrooms, providing an infinite number of possibilities. The ability to lift, move, haul, and rotate offers lifelike scenarios that are sure to entertain your children for hours on end. Whether you opt for a single toy crane with various capabilities, or multiple toy cranes that offer an array of uses, this is a must-have for every truck-loving kid.