For truck-loving kids, a toy excavator is the king of all trucks. Not only do excavators dig, lift, and dump, but they also roll and drive over rough, rocky terrain. Whether you’re on the hunt for a safe, toddler-approved excavator, or a heavy-duty option that’s even fun for adults, this selection of toy excavators has you covered. Made from high-quality materials that can withstand rough terrain in a variety of settings, you can find the perfect excavator for your playroom, backyard, or sandbox. These toy excavators boast several engaging features, from working buckets to lights and real truck sounds. Your kids are sure to swoon over one or more of these toy excavators.
Best Toy Excavators
1. Cat Construction 15” Toy Excavator
(Best for indoor and outdoor play — $)
Why it’s great: Created from high-quality, durable materials, the Cat Construction 15” Toy Excavator can be used both inside and outside. This toy excavator has real working parts, like the fully functional moving bucket and working wheels, that are simple for young children to use. Built for ages two years and up, this is the perfect item for your little and big kids to have at home, the playground, and even the beach.
Keep in mind: The movement is not very fluid when working the excavator’s bucket and it may stick periodically until the hinge loosens up over time.
Good for: Parents who want toy trucks that can hold up in both indoor and outdoor play.
2. DOUBLE E Remote Control Excavator Toy
(Most realistic option — $$$)
Why it’s great: The DOUBLE E Remote Control Excavator Toy is an accurate, realistic replica of an excavator construction tractor. The interchangeable accessories, including a metal shovel, drill, and claw allow your child to have infinite ways to dig, move, drill, and dump. With a powerful transmitter and remote control means your child can control the toy excavator from nearly 100 feet away, guaranteeing a fun and engaging play experience even over large distances.
Keep in mind: A single battery charge on the reusable battery only lasts about 30 to 40 minutes.
Good for: Kids who want a toy excavator that looks, feels, and works like the real deal.
3. Blippi Freewheeling Excavator
(Best for toddlers — $)
Why it’s great: Not only does this truck set include a colorful, working excavator, but it also comes with a three-inch tall Blippi doll and necessary construction accessories, like bright orange cones and jackhammers. The Blippi Freewheeling Excavator’s arm lifts and scoops while the cab moves around 360 degrees. The freewheeling capabilities of this truck mean little ones can zoom it across a variety of surfaces.
Keep in mind: This toy excavator does not have sound features and thus does not play the Blippi excavator song.
Good for: Young kids under the age of four who wants a toy excavator that’s safe and easy for little hands to use.
4. Little Tikes You Drive Excavator Sand Toy
(Most active toy — $$)
Why it’s great: The Little Tikes You Drive Excavator Sand Toy is the perfect toy to introduce active play and get your kid in on the action. This oversized toy excavator is designed for kids to sit or stand on the truck for complete control of the working scooper. The adjustable seat guarantees a perfect fit for kids both big and small. Made from durable materials that can withstand the elements, this truck can be kept outside in your sandbox or rock pit.
Keep in mind: While the lightweight plastic construction is ideal for moving to various locations, the truck can tip over if used too aggressively.
Good for: Parents who want a toy excavator toy that encourages movement and gross motor skills.
5. Top Race Excavator Toy Truck Construction Toys
(Most durable option — $$)
Why it’s great: Made from the highest quality metal, this toy excavator is built to move sand, dirt, and even rocks. The Top Race Excavator Toy Truck Construction Toys is designed with accuracy in mind to look and act like the real thing. Whether you have a toddler who wants to dig in the mud or an older child that wants to display their love of trucks, this toy excavator fits the bill.
Keep in mind: The joints can be stiff when first opened and best for holding a position rather than moving to fill and dump the bucket.
Good for: Parents who want long-lasting toy trucks that can withstand rough and messy play.
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6. Albott Ride-On Excavator Crane
(Best riding toy — $$)
Why it’s great: The sleek, simple construction of the Albott Ride-On Excavator Crane is resistant to wear and made to last, even in the hardest conditions. This toy excavator can be used to scoop dirt, sift sand, and even shovel snow. The adjustable seat rotates 360 degrees so your little ones can dig and dump all around them.
Keep in mind: The excavator is larger than some other options and may fit older toddlers best.
Good for: Active children who want an excavator that they can ride and use in real life.
7. Cat Construction Tough Machines 10” Light and Sound Excavator Toy
(The best light and sound features — $)
Why it’s great: With an accurate rumble and real-life truck lights and sounds, this toy excavator sounds like you’re at a real construction site. The Cat Construction Tough Machines 10” Light and Sound Excavator Toy has a working bucket and can be moved and posed in various formations. The sturdy plastic construction can handle rough play and is the perfect addition to your truck collection.
Keep in mind: The arm that holds the bucket has a limited range of motion which may be frustrating for kids wanting to carry large loads.
Good for: Children who want a toy excavator with additional light and sound features.
FAQs about Toy Excavators
1. Which toy excavator is best for my child?
With so many to choose from, it can initially be overwhelming to select the perfect excavator for your child. To find the perfect fit, take note of the recommended ages of the truck of your choice. Younger toddlers may prefer smaller-sized trucks made of lightweight materials like plastic. Older kids may opt for more realistic toys that can dig, lift, and dump dirt and rocks.
2. At what age would my child enjoy playing with a toy excavator?
The recommended age range will vary depending on the type of toy you choose. Smaller, lightweight trucks are best for children around the age of three. Larger, heavier trucks with working levers and controls are best for preschoolers and early elementary-aged kids.
3. What’s the difference between a ride-on excavator and a toy model excavator?
A ride-on excavator will come with a seat for your child to sit on and be larger. Most ride-on excavators have working controls and can move forward, backward, or spin around. Toy excavators are meant to be pushed and pulled with hands and can be used on the ground, in sandboxes, or outside.
4. Are toy excavators indoor or outdoor toys?
Follow the recommendations for the excavator of your choice to extend its life. Trucks made of durable, water-resistant materials are typically able to withstand the elements and can be kept outside. Toy trucks that have batteries are best used inside away from water.
5. How do I teach my child to use a toy excavator?
Model to your child how to safely and appropriately use the toy excavator of your choice. You can also take your children to a real-life construction site so they can see and learn how excavators work in their communities.
Toy excavators are an essential toy for truck enthusiasts of all ages. Whether you’re hoping to wow your toddler with an excavator that has the lights and sounds of a construction site or win over your elementary-aged kids with working excavators designed to lift real rocks, sand, and dirt, this list has the perfect toy for your family. Made from safe, durable materials like heavy-duty plastic and metal, you can rest assured that these toys can hold up against rough, wet, muddy play. With a wide range of styles, sizes, and designs, your kids are sure to enjoy one or more of these stimulating trucks.