Learning to ride a bike is a fun milestone for children. We have the tips you need to help your toddler succeed!
Cycling is a great family activity that is fun for all ages and offers exercise for everyone. It is an activity that takes children outdoors and a skill that they can use for life!
At what age should my child be able to ride a bike?
Children usually learn to ride a bike between the ages of 3 and 8 and the average age is just over 5. There are many different development factors that affect when your child is ready to learn or can ride their own.
- Mental and physical development. Can your child respond to instructions? Can your child pedal? If the answer is no, it is a good idea to wait to teach them.
- Coordination. Cycling requires balance and coordination. When children grow, they develop both skills. It is therefore important to determine whether they are old enough to balance a bicycle when steering and pedaling.
- Interest. You might be very excited when your child rides a bicycle, but is it you? If they are not interested or are very nervous and scared, it may be a little early.
- Influence. Older siblings, friends, and neighbors may already be cycling, which can have a big impact on when your child wants to learn to ride.
Top tips to teach your toddler how to ride a bike
- Make sure the bike is a reasonable size for the child. Make sure they can stand on the floor with both feet above the top tube. If they can't put their feet down, it's too big. A slightly smaller bike is easier for children to learn because it is much easier for them to handle and control.
- Adjust the support wheels so that they do not touch the ground. To learn balance, children should lean a little before the training wheels come into play.
- If your child can balance better, move the training wheels up until they stop using them (even if they may still be attached to the bike).
- Push starts: When you run with a child to teach them how to ride, lightly hold them by the shoulders instead of holding onto the bike.
- Press the start when the decline is very slight, like on your ascent. This helps the child get some momentum.
- Even if you do everything right, some children are just stubborn! My niece wasn't going to learn how to ride for my sister, but as soon as a babysitter came over and assumed she already knew how to do it, she set off! The power struggle was over.
Balance Bike: New method to learn to ride a bike
Impellers have no pedals at all. Children use their feet to push forward and learn balance and steering. It's a great way to teach toddlers how to drive, learn balance, and learn control. This simplifies the process for younger children as they don't have to think about kicking. Balance bikes are intended for children aged 2-5 years.
Top balance bikes at Amazon:
Strider Bike: This brand is definitely first class. The seat and handlebar are set so that they can grow with your child. This bike is designed for children aged 18 months – 5 years and can therefore have a long lifespan!
Review: This bike has a lower price than Strider, but has amazing reviews. This bike also has an adjustable handlebar and seat and is designed for children aged 20 months – 5 years. It comes in many different colors and has a fun design.
Joystart: This bike has the lowest price of the 3 bikes. It also gets great reviews. One cool thing about this bike is that it has a footrest and kids can idle to find their center of gravity. It also has adjustable handlebar and seat and is designed for children ages 1-3.
It is as important to teach your child how to ride a bike as it is to ride a bike. Your child should wear a bicycle helmet every time they ride. Here are some tips to help you find the right helmet:
- The helmet should sit straight in the middle of the forehead. The helmet should be pretty safe. You shouldn't be able to push it very hard from side to side or from front to back.
- The side straps should form a V and be under each ear.
- The chin strap should be securely under your child's chin so that the helmet doesn't move back and forth very much.
- This is a great article to find a suitable helmet.