If your kid is a rookie user in the world of riding, a balance bike is a great option to consider first. Such a pedal-less wheeler may improve their balance as well as their confidence on the road. If you feel your child is too small or not experienced enough to take up cycling, no worries. There’s a huge bunch of various kids balance bikes that could fit any taste.
But before we start sharing helpful advice on how to hop on a non-pedal bike, we’d like to outline why investing in a balance bike for kids is an awesome idea that you and your buddy will love.
6 Reasons Your Kid Needs a Balance Bike
If you’re still in two minds whether or not your child needs a balance bike, here’s a list of strong arguments why a pedal-less toy is a bingo.
- Safe riding. First things first, safety is a crucial aspect when it comes to your kid’s first ride. Balance bikes are grasped as a vehicle, which is safer than a tricycle. Additionally, they’re easy to handle, which is a great perk for little ones.
- Motor skill development. As toddlers are growing fast, it’s important to encourage their physical and mental development. In fact, a balance bike is a fascinating tool for fostering kids’ fine motor skills.
- Body work out. It seems like kids are having fun riding a balance bike, and that’s true. However, while children are flitting around, they also strengthen their muscles and stamina. And this may positively affect the overall well-being of your little rider.
- Easy switch to a pedal bike. As a balance bike and a pedal bike have a similar two-wheeled design, it’d be easier to get used to pedaling over time. Besides, a balance bike trains your kid’s coordination and balance (obviously), so slaying a common cycling style will be as easy as snapping your fingers.
- Budget saver. A solid balance bike for kids may come in handy for a long time due to its adjustability and durability. It’s not a one-time purchase; even after your child starts cycling, there’s a high probability they will still use a balance bike to do stunts and tricks.
- A lot of fun. The previous reasons were targeted to parents, and this one relates to kids – let them have a blast with riding a fancy wheeler!
How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Balance Bike
The main goal of using a balance bike is to learn how to balance before your kid starts pedaling. This may protect from painful falling off in the future. Thus, it’s substantial to know how to ride a balanced bike properly and take the most advantage of it. Check out these tips to teach your kid bike riding.
Before you start riding lessons, think wisely of the testing ground you’re going to ride on. It’s recommended to choose the smooth spot far away from traffic. It should be spacious and plane enough with no unexpected obstacles such as bumps and potholes. In fact, the perfectly picked place could affect your riding success immensely.
Get On / Off the Bike
When the spot is determined, it’s time to get on the wheeler! The very first thing you should teach your child is mounting and dismounting. That’s right, before setting off, let your kid get used to a new toy and feel confident getting on and off the vehicle.
Acquire First Moves: Scooting
The next step is to show your child the first bike move. Tell your child to get on a seat and start moving gently back and forth. Watch your kid’s hands are on the handlebars. Don’t hurry your buddy, just take your time.
There are two different styles of scooting a balance bike. The first one needs your kid to step one foot at a time, like a sumo wrestler in slow motion. The second option requires kicking off a bike with both feet at a time, as you’re on a kids scooter. Try these both variants, so your kid may choose which one is preferable.
When you’re done with scooting, go on to gliding. The moves are quite similar, but now the challenge is to keep the feet off the ground as long as possible. Keep the seated position, kick off a bike, and glide with your feet free.
You might need to set your own example first (you can use your common pedal bike). Additionally, watch your kid is keeping his head up, not down to the ground. This may affect an upright sitting position, as we don’t want our children to feel uncomfortable.
Don’t Forget about Steering
When your kid feels self-determined enough to ride a balance bike, you should teach them how to make turns duly. Start with smooth steering with no need to hurry. You can set a few obstacles in a row (bottles, cans, etc), so your little rider can practice on steering between them. You could reduce the distance between the obstacles over time to slay sharper turns.
Useful Tips to Nail No-Pedal Biking
In addition, we’d like to share some general tips for novice bike riders. Make sure:
- your child is ready for a balance bike. They should be old enough to keep the seated position, sit upright, and hold the bars. Actually, there are loads of balance bikes for kids of different ages, some of them are suitable even for 1.5-year-old riders.
- you picked the right size of the wheeler. Your child should be able to touch the ground with both feet while standing. Besides, the handlebars should be accessible while sitting.
- your child is wearing safety gear. Even though a balance bike is safe enough, don’t neglect riding protection for kids. This may include a solid helmet, riding gloves, knee and elbow pads. Besides, it’s better to put on shoes with no laces. Check if everything sits snugly, as comfort is on the top of priority.
- The balance bike you’re about to ride is fully assembled. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and check all the details are on their places and sit still.
Nowadays riding a bike is an activity taken for granted. And when it’s time to teach your kids how to ride a wheeler, you’d better be prepared. A balance bike is fascinating learning means that helps the gazillions of children mount on a bike and enjoy the pastime. Thus, check out this ultimate guide that describes some crucial aspects of how to thrive in biking in a few steps.