The world of toy cranes can be extremely overwhelming – especially if you aren't into construction toys yourself! Toy cranes can make a great addition to a construction set, sand box, train set, or general toy box.
When it comes to how to choose the best toy crane you'll definitely want to think about where you intend to use it, the age of the child, and what accessories the child has or would need to get to really make it an exciting addition.
NOTE: Some of the toy cranes for toddlers will work for older kids, they just can be introduced younger than the toy cranes for kids which really start at 3 years old and up, so be sure to browse both sections if looking for a crane set for children between 2 to 5 years old!
- Best Toy Cranes
- Best Toy Tower Crane Sets For Kids:
- Best Crane Toys For Toddlers:
- Best Toy Crane Truck:
- Best Remote Control Toy Cranes Trucks:
- Best Ride On Toy Cranes:
- How To Choose the Best Toy Crane:
- FAQs About Toy Cranes + Crane Trucks
- What is a toy crane?
- What is the difference between a toy crane and excavator and backhoe and digger?
- Benefits Of A Toy Crane:
- How do toy cranes work?
- Can I get a wrecking ball attachment for a toy crane?
- What brands generally make good toy cranes?
- How do you care for and clean a toy crane?
- Where do you buy a toy crane?
- Can toy cranes go in a sandbox?
- Are toy cranes good for boys or girls?
- Can you use a toy crane with other toy cars and construction toys?
- Final thoughts + Top Picks
Regardless, from simple tower cranes to toy crane trucks with claws to remote control options – we've got you covered!
Best Toy Tower Crane Sets For Kids:
Award Winning Hape Playscapes Crane Lift Wooden Play set
A sturdy base combines with a fun analog pulley system to create the perfect tabletop wooden toy crane. We like that you’ll get 10 pieces which includes not just the crane but caution signs and cones, as well as loading beams. The Hape Playscapes Crane Lift Playset measures 17.8 inches long by 16.5 inches wide and 21.2 inches tall.
This yellow wooden crane set is made with a non-toxic finish and is ideal for children ages three and older. It’s large enough to be compatible with other construction toys within the Hape construction line like their dump trucks and bulldozers.
The toy crane is strong enough to lift matchbox cars and Lego people, but if your child is looking to do some heavy duty lifting with their crane, you're better off with other picks on this list, or modifying it with a sturdier base to prevent it from tipping.
- Wooden analog set
- Great for tabletop play
- 10-piece set includes caution signage and loading beams
- Non toxic finish
- Can't handle heavy duty lifting
Dickie Toys 48″ RC Mega Crane and Truck Vehicle and Playset
If you’re looking for a full-sized toy crane set that really immerses your child in play, you can’t go wrong with the Dickie Toys 48” RC Mega Crane Toy Set. With a height of 48 inches, your little ones will get tons of play out of this pick as it’s rated for children ages three to five. Note that this crane comes with a claw and a trolley.
The Dickie toy crane beat out the Top Race Die cast Tower Crane because it’s a set that comes with a dump truck. But the Top Race is a great option if you aren’t looking for a set.
The yellow Dickie crane features an easy to use remote control that easily raises and lowers the trolley and you’ll get a cabin that rotates 350 degrees.
- 48” tall for immersive play
- Remote controlled with 360-degree cabin rotation
- Set that comes with a fully functional dump truck
- Some people had issues with the motor and suggest testing it before giving to kids
CUTE STONE Alloy Construction Vehicles Truck Toy Set
For parents that want a complete set, the Cute Stone Construction Vehicles Truck Toy Set is the perfect solution! It comes with a truck, tower crane, digger excavator, cement, fuel truck, wheel loader, safety barriers, cones, and road signs. Kids can switch the different truck parts to be a wheel loader with a forklift, steamroller, or snow blow too!
This is a manual toy crane, with a knob about the size of a toothpaste cap; so kids will even continue refining their fine motor skills paired with strength and precision – and hopefully get that toothpaste cap back on as a result!
We like that you’ll also get safety barriers, as well as cement and other road signs for pretend play. The large set is perfect for playdates, allowing for multiple children to play together simultaneously. This toy crane set is made from alloy for better durability and is drop-resistant.
- Large multi-piece play set
- Additional attachments for front loader truck
- Alloy construction for enhanced durability
- Alloy construction is only on a few parts; mostly plastic but still quite durable
Tiny Land Wooden Train Set for Boys & Girls with Crane
If you have child obsessed with both trains and construction sites, then the Tiny Land Wooden Train Set is a 60-piece set is a great option to keep them occupied for hours. The magnetic crane is fully functional moving up and down and rotating at 360 degrees.
The wooden tracks are compatible with Brio, Chuggington, Melissa & Doug, IKEA, and Thomas The Train tracks.
It's a great classic wooden design and simplistic track that’s easy for even ages 3 and up to assemble.
Best of all, this set relies on magnets to connect the trains and to even allow the crane to hold and lift crates and tanks. Plus it’s a great budget-friendly option if you’re not sure that your child will gravitate towards a crane set. You’ll love that this set also comes with people, a bulldozer, and even buildings and landscape for a realistic effect.
- Simple design is ideal for younger kids
- Complete 60-piece train set with working magnetic crane
- Compatible with other brands as an add on set
- Track is universally compatible with other tracks, but may not fit all trains from brands mentioned above
Best Crane Toys For Toddlers:
NOTE: The best crane toys for toddlers below are generally good for 18 months and up. If you have an older toddler, look at the section above as well!
LEGO DUPLO Construction Sets
Another top pick on the list is the LEGO DUPLO Construction sets. These are great for kids 2 years old and up and make a fantastic option if your child is too young for the other Lego crane on this list further down.
The LEGO DUPLO Construction Tower Crane & Construction 10933 comes with 123 pieces including 5 figures, 4 vehicles (a toy crane and diggers: big and mini bulldozers, and a dump truck). There's even a hot dog stand if the LEGO construction workers get hungry!
This set not only encourages fine motor skills and STEM lessons, but also imaginative play! It also features lights and sounds and a working crane that reaches 15″ high when fully erect and rotates as well as drops down.
Honestly, this set is SO amazing, I want to play with it and we feel confident that both toddlers and big kids will love it!
If that set has too many small pieces for your liking though, then the LEGO DUPLO Town Big Construction Site 10813 is a great runner up.
It also features a working toy tower crane truck with claw and a hook, dump truck, and is rated for ages 2 and up. However it only comes with 67 pieces, which are larger and we don't think older kids will enjoy it as much as the previous set.
Wise Elk Wooden Toy Car Crane for Toddlers
Babies shouldn’t be left out of the toy crane fun, which is why we’re including the Wise Elk Wooden Toy Car Crane which is rated for toddlers as young as 18 months.
This durable toy crane truck and magnetic block set are made from high quality wood and waterproof non toxic paint.
The crane rotates and the up/down operates via a manual rotary wheel designed to improve fine motor skills. children will begin to understand shapes, using the crane to separate one shape from another.
- Ideal for younger toddlers
- Encourages shape recognition
- Builds fine motor skills
- Magnets only on one side of the cargo pieces
Fisher-Price Little People Construction Site
The Fisher Price Little People Construction site set is easily one of our top picks on this list. This comes in two variations and is compatible with all of Fisher Price's “Little People” construction site add ons or replacement parts.
The first is a traditional crane hanging off a rope with a claw for the hook. This comes with a walkie talkie that lights up and makes different sounds and phrases, as well as 2 construction figures, 3 boulders you can send down the built in ramp, and 1 dump truck. It's recommended for 12 months to 5 years old.
The other variation doesn't have the walkie talkie, but does have an elevator. The crane on this one also features a claw end, but the arm is bent, not a rope. It comes with 2 boulders, 1 dump truck, and 2 construction workers and recommended for 18 months to five years old. This one also makes noise with various sounds and phrases.
BRIO World – Clever Crane Wagon Set
If you have a train and construction site obsessed child who isn't into a stationary crane like the Tiny Land set has to offer, then the BRIO World Clever Crane Wagon Set is a great affordable addition.
It features a classic wooden construction design and magnetic components so that you can easily incorporate it into an existing train set. This crane comes with a wagon to tow it's load and is designed to go on a train track.
- Crane car for train track set
- Magnetic and compatible with most other wooden train sets
- Comes with load wagon
- Make get stuck going under train track bridges
- Small size may not be able to pick up all the things child wants to use a crane with
Battat Take Apart Crane Truck
If you have a toddler obsessed with your tools or taking things apart, they'll love the Battat Take Apart Crane Truck is the perfect toy crane truck with claw.
It comes with a several drill heads and 33 pieces in all to take apart and reconstruct the crane arm and wheels.
The crane arm has an excavator bucket at the end. The drill requires two AA batteries.
- Engages fine motor skills
- Aids in shape sorting and recognition
- 33-piece set
- Drill and nuts and bolts may need some “breaking in” at first to make it operate smoothly for young ones
If your child prefers a more traditional crane hook, then this set of 3 take a part construction vehicles may be a better option:
It comes with a dump truck, crane, and excavator as well as a working toy drill, interchangeable drill bits, and screwdriver.
NOTE: These aren't as high quality as the Batat one mentioned earlier and if you lose a nut or screw, there are no replacements.
Thomas & Friends Cranky the Crane Playset for Preschool Kids
Thomas and Friends is a natural pairing for a crank, especially when the crank is named Cranky. Best of all, he’s not alone. The Thomas & Friends Cranky the Crane Playset is accompanied by a Troublesome Truck and even has 2 cargo crates full of lobsters that must be loaded into the precocious sidekick. To raise or lower Cranky’s arm just turn the top dial. And he can also spin 360 degrees if you turn the dial in his base.
But what makes this toy crane appealing is that it can be connected to other Thomas and Friends train sets, meaning you can create your own Island of Sodor with Vicarstown Station, Brendam Docks, and even the Steamworks — if you have the set.
The Troublesome Truck can also be attached to any other Fishers Price TrackMaster or Thomas and Friends train engines — yes even Thomas, Percy, and Gordon. This toy is rated for children ages three and older.
NOTE: If you want a standalone Cranky the Crane that can work with ANY train set or pretend play set up (no train track edging), then this one is your best bet.
- Easy to use controls
- Supports fine motor skill development
- Can be paired with other Thomas & Friends train sets
- May not be as entertaining as a stand alone set
- Some people found it compatible with other train track sets like the Masters Set, while others felt it didn't work with the Brio set.
Best Toy Crane Truck:
Bruder Scania R-Series Liebherr Toy Crane with Lights and Sounds
The Bruder Scania R-Series Liebheer Crane with Lights and Sounds is one of the most durable cranes on the market.
This crane truck is rated for children 36 months (3 years) or older as it's free of screws and glue. It’s made from ABS plastic which is durable and designed to sustain high impacts.
It also comes with a counterweight and stabilizer legs for added stability when the crane arm is extended. And the cab has 360-degree swivel support and a working door which can be opened or closed.
Aside from looking incredibly realistic, kids will likely enjoy the lights and sands. This mobile crane also features a manual knob that allows children to adjust the crane boom to extend it and then lock it into place. When fully extended the crane is over four feet tall.
- Engaging lights and sounds
- Comes with stabilizer legs and counterweight for added stability
- Extends to over four feet
- Able to purchase replacement parts from Bruder if anything breaks
- Expensive; but durable
DRIVEN by Battat – Micro Crane Truck
The Driven by Battat Micro Crane Truck is an affordable option that's also travel friendly. It measures in at 7″ long, 3″ wide, and 3″ tall (about the size of an outstretched adult hand). It's a great option for taking on the road or in the stroller for errands, travel, or park trips. Despite its size and budget friendly price tag, this crane truck is still packed with plenty of features.
You’ll get a moveable crane can rotates 360 degrees and stretches about 9 inches up. Those sound effects include an idling engine as well as honking. The cab door and hood open and you’ll also get incredibly realistic details throughout the truck.
This includes extending stabilizer legs and a crane that extends along with its rope. The wheels are rubber, providing a smooth drive. This truck is rated safe for children ages four to 10.
- Lights up and the sounds aren't overly obnoxious
- Realistic truck design
- Working parts throughout truck
- While it's proportional to the truck, the crane hook is small and may not hook everything your child wants it to hook
LEGO Technic Mobile Crane 42108 Building Kit
For any fan of construction toys, they'll appreciate the LEGO Technic Mobile Crane 42108 Building Kit where they actually get to construct their construction vehicle!
It comes with nearly 1,300 pieces to build the ultimate working LEGO toy crane. Once constructed, the functional crane features 8-wheel steering, 4 individually controlled outriggers, 2 cabins and a super-high telescopic arm coming in at 30″ tall to work with the “concrete” pillar included in the set.
The completed crane comes in at 18 inches long and four inches wide, making it a great display piece when not in use too. The LEGO crane is rated for children ages 10 and older, though some reviewers noted their 8 year old did it, and offers valuable lessons in engineering and imagination.
- 2-part toy — build and play feature
- Fully functional telescopic crane arm that extends 30”
- Ideal parent-child collaborative toy
- A few reviewers received ones with missing parts
Bruder 02754 MAN TGA Crane Truck
If you're looking for a more analog, less overstimulating crane truck option, the Bruder 02754 MAN TGA Crane Truck is a top choice. It lacks lights and sounds, but still offers plenty of moving parts and realistic features to keep little ones engaged. This truck has a cab that tilts and the crane body rotates 360 degrees.
You can even see the engine block when the cab is tilted. The crane arm is fully extendable and comes with a nice sized working hook. When extended, the arm is roughly 30 inches tall.
Children can also position the stabilizer legs to prevent the truck from tipping when the crane arm is extended. Best of all, this toy crane truck is rated safe for children as young as three and is made in Germany with high quality and durable ABS plastic.
- Fully functional design
- Crane arm extends to 30”
- Ideal for children as young as 3
- Can always purchase replacement parts from Bruder
- Some models shipped from Amazon had older manufacturing dates on the package (e.g. made in 2011 but shipped in 2020) causing issues with wheels
Best Remote Control Toy Cranes Trucks:
Playmobil RC Crane with Building Section
The Playmboil RC Crane with Building Section is a fully functioning remote controlled crane that can rotate up to 360 degrees. It also can lift heavy building materials up and down to truly place things in the accurate location for the buildings construction.
This set comes with a crane, a building section, two figures (a driver and construction worker complete with safety helmets and accessories) and more. The set is rated for children ages five and older.
Note that while you can play with this mini set by itself, it’s intended to be combined with sets 70442 and 70443 — the cable excavator and mini excavator — to create a full-sized building. Additionally, there are other accompanying sets that can be paired with the RC Crane set (70441) to create a complete construction site.
- Battery powered with real lift action and 360-degree rotation
- Mini-set collection
- Ideal for ages 5+
- Creating the complete construction site set can be expensive
Top Race 15 Channel Remote Control Crane
The fully functional Top Race 15 Channel RC construction toy crane is sure to impress any kid – and adult! It's probably the best RC crane for the price.
The remote controlled crane can operate as far as 100 feet from the controller. It features realistic lights and sounds. The anti slip tire tracks work indoors, outdoors, and even in sandboxes.
The crane moves forwards, backwards, light, right, and the construction crane cabin rotates 360 degrees. The boom moves up and down as well and the hook is on a heavy metal cable that can light things as heavy as 1 lb.
The crane features operates with an included battery, but he remote control needs 2 AA batteries that are not included. This is a great pick before graduating to hydraulic construction toys.
- Powerful wheels work indoors, outdoors, and in sandboxes
- Heavy duty crane and hook that can move heavy loads over 1 lb
- Fully operational remote controlled crane with rotated cabin, boom, and wheels
- When fully charged crane only works for about 20 minutes; suggest ordering backup rechargeable batteries
Best Ride On Toy Cranes:
Keep in mind: most ride on toy cranes feature a crane arm, but an excavator bucket for digging.
Reeves International The Big Dig and Roll Ride-On Working Excavator with Wheels
The Big Dig and Roll Ride-On Working Excavator with Wheels is a full body experience that’s ideal for children as young as three. While the style isn’t a traditional overly plastic truck; we dare you to find a child who won’t enjoy it.
The simple metal frame provides a sturdy seat with four wheels they can power around with their feet. The crane arm offers a 360-degree swivel support and a working excavator arm.
Using the handles your child can easily raise and lower the crane as well as dig in snow, sandboxes, dirt, or at the beach (just keep in mind it's size if you need to go in the car). You can dig up to 15 inches deep with an arm that can extend as much as 33 inches. Note that the weight limit is 110 pounds for this ride-on excavator crane.
- Immersive riding experience
- 360-degree seat swivel
- Working excavator bucket extends 33” and digs 15” deep
- Some people struggled with the bucket falling off but it's an easy fix; replace the screw and bolt with a locking bolt so it won't loosen and fall off
COLOR TREE Ride-on Crane Digger Pretend Play Construction Grabber Truck Toy Tractors with Engineering Hat
If you want a ride-on toy that’s a bit closer to the ground and designed for toddlers and young kids, the Color Tree Ride-On Bulldozer Truck Toy is a smart choice with a maximum weight capacity of 66 pounds. This is a great waterproof pick, which makes it an ideal indoor-outdoor toy. Best of all, you don’t need a battery to operate the working horn and bucket.
Kids can use the on-board lever controls to move the arm and use the crane claw for picking up what they want. Their feet power the truck's six wheels forward or backward. It also comes with a construction worker hat.
- Wider seat for added stability
- Working bucket and horn
- Safe for indoor or outdoor use
- Lower maximum weight capacity
- Not as sturdy as the Big Dig
Disney Mickey's Activity Crane Ride-On
If your child is a Disney kid, then the Disney Ride-on Mickey’s Activity Crane is a fun solution that will have them excited to be hanging out with their favorite character. This cute crane is safe for children as young as 12 months and can double as a walker thanks to the curved handle seatback.
Little ones will love the interactive console under the steering wheel. Mickey plays his favorite songs while little ones can push the buttons to hear music and illuminate the lights.
The steering wheel is also functional as is the crane arm which can be controlled through the slide lever. This ride-on toy crane is rated safe for children from 12 months to three years.
- Safe for babies to use
- Can also double as a walker
- Includes lights and sounds and working crane arm
- Scooper doesn't easily pick up anything
Little Tikes You Drive Excavator Sand Toy
Little Tikes is another trusted brand when it comes to quality toys for preschoolers that are also safe. The Little Tikes You Drive Excavator Sand Toy is perfect for scooping, dumping, and your kid can sit on it – but not ride it around. How it works is you bury it in a sandbox or in the backyard, then kids from 24 months and up can sit or stand on it and move the crane arm to scoop and dig.
You’ll get an adjustable seat with an excavator arm that swivels, turns, and scoops — making it perfect for the playground or beach. To control the arm, simply use the levers.
The seat is basically on the floor though whic h can make for an awkward ride on feel.
- Great for toddlers and preschoolers
- Fully functional excavator arm
- Adjustable seat design
- Stationary design lacks wheels, may frustrate younger users
- Really only suitable for sand and dirt
How To Choose the Best Toy Crane:
Just as with any other toy, you’ll want to pick something that can last more than a few interactions with your child. Along with being fun and durable, there are other considerations that you need to keep in mind as you shop for the best toy crane for your children.
Where you intend to play with it
The easiest factor to consider before choosing a toy crane is figuring out where you intend to play with it; this will automatically narrow your selection on this list or while shopping.
Common places kids play with toy cranes include:
- Indoors or outdoors as a ride on toy
- With a train set or LEGO set
- Outdoors for scooping and digging sand, dirt, or mulch
- With a remote control
- As a crane truck or stand alone tower crane with other construction toys
While most toy cranes are rated safe for 3 year olds and up – some do span as young as 1 year old or as old at 10 years old as the introduction age.
Keep in mind where your child is at – both age wise and developmentally – to figure out which makes the most sense for you and how long you hope it will last. For instance, the picks on this list that can be introduced at 12 months probably won't last beyond turning 5 years old at best. Whereas some of the 2 year old and 3 year old toy crane options that require building or engineering may get use for kids up to 10 years old.
Durability is the name of the game when you’re buying children’s toys. But only you know if you have a child who’s more than a little rough with their things. Look for toy cranes made from sturdy parts that won't tip over when lifting objects.
Also think about whether you want a set made from plastic, wood, metal, or a combination of those materials. Some plastics are cheaply made; however ABS plastics tend to be high quality and can even be nicer than some cheaper wooden options. It's more about the quality of that material, than the material itself when it comes to construction toys which tend to take a bigger beating than other toys.
NOTE: if you plan to use your toy crane in snow, avoid plastic as extreme temperatures can make it brittle
Digital vs. Analog
Similar to other toys, you can find toy crane sets that rely on your child to lift and operate and others that come with batteries and a remote. Again, only you can decide which is best for your home. Part of this decision will depend on whether or not you feel your child is mature enough to treat a battery powered toy properly or if they’re just beginning to use more advanced toys.
Along the same lines, consider whether you want a toy crane that makes noise or lights up versus one that doesn’t. On the one hand, a light-up toy can be more engaging — especially if it makes noises. But if you’re loath to add another noise-making toy into your child’s lineup, you might prefer a classic version that’s potentially quieter.
Add On Sets
This might not be a sticking point for everyone, but some parents want toys that can be paired with sets. One way to guarantee this is to look for toy crane sets or individual cranes that are part of a larger set. This typically happens with larger name brands like Lego or Thomas & Friends.
While budget shouldn’t be the only driving factor when you’re picking a toy crane, we can’t pretend that it doesn’t matter. Similar to any other toy category, toy cranes can vary in price.
Think about your budget. But also keep in mind that if you buy a battery-powered toy crane, you’ll also inherit an ongoing expense when you replace the batteries.
With that said, the higher end cranes, like one's from Bruder, can end up lasting generations and offer individual replacement parts for purchase if needed; which can ultimately be way more cost effective than buying a new crane every year.
FAQs About Toy Cranes + Crane Trucks
What is a toy crane?
A toy crane is used to lift and lower objects and move them around, typically in a full 360 degree circle.
A toy crane is a pretend play toy that offers a wide range of educational and developmental benefits for children. They come in a variety of configurations and sizes, and can even be found as part of larger sets.
Toy cranes are also available for practically all age ranges, making them a great option whether you’re shopping for an older baby, toddler, preschooler, or older child.
What is the difference between a toy crane and excavator and backhoe and digger?
Traditionally, cranes use a system of pulleys and cables. However, toys like excavators, backhoes, and diggers which feature a mechanical arm that “cranes” to lift and lower construction objects are often used interchangeably when talking about “crane toys.”
Ultimately it comes down to what and how your child plans to play. Traditional cranes typically have a hook at the end of a platform for adding objects, like a wrecking ball or building component, whereas excavators, backhoes, and diggers have some sort of shovel at the end of the crane arm.
In short: cranes are typically used to lift things up and stay up (construction a building) whereas the other vehicles are more “diggers,” ultimately laying a foundation and just lifting things away when gouging holes, clearing waste, or tunneling mines.
Benefits Of A Toy Crane:
Along with playing pretend and engaging their creativity, children will also be immersed in hands-on STEM learning as they begin to understand basic engineering principles.
Similarly, they’ll flex their reasoning and problem solving skills as they begin to understand concepts such as weight capacities, load bearing, and how to properly lift or stack materials to safely move them from one place to another.
How do toy cranes work?
Toy crane operation is going to depend on whether you pick a crane that runs on batteries or one that must be manually controlled. With a manual toy crane, your child will usually need to use a lever or pulley system to raise and lower the crane arm or load.
With battery-powered cranes, your child may be able to either push a button on the crane or a remote control to raise and lower the arm, change the arm position, and raise and lower the load.
Can I get a wrecking ball attachment for a toy crane?
Unfortunately, wrecking balls aren't typically sold as a toy crane attachment as they would fall off when swing. Instead you can get a truck with a wrecking ball attached to a crane arm.
For that, LEGO DUPLO makes a great construction wrecking ball demolition set. If you prefer a more montessori approach to your toys, then the Guidecraft Block Science Wrecking Ball Truck is our top choice featuring a large wooden crane and removable articulating trailer.
What brands generally make good toy cranes?
Thankfully, there are quite a few options out there when you’re shopping for a well-built toy crane that won’t tip over while your child’s playing with it or fall apart after one or two play sessions. But brands like Lego, Bruder, Caterpillar, Little Tikes, Brio and TrackMaster are all solid choices known for creating quality products.
How do you care for and clean a toy crane?
General care instructions are going to depend on the material used to make your child’s crane. With a plastic crane, you should be able to easily wipe it clean if it gets dirty using a damp cloth or disposable wipe.
With a wood or metal crane, you'll also want to wipe clean, but should avoid leaving the toy damp as you don’t want to damage it or encourage rust.
Similarly, battery powered cranes shouldn’t be submerged in water as this could damage the components.
Where do you buy a toy crane?
Amazon, Walmart, and Target are generally well stocked options for toy cranes of various price points.
Can toy cranes go in a sandbox?
While most toy cranes can likely go in a sandbox without causing damage, an excavator or digger option is probably better suited for such play.
Furthermore, with battery-powered cranes, you should confirm that any key components like battery compartments or critical gear areas aren’t exposed before placing the toy in a sandbox.
Are toy cranes good for boys or girls?
Both! All children benefit from playing with toy cranes. Both boys and girls can enjoy this low-pressure introductory STEM toy as both men and women work in the construction industry.
Can you use a toy crane with other toy cars and construction toys?
You can absolutely use your toy crane with other cars or construction toys — even if they’re not part of the same set. Just be sure that if you’re trying to use the crane to lift other toys, they’re not larger than the crane’s bucket or lift. If the weights are incompatible you could cause the crane to tip over.
Final thoughts + Top Picks
When it comes to choosing a toy crane, there are loads of styles. It's best to see what the child is most into, what toys they currently have that would be compatible with a new toy crane, and of course, their dexterity to use the toy crane properly.
With that in mind, our favorite tower toy crane is the Hape Playscapes Crane Lift Playset thanks to it's affordable price and simple wooden design making it compatible with various other toy sets.
For a toy crane truck we love the Bruder Scania R-Series Liebherr Toy Crane – while it is pricey it a toy crane for 3 year olds, realistic, and up that's durable and you can purchase replacement parts if anything happens.
The best RC toy crane is definitely going to be Top Race 15 Channel Remote Control Crane which can lift over 1 lbs (we saw reviews as high as 5 lbs!!) – making it a fantastic choice for all.
Our number 1 ride on toy crane is the Big Dig due to it's versatility and durable metal frame.
Lastly, if for young kids not using the toy crane with a LEGO set or train set, we think the Fisher-Price Little People Construction Site is a solid set that has most things for toddlers getting started with construction toys.
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