Balance bikes are an ideal way for toddlers to gain bicycling skills.
A balance bike: it’s a new twist on an old standard. Perhaps you learned to pedal a two-wheeler with a set of training wheels. Kids of today can get a head start by practicing with a little balance bike. Designed for younger kids, this innovative bike doesn’t have pedals to make things tricky. Instead, the bike sports a simple concept designed to help kids master the dicey skill of keeping balanced on two wheels. Your toddler will need plenty of encouragement as she masters this new talent.
1Check out the balance bikes in the store to get your little one excited about a new balance bike. Haul a demonstrator model down from the shelf and let her sit on it. Show her how to hold onto the handles, place both feet on the floor and move herself along by walking. She probably won’t be ready to sit on the seat just yet while walking with it, but that’s okay. Have your toddler pick out a color and take one home to ride.
2Take your toddler and the balance bike to a safe spot to practice the balance bike, such as a flat area with wide-open pavement where your little one can ride and practice safely. If you don't have a super big driveway, head to an empty basketball court or parking lot.
3Outfit your toddler with safety gear to protect her from possible spills and keep her confidence up. You’ll need a helmet, knee pads and elbow pads.
4Help your little one onto the balance bike so she’s sitting on the seat, holding the handlebars with both feet planted squarely on the ground. Encourage her to walk forward slowly while steering the bike straight ahead. Give lots of praise and encouragement when she makes the bike move successfully.
5Watch your toddler as she practices on the balance bike. After a short time, you’ll probably notice her starting to push herself off with her feet and then glide. It’s these gliding moments where she’s learning the art of balance. Eventually, she’ll even learn how to steer while she glides.
6Walk along beside your child as she continues to practice moving and gliding. Show her how proud of her you are with your animated words and happy voice.
7Stop the balance bike session whenever your little one seems tired or ready to finish. Tell her how great she did biking -- “Wonderful biking today, Mandy! Shall we do it again tomorrow?”
8Encourage your little one to practice often to build those balance skills. With tons of positive feedback and praise, she’ll enjoy these biking sessions because of the one-on-one time with you.
- The StriderSports Company advises that kids as young as 18 months can learn to ride a balance bike.Buy a balance bike that fits your tot. She should sit squarely on the seat with knees slightly bent and feet flat on the ground, according to the GodBabyClub website.
Things You'll Need
- Knee pads
- Elbow pads