Toy garages are the perfect gift for toddlers and preschoolers: just add a car and watch that imagination and how they shape the game.
Wooden and traditional plastic and modern toy garages give small hands enough to press, turn, park and race.
They have to park somewhere when they are not on the racetrack anyway?
Thus it spurs those little brains into creating all kinds of imaginary stories and games.
In this article I want to take a look with you at the nicest garages I've seen, and what to look out for when you buy one.
They come in a variety of prices and sizes and range from the most basic and minimal to the most extravagant car parks you've ever seen.
My absolute favorite is this one from Toet Toet cars. My son absolutely loves it, especially with an extra car or two.
They make noise as soon as they drive over something or you park them, and there is a nice elevator.
He totally likes it, and it's such a cute brand:
Whichever model you choose for your child, it's a great investment, with a 'wow' factor that will keep you playing for many months to come.
Let's take a look at them in a quick overview first, then I'll dig deeper into each of these choices.
|Overall best toy garage: Vtech Toet-Toet's Auto Garage||
|Best toy garage for toddler: (Top Bright race car track)||
|Best toy parking garage with lift: New Classic Toys||
|Most versatile car garage: Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage||
|Best wooden toy garage: Brio Parking garage||
|Best toy garage with car wash: Theo Klein Bosch||
|Best Disney Pixar Cars: Piston Cup racing garage||
|Best garage with a steep slope: Kidkraft racing set||
|Best Toy Parking Garage For Toddlers: Melissa and Doug Stack and Count||
|Best 3 story toy parking garage: Le Toy Van Dino's Red||
|Best toy garage for preschoolers: Janod fire station||
I used the top 2 in this video, or read on for buying tips and an in-depth description of each of these 11 best garages:
What we discuss in this comprehensive post:
- 1 What should you pay attention to when buying a toy garage
- 2 Best 11 toy garages rated
- 2.1 Overall best toy garage: VTech Toet-Toet Auto's Garage
- 2.2 Best toy garage for toddler: Top Bright race car track
- 2.3 Best toy parking garage with lift: New Classic Toys
- 2.4 Most versatile car garage: Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage
- 2.5 Best wooden toy garage: Brio Parking garage
- 2.6 Best toy garage with car wash: Theo Klein Bosch
- 2.7 Best Disney Pixar Cars: Piston Cup Race Garage
- 2.8 Best Slope Garage: Kidkraft Race Set
- 2.9 Best Toy Parking Garage for Toddlers: Melissa & Doug Stack and Count
- 2.10 Best 3-storey toy car park: Le Toy Van Dino's Red
- 2.11 Best toy garage for preschoolers: Janod Fire Station
- 3 Frequently asked questions about toy garages
What should you pay attention to when buying a toy garage
There are a few different options for choosing a playset. This is what you should consider.
Age of your child
Age is an important factor. Younger kids may not be ready for elaborate play garage sets and instead need something that matches their cognitive and fine motor skills.
Older children are ready for other more elaborate functions such as sounds or light.
How much do you want to spend?
Fortunately, you don't have to spend a fortune on your playset if you don't want to. There are many affordable options for playsets.
They have good materials and features suitable for different ages.
Material of the garage
Wooden toys are great for low fi options, while plastic is lightweight and durable.
Whether you want sounds or not, you want something that is easy to clean and non-toxic to play with.
Simple accessories are all your kids need, but you can get some really good sets to play with.
Some are interactive and provide light and sound, while others are simple, imaginative options.
Pay particular attention to how many cars are included, because that is a common mistake to buy a set that you will probably have to get a lot of cars later on.
Best 11 toy garages rated
Overall best toy garage: VTech Toet-Toet Auto's Garage
Age: 12 months +
What it is: a garage of 66 cm x 75 cm x 45 cm with 3 floors in bright colors.
The Vtech Toet Toet car garage is what we have chosen for our son. We had already received a separate Toet Toet car, I think probably at birth or when he turned 1.
And he already played quite well with the car. If you press on the front, it makes a noise and of course he could drive around with it.
But what makes the cars really nice is that they have pins on the bottom that make it possible to say different sentences.
That is why it was time to give the garage a try, because it also has elevations and when the car drives over it, the pins on the bottom are pressed in a certain way.
Because some pins are pressed and others are not, the car says a certain sentence that belongs to that place on the garage:
- like parking,
- going to wash in the car wash
- ride the elevator to go up and down
- Stand on the repair platform ready for maintenance
Those kind of things.
The garage itself can also make noise by pushing the buttons and there is one tow truck that triggers songs, phrases and fun sound effects when it crosses one of the garage's 9 SmartPoints.
The only sad thing about it was that the car that comes with it is one of the least suitable for the garage because it is a bit high and does not slide off the garage slide so well, while the car we already had is much better off to drive.
But okay, this is just a minor detail and will be rectified immediately if you buy several cars for it.
This brand often appears in our top lists for toys and VTech, for example, also has very educational tablets and other electronic toys.
Why I like him: a well-priced, easy-to-assemble garage that is solidly set up for children under 3 and offers a lot for the money.
The buttons to press are nice and sturdy, and the sound effects are great, entertaining and educational, but not too overwhelming and fortunately it also has two volume levels.
Best toy garage for toddler: Top Bright race car track
Age: from 1 years
You don't need much for your toddler. A row of cars zooming off a race track is actually enough.
They can't yet come up with a game where the cars have to go through the car wash, or where they have to be parked properly.
For your toddler it is nice that something moves. That is why this wooden garage from Top Bright is so nice, because there is always something to look at.
A classic, actually a marble track with some parking spaces on top, but my little one had a lot of fun with it.
And as soon as they get older, the supplied cars are a nice small size to participate in many fantasy games.
Best toy parking garage with lift: New Classic Toys
Age: 3 years +
The second on the list is the New Classic Toys toy garage with lift. I think this is a nice garage and the best lift because it is a pulley lift.
It is also nice and high and both floors have a spiral ramp, making it fun to drive down with one of the 3 supplied cars.
The lever at the bottom is a nice addition to some fantasy play.
What it is: a medium (42 x 93 x 43 centimeters), solid wood, 3-tier garage with road markings, a pulley lift, two spiral ramps, 3 cars and a ramp with a lever. Requires assembly with screwdriver (including instructions).
Why I like him: this is a good price for a sturdy wooden garage that is fairly easy to assemble (the instructions are good and clear).
Some reviews do state that the lift is a bit stiff and the ramp is a bit steep, but they all thought it was fun to play with.
Most versatile car garage: Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage
Age: 3 +
The most versatile car garage is this one from Hot Wheels.
It is really very big so you have to have the space, but the nice thing is that it can also be combined with extra Hot Wheels tracks to be part of it.
The garage has space for 36 cars and comes with 5 cars and a helicopter, but while there is room for many more cars you get the set with just a few and can seem a bit empty at first.
A lot of people indicated that this is not much of a problem because if your child wants a garage, it probably means that they already have a fair number of cars!
It is suitable from 3 years, but I would recommend it for slightly older children.
What it is: a 76,2 x 14,6 x 61 cm metal garage (it's LARGE) - it can be added to other Hot Wheels tracks.
Why I like himMost of the fun with this garage is how big it is. Yes, it is really huge.
Great for fun play IF you have the space.
Best wooden toy garage: Brio Parking garage
Age: 3 years +
The best wooden parking garage is this one from Brio, the wooden toy brand par excellence and that is because of the extremely solid construction that they always deliver.
Similarly, this parking garage and there are 2 cars, 1 trailer and 2 ramps.
What it is: a 37 cm x 27 cm x 27 cm wooden garage with 3 levels, an elevator, numbered parking spaces and a bright red plastic ramp.
Why I like him: Brio is a trusted name and this garage is sturdy, well designed, compact and easy to assemble.
And it connects to pieces from every Brio set, if you're looking for a little bit of full-fledged multi-element play you can use the trains and tracks to go with it.
Also read about the best wooden toys for kids
Best toy garage with car wash: Theo Klein Bosch
Age: 3 +
What it is: not strictly a garage, this is a 41 cm x 31 cm x 13 cm petrol station, with a lifting platform and a car wash with movable brushes.
Comes with a car (with 4 spare wheels) and a screwdriver to take the whole thing apart and put it back in.
Why we love itWe really appreciate the dismantling / rebuilding aspect - and our testers also had a blast changing the wheels on the car.
Although that is a bit too difficult for the 3-year-olds, this is a great addition to the collection of slightly older children and a nice addition to one of the other parking garages in our selection.
Best Disney Pixar Cars: Piston Cup Race Garage
Age: 4 +
What it is: a garage measuring 30 cm x 10 cm x 33 cm with a theme from the popular Disney Cars movies. Features a wide ramp and a lift.
Comes with a Lightning McQueen character car.
Why we like it: it is sturdy, but compact - a real plus if you are short on space.
And of course a surefire winner for any child who loves Cars.
This race garage is available here
Best Slope Garage: Kidkraft Race Set
Age: 3 +
What it is: a wooden garage with two gigantic steep slopes to each platform.
Comes with 3 vehicles, a helicopter and a helipad.
Why we love itFirst, you should know that this garage needs to be put together a bit before your kid can play with it - you'll want to give it half an hour.
But if you're ready - we think it's worth it. This garage is super sturdy (if built right) and absolutely stands the test of time.
If you like wooden toys this is also an added bonus.
Best Toy Parking Garage for Toddlers: Melissa & Doug Stack and Count
Age: 3 years +
What it is: an educational toy with a garage theme (6 cm x 14 cm x 30 cm). Comes with 10 different colored cars from Melissa & Doug.
Why we love it: this is so beautifully made.
It's not quite a garage as such, but if your little one likes cars, and is starting to enjoy counting too, then we think they'll have a blast with this - and return to it again and again.
For example, Melissa & Doug also features in our top construction toys.
Can't they wait to actually drive somewhere? View these toy kids cars out there nowadays
Best 3-storey toy car park: Le Toy Van Dino's Red
Age: 3 years +
What it is: a brightly colored 3-storey wooden garage, 30 cm x 38 cm x 50 cm, with spiral ramps, a petrol pump, a car and a working elevator.
Comes with stickers in different languages so your child can stick around and sell Le Toy Van internationally.
Why we love it: beautifully designed. Sturdy enough to play with a lot (and fiercely), but also makes a nice looking keepsake to pass on to children in the family for years to come.
Best toy garage for preschoolers: Janod Fire Station
Age: 4 years +
At the age of toddlers they find fantasy play getting more and more fun and there is nothing more fun to play fire brigade and ambulance. With this Janod fire station can do that.
What it is: It's a 2 story garage with helipad, ramps to zoom down.
Why we love it: It's really robust and sturdy, with ramps wide enough for larger cars.
It also has good detailing - we especially like the little fire trucks and the fire and dolls.
Frequently asked questions about toy garages
How do I take care of the garage?
Most playsets just need to be wiped with some water and the batteries replaced every now and then.
Check battery cases for corrosion and make sure you keep them free of dust and dirt.
Also, make sure your child is not standing or leaning on the playsets as they could break.
I know that my son wants to do that with his Toet Toet garage, so something to watch out for.
Are toy garages expensive?
Fortunately, you have a large budget to choose from. Elaborate sets will cost more, as will some non-toxic wooden sets.
A well-made garage kit can withstand quite a bit of enthusiasm without breaking, but make sure to pay attention and monitor what your child is doing with it.
Some cheap sets can end up being expensive when they break quickly, and that's a shame.
Do I have to buy accessories with it?
Most sets come with a few starter accessories, so your child can get started right away.
For full capabilities, you may eventually want to add some to the set so your child can expand and keep things interesting.
Make sure in advance, for example, that the accessories are not too expensive, or that you can easily use other types of cars with them.
All those cars and a parking garage can be quite a mess, but they might also want to help you with one of them these top rated toy vacuum cleaners