20 Best Kids Shopping Carts & Baskets

best shopping cart toys for kids

’ll never forget how overjoyed my children were when we walked into a local grocery store several years ago and saw child-sized shopping carts. Our little trio rolled along, pretty much occupying the entire aisle, and I strategically placed items among all three baskets.

Personally, I think this should be some sort of federal law for every cart-toting establishment…but alas, it is not.  That’s why they make toy shopping carts for kids!

By the way… Big Happy House earns a commission through the following hand-picked links at no extra cost to you.

Best Kids Shopping Carts & Baskets – Top Picks

Whether it’s a replica of a metal cart or a handheld plastic basket, the toy shopping cart industry has evolved considerably since the days of my youth.

I’ve shopped around and found 20 of my favorites, which I’ve grouped into four categories:  wooden, plastic, metal, and pretend play.  Not surprisingly, there is some overlap, but I think you’ll see what this savvy shopper is trying to do.  

Kid’s Wooden Shopping Carts

labebe Baby Shopping Cart & Walker

Best Beginner Walker Shopping Cart

Ideal for the toddler who is just learning how to walk, this cart doubles as storage space when it’s not in motion.  A broad base ensures baby will keep her balance and gain confidence while walking and allows her to control the speed.  The rubber ring around the wheels protects Mom & Dad’s floor. 

Easily assembled with just a screwdriver [all screws are well-hidden and treated], it’s a fabulous addition to any room.

What We Loved:  It’s sturdy and durable, so it’s safe for babies and toddlers to pull up on and practice their walking.

  • Recommended Age:  1-3 years
  • Materials Used:  Wood and paint materials used meet the safety standards set by ASTM F963 in the US
  • Accessories:  none
Check Price On Amazon

Hape Kid’s Wooden Shopping Cart

Best Wooden Toy Shopping Cart

I appreciated the fact that there was a cloth basket amongst the wooden cart– mixing materials appeals to me aesthetically.  Speaking of aesthetics, I loved the bold blue and orange colors.  That’s not a combination you often see together and it really pops.

Additionally, I thought it was quite functional to have both the basket and shelf underneath the basket for two areas of storage.  This is an outstanding choice for a toddler shopping cart.

What We Loved:  This is the most visually appealing to me.

Watch Out For:  Reviews were either outstanding or very displeased– there was no middle ground.  

  • Recommended Age:  3-5 years
  • Materials Used:  Non-toxic wood
  • Accessories:  a cloth basket that attaches to the cart
Check Price On Amazon

Kid’s Plastic Shopping Carts

Bright Starts Giggling Gourmet Shop ‘n Cook Walker

Best Adaptable Shopping Cart

This cart truly grows with your child.  It has four different modes [sit & play removable cook top; stand & play activity table; push & walk behind; and remove cook top for shopping cart] to suit their changing needs.  Lights, sounds, and popcorn that pops when your child walks and/or pushes the button.  

What We Loved:  Popping popcorn and the light-up button causing sizzling kitchen sounds

Watch Out For:  Two parents experienced a problem with tipping as their kids tried to pull on it to stand.

  • Recommended Age:  6 months-3 years
  • Materials Used:  Plastic 100
  • Accessories:  3 shapes [circle, square, and triangle] to insert in the side of the cart
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Step2 Modern Mart Shopping Cart

Best Modern Shopping Cart

Two removable baskets provide lots of room for your junior shopper.  The two-tiered system is designed to resemble the modern buggy-style shopping carts used by Mom & Dad.  I found it odd that the manufacturer’s suggested age range was 2-10 years because I can’t see anyone getting much use out of this past preschool, especially considering how small it is.  It’s slightly smaller than the average doll stroller.  There is also a blue and white version.   

What We Loved:  It’s very lightweight and the baskets come out easily.

Watch Out For:  The baskets are more like bins– they don’t have any handles which can make it difficult to pick them up for the younger set.

  • Recommended Age:  2+ years
  • Materials Used:  Plastic
  • Accessories:  2 baskets to add to shopping cart base
Check Price On Amazon

Play Circle by Battat – Pink Shopping Day Grocery Cart

Best Adjustable Handles

What stood out to me immediately was the adjustable handles.  Very few other carts have that feature.  It’s also nice that a varied assortment of groceries come with the cart, so you don’t have to purchase them separately.  The cart itself is pink and purple– which is fine– but I know that my son became acutely aware of what he considered “girl colors” around the time he was in kindergarten…so this might have been a hard sell for him.

What We Loved:  The adjustable handles are very convenient for a growing child.  

Watch Out For:  With 29 grocery items, it’s easy for pieces to get lost in the shuffle.  

  • Recommended Age:  3-8 years
  • Materials Used:  Plastic
  • Accessories:  15 food boxes, 6 eggs, 2 bottles, 2 cans, egg carton, loaf of bread, chicken, piece of fruit
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Step2 Little Helper’s Kids Grocery Cart

Best No-Assembly Shopping Cart

Thanks to the low and wide shape, this is easy to maneuver and great for beginning walkers. Parents will find it easy too, considering it comes ready to go, with zero assembly required.  The basket is just the right size for a favorite stuffed animal or doll to accompany your child on their shopping adventure.  

What We Loved:  The fact that you can take it out of the box and immediately start playing.  

Watch Out For:  Depending on their preference, some kids may prefer to have a removable basket instead of one that is attached to the cart itself.

  • Recommended Age:  2-6 years
  • Materials Used:  Durable plastic poly-construction
  • Accessories:  none
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Little Tikes Princess Cozy Coupe Shopping Cart

Best Buggy/Cart Hybrid

It’s a smaller version of the classic Cozy Coupe Buggy, but with a shopping cart attached!  I had this buggy as a 1980’s child.  My own kids had the buggy too.

Obviously, they won’t be able to drive this one inside of the buggy [but a stuffed animal would be a perfect size] but they can play parent with a toy child.  Your child probably loves riding the children’s cars attached to some carts at the grocery store, so they’ll recognize this design.

You can also get this model in the original Red and Orange Cozy Coupe color scheme.

What We Loved:  The nostalgia!  And the ability to closely mimic something seen at the grocery store. 

Watch Out For:  Not every kiddo might want the buggy attached to the cart.

  • Recommended Age:  3-5 years
  • Materials Used:  Plastic
  • Accessories:  none
Check Price On Amazon

Shop ‘N Learn Smart Cart

Best ‘Real’ Scanner

I felt like I was at Target with this setup.  The scanner has two modes– free play and game mode.  Free play mode allows them to scan foods and learn more about nutrition.  Game mode sends them on a quest to find the right items and practice scanning various amounts.  A removable basket on the bottom allows multiple kids to play.  

What We Loved:  What a truly smart– and fun– scanner!

Watch Out For:  3 AA batteries are NOT included

  • Recommended Age:  4-7 years
  • Materials Used:  Plastic
  • Accessories:  8 interactive food items & accessories and a removable basket
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Kid’s Metal Shopping Carts

Emmzoe The Little Shopper Real Life Kids Mini Retail Grocery Shopping Cart

Best For Heavy Loads

This cart holds 100lbs of cargo!  Yes, you read that correctly.  Not only that, but the wheels pivot 360 degrees for easy turns and controlling.  It comes fully assembled and the icing on the cake is the foldable doll basket.  

What We Loved:  Not only can it hold the equivalent of a petite teenage girl, but it folds easily for storage in the trunk of a car or a closet.

Watch Out For:  Even though it’s made to be realistic, some kids might find it plain.  

  • Recommended Age:  2+ years
  • Materials Used:  Metal
  • Accessories:  none
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Melissa & Doug Shopping Cart

Best Easy Grip Metal Shopping Cart

I see this as a younger child’s version of the previous model.  The basket is not particularly roomy.  But the easy-grip handle seems perfect for toddler’s hands.  I don’t see children on the older end of this spectrum enjoying it as much as the 3-4-year-olds  

What We Loved:  The easy-grip handle really stood out as kid-friendly.

Watch Out For:  There’s not a lot of room in the basket for storage.   

  • Recommended Age:  3-6 years
  • Materials Used:  Metal
  • Accessories:  none
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Fat Brain Toys Let’s Shop! Stainless Steel Grocery Cart

Best Child Sized Metal Shopping Cart

Parents rave about how sturdy this cart is.  In addition to being extremely realistic, it’s a great fit for a preschool-sized child.  

What We Loved:  It’s one of the more realistic metal models, and is the ideal size for a young child.

Watch Out For:  This mama couldn’t find a single negative review.     

  • Recommended Age:  3-4 years
  • Materials Used:  Stainless steel
  • Accessories:  none
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Precious Toys Kids & Toddler Pretend Play Shopping Cart with Groceries

Best Metal Shopping cart On A Budget

Clocking in around $30, this is the most affordable metal shopping cart.  The price for the cart itself would be amazing, but the fact that it comes with groceries is even better.  Plus, the black and pink polka dot cloth covering is adorable.  

What We Loved:  What an incredible price!

Watch Out For:  Again, there could be a possible ‘pink predicament.’  There is a more gender-neutral, black version that can be found here ((insert link)).    

  • Recommended Age:  3-8 years
  • Materials Used:  Metal
  • Accessories:  23 piece grocery set
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Toy Shopping Baskets For Kids

Learning Resources New Sprouts Stack of Baskets

Best Multi-Basket Option

These handheld baskets feel like you’re breezing through Walgreens.  Four baskets let four or more children play simultaneously.  Since these types of baskets are found in more than just grocery stores, challenge your child’s imaginative play skills by encouraging their use for things other than just food items.  

What We Loved:  Having four different baskets allows for multiple people to play shop.

Watch Out For:  Multiple parents have complained about having to work really hard to get the goo from the labels off of the baskets.   

  • Recommended Age:  18+ months
  • Materials Used:  Plastic
  • Accessories:  4 separate baskets [orange, green, blue, & purple]
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Melissa & Doug Grocery Basket Play Set

Best Roller Basket

We just love this design.  It reminds me of a fusion between a handheld basket and airport luggage– I guess it’s the handle and roller.  Even though it comes with groceries, your child will love dragging around all their various items around in there.  

What We Loved:  This is the only toy shopping basket on the list that provides a handle to roll the basket upright.

Watch Out For:  Cardboard isn’t exactly the most durable material and can get crushed. 

  • Recommended Age:  3-6 years
  • Materials Used:  Plastic [and cardboard food boxes]
  • Accessories:  5 colorfully labeled grocery boxes, 3 play food cans with pop-off lids, and a double-sided reusable shopping list with a pencil that stores in the side of the basket
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FUNERICA Stainless-steel Shopping Basket and Stainless Toy Kitchen Pots and Pans with Utensils

Best Toy Shopping Basket With Utensils

Another budget deal, this model costs around $16 and packs lots of bang for your buck.  It has the basket, the cookware, the utensils, the apron, and the food.  Wowza.  This is an inexpensive, comprehensive playset with lots of attention to detail.  

What We Loved:  Mini pots and pans, utensils, and a cute apron?!  Sold.

Watch Out For:  The veggies attach and separate with velcro, so losing a piece can leave your produce partially complete. 

  • Recommended Age:  3+ years
  • Materials Used:  Stainless steel
  • Accessories:  3 colored stainless-steel mini pots and pans, 3 toy kitchen utensils, play food and fish [can be separated to form 12 pieces]
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IQ Toys Stainless Steel Pretend Shopping Basket with Food

Best Lightweight Handheld Shopping Basket

Because it only weighs a little over a pound and is handheld, this is a good choice for the younger set.  Older kids probably won’t get too much from it.  Bonus points for the fact that it’s also under $20.

What We Loved:  It’s super lightweight.

Watch Out For:  One parent said the handle was no match for her group of 1-year-olds and fell off quickly.

  • Recommended Age:  3+ years
  • Materials Used:  Stainless steel
  • Accessories:  18 Realistic Looking Fruits and Vegetables and 3 Play Food Packages
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Liberty Imports Fruits and Vegetables Shopping Basket Grocery Play Food Set

Best Fruit & Veggie Variety

The durable plastic is hard to break and easy to clean.  It comes with a tremendous assortment of fruits and veggies, which is the perfect opportunity to introduce your child to healthy eating.  

What We Loved:  This is a fantastic way to teach your child about nutrition and the importance of a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables.

Watch Out For:  As we’ve seen with some other models, lots of parts means lots of potential losses.

  • Recommended Age:  3+ years
  • Materials Used:  BPA-free non-toxic plastic
  • Accessories:  38 pieces of different types of fruit and vegetables
Check Price On Amazon


Best Non-Traditional Toy Shopping Basket

Leave it to Ikea to create a funky cloth alternative to the traditional toy shopping carts!  Some kids may love it, others not so much, but it definitely gets props for ingenuity.

What We Loved:  It’s the only toy shopping basket not made from wood, plastic, or metal.

Watch Out For:  It’s the only toy shopping basket not made from wood, plastic, or metal.

  • Recommended Age:  2+ years
  • Materials Used:  Cloth
  • Accessories:  11 pieces

Battat – Farmers Market Basket & Toy Kitchen Accessories  

Best Cutting Set + Shopping Basket Combo

I love the fact that this model comes equipped with two knives and two cutting boards.  It’s a combination between a kitchen food set and a grocery basket.  Other parents rave about the ease in which small hands can grip the knife and the large size of the fruits and vegetables.  

What We Loved:  Being able to slice and dice is always fun.

Watch Out For:  The basket is not exceptionally deep.

  • Recommended Age:  3-8 years
  • Materials Used:  Plastic
  • Accessories:  37 items: 1 toy basket, 2 cutting boards, 2 toy knives, and all kinds of play fruits and vegetables.
Check Price On Amazon

Le Toy Van – Wooden Groceries Toy Play Set & Wooden Scanner for Shopping

Best Shopping Basket With Wooden Scanner

My daughter loves being able to scan anything, whether it’s a ‘real’ scanner [i.e. makes noise] or not.  I appreciate the wooden construction and know that this is a set that’s sturdy and built-to-last.  

What We Loved:  Even though there’s no cash register, a scanner’s always fun.

Watch Out For:  Some kids might see a scanner and expect extra bells and whistles– the kind of things that only batteries can deliver.  

  • Recommended Age:  2+ years
  • Materials Used:  Non-toxic replenishable legal quality smooth rubber-wood
  • Accessories:  13 food items + scanner
Check Price On Amazon

Toy Shopping Cart Buying Guide

Why buy your child a toy shopping cart?  Sure, every child loves to imitate Mom & Dad, but the benefits go far beyond imitation.  For the youngest set, a kids shopping cart can help them with their walking skills.  

Rotating wheels allow them to practice turning and maneuvering in tight spaces.  It also helps with coordination and balance.  Gripping the handles also works on strengthening muscles and fine motor skills.

Many options come with food to put in the cart.  Would your child want an arsenal of groceries or would they prefer to haul other things?  How can they best use their imagination to pretend play?  

A wonderful use for a cart is to assign your youngster chores or ask them to help you shop for ingredients for a recipe.  Extend the mission by taking it into the kitchen after they shop and preparing a meal together.  The combination of pretend play coupled with real-life tasks is always exciting.  

Where to start when determining the best shopping carts for kids?  A major factor is age.  Not surprisingly, that simple wooden cart that your two-year-old toddles along with won’t keep your active six-year-old on the edge of her seat.  

Look closely at the recommended age range, consider your own child’s level, and compare to their other toys.  You want something that is age-appropriate, not too boring, but not over-their-head advanced.  

Next, ask yourself some basic questions.  What material do you think your child would most like?  Will they want groceries accompanying it?  How do you feel about batteries?  Does your child have a sibling that will also be playing with the toy?  

Finally, look at reviews.  Don’t just take my word for it– see what other parents have to say.  One or two bad reviews isn’t a deal-breaker, but if you are constantly seeing poor reviews [especially about the same issue], that should give you pause.

Wishing you the best in all of your shopping endeavors!  

best shopping cart toys for kids
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