Perhaps there is no other transport that gives so many emotions and impressions. Even broken knees after a few days turn into traces of a baptism of fire, leaving memories of an extravagant fall. Naturally, with the emergence of riding skills there are new friends, new horizons and routes. That’s why parents want to teach their child to ride a bicycle at an early age, because with age children have a fear of falling, and already at 8-10 years to teach to ride is much harder. Let’s talk today about what age it is possible to teach a child to ride a bike, what kind of bike should be mastered first, and what mistakes parents most often make.
The benefits of a bicycle for children
Today’s children are much different than they were 20 years ago. Sedentary lifestyles and junk food are doing their part – unfortunately, childhood obesity is now a serious problem. Tablets, smartphones and computers have opened up many opportunities for learning and development, but unfortunately, they have almost completely closed the door to an active lifestyle. With the advent of the bike, your little one will start spending more time outside and breathing fresh air. Riding a bike is optimal exercise for the joints and muscle corset. It is a good exercise for the heart system, as well as the prevention of diseases of the respiratory system.
Riding a bicycle is great for relaxation. If your child spends a lot of time playing computer games, you may notice that he becomes nervous, irritable, apathetic and sleepy. Therefore, a bicycle can be a great cure for moping. It is very good if everyone in your family has their own bike: in this case, you can ride together to the forest or river, make short trips out of town, and explore new routes.
At what age can you teach your child to ride a bicycle
There is no exact answer here, but there is an opinion of pediatric orthopedists, traumatologists and other doctors who recommend not to rush and wait at least until your baby can walk confidently without falling over on a flat spot. Riding a bicycle improves the vestibular apparatus, as well as developing attention. It is clear that buying a child at 2 years two-wheeled bike is not necessary – you can start with velopegunov and velokatov, and then think of four- or three-wheeled models. According to pediatricians, the optimal age for learning to ride a bicycle – is 2-3 years. It’s okay if you decide to teach your child to ride a bike at age 7 or older – better late than never.
Buy your child all the necessary protection together with the bike. Do not put off buying equipment – your child’s health and safety depend on it. Even if you teach your child how to ride a bike around the apartment, one wrong move can result in serious injury.
When teaching your child to ride a bike, wear appropriate clothing. Make sure that there is no loose clothing on the legs, which can get caught in the chain (this especially applies to the belts of girls and loose pants). Pay attention to the shoes as well: riding in flip-flops is not the best option.
What bicycle to choose
We have already said that learning should happen in stages. If your baby is confident in the saddle of a treadmill by the age of two, you can safely move on to more serious techniques: for example, a four- or three-wheeled bicycle. Much here depends on the baby’s ability to keep his balance and the condition of his muscular corset. If you are just thinking about acquiring personal transportation for a child, a treadmill is the best option to start with. This is the same bicycle, but without pedals. It is possible to move around on it, pushing off the ground with your feet. Dashing around on it in an apartment or playground, baby learns how to keep balance and control the steering wheel.
All that is left is to learn how to rotate the pedals. A child at 3 years old can already safely learn to ride a tricycle or scooter, respectively, “packed” it in protective equipment.
How to choose a child’s bike
When buying any bicycle equipment for children, you should pay attention not only to the age and stature, but also to other parameters:
- The strength of the design and its weight. A two-year-old baby will be difficult to manage a heavy machine, and in the case of an unplanned fall kid will have difficulty getting out from under it.
- The size of the wheels. For a two- or three-year-old child the best option – wheels 12-14 inches (30-35 cm). The weight of the bike should not exceed 7-8 kg. Children at the age of 9 years can buy models that weigh much more.
- You can buy a bike in an online store, but it is better to visit a regular store, where a child can himself touch the bike, sit on it, “feel” his new friend and make the right choice.
- Another parameter to consider when choosing transport, this distance from the saddle to the ground. It should be such that the baby is able to slow down with his feet if necessary.
- Position of the child: the back should be straight.
The frame of the bicycle as well as its other elements should be made of durable alloy. Pay attention to this point, because today’s manufacturers (sorry to say) in the pursuit of profit often make children’s models of light alloys, which are bent by a hand. When buying, turn the wheels: they should run smoothly, without an octahedron and no extraneous sounds.
Tip: There is nothing wrong with buying a second hand children’s bicycle. As a rule, they do not have time to work out their life and are in fairly good condition.
Learning how to ride a tricycle
Maybe at first he will just sit on it, not even holding the wheel, thinking that it is a new toy. Don’t despair – this is also a result. After mastering and getting used to his new friend, the baby will want to twist the wheel, twirl the pedals. Do not forget that children’s curiosity – a catalyst for development. Child’s interest in the bicycle should be used for learning to ride it.
It is better to start teaching your child to ride around the apartment. Previously, free up more space, remove all that easily falls from the collision, hide away the cat, so as not to traumatize his psyche, and start training. Sitting in the saddle of a bicycle, the baby should confidently stand with his feet on the ground, slightly bent at the knees.
Your first task is to explain and show how the handlebars work. You need to show your child how the direction of motion of the bicycle will change depending on which way you turn the handlebars. You can put a doll, teddy bear, or other toy to teach it in a playful way. It may take a few days to learn – this is normal. The main thing is that the child learns that the position of the handlebars determines the direction of the bicycle.
Now you can move on to the other stage of learning – the rotation of the pedals. How to do this? Focus on the following sequence of actions:
- Lift the front wheel of the bike.
- Put the child’s feet on the pedals and spin them several times. As a rule, such an activity the kid will like and he will want to repeat himself, making several revolutions on his own.
- Pedaling in the air is easy and fun. It is much harder to do it when the bike is standing with all its wheels on the surface. Here you need to show your kid that pedaling puts the bicycle in motion, and this opens up new opportunities and noticeably increases the speed of moving around the apartment (if by this point the cat has come out of hiding – hurry up and hide it back).
In fact, there is nothing complicated about teaching a child at age 3 or 4 to ride a tricycle. To whet your kid’s interest, teach him to ride where other children ride. Choose enclosed areas or yards with a flat road to master the transport.
Training on a quad bike
The task becomes more difficult – it is time to move to a more serious transport, which is an intermediate stage for those who are still afraid to get on a two-wheeled bike. This way of learning is the safest, but also the slowest. Additional outboard wheels help you keep your balance and pedal dashingly as you rush off to new adventures. But later problems can arise when the child forms a kind of dependence on these safety elements. The task of parents is to properly adjust the extra wheels and remove them in time. To do this, you need to pay attention to the following points:
- Suspension wheels should not be on the same level as the rear wheel.
- They should be just above the ground and not touching its surface at the same time.
- The bicycle should lean slightly to the left and right.
- Gradually raise the safety wheels, just do not rush to make the child aware (it can scare the baby).
Next, look at the situation: if you see that the child confidently rides almost on two wheels, gently tell the baby about it, praising him for the fact that he can already ride as an adult.
Important information! It is dangerous to turn on a 4-wheel bicycle at high speed. Because of the high center of gravity, the bike can easily topple over with a child. Therefore, stay close to your child until the little cyclist starts to ride confidently.
Mastering the two-wheeled bike
Now it is time to get on an adult bicycle adapted for the little cyclist. This can happen at age 5 or when the child is going to school. When the child has learned to balance, turn the handlebars and pedal on a four-wheeled bike, you can gradually raise the safety wheels, thus bringing the baby closer to the cherished goal. If you decided to teach a child at age 6 to ride a two-wheeled bike immediately after the three-wheeled, you will need the following advice:
- Choose your own learning methodology and proceed step by step.
- Don’t hold the saddle and handlebars: this helps your child keep his balance.
- You can sit at your side of the bike or run behind your child, holding him by the shoulders.
- Do not command or direct the direction of travel: let your child feel free to ride with pleasure.
- Choose a suitable area to learn. Make sure there are no cars or many people there. Note that a child will quickly get tired of driving in a straight line: he will want to make a loop and check the responsiveness of the steering wheel.
Remember about protection: in the process of learning you can’t do without falls. Encourage your son or daughter, say that mistakes – it’s a useful experience, without which no one has learned to ride a bike. Many parents wonder when they can let their child “free float”, that is, let him ride a bicycle unaccompanied. The child must feel confident in the saddle, turn the wheel, know the basic rules of the road (ride only on special areas or bicycle lanes), deftly bypass obstacles on the road and people, brake at the right moment and not fall down.
Tips for parents
In the process of learning, it is important to take into account the psychology of children: at a certain point, a child may get upset because he or she does not know how to ride a two-wheeled bicycle confidently. The task of parents – to explain that the ability to turn the wheel and pedal – is already a noticeable result and to remind the child that some time ago he was not able to do this. Psychological attitude of parents is also important: your desire to teach your child to ride a bicycle also affects the mood of the baby. If you treat the process of learning so, “for the tick”, then the child will quickly abandon this activity, taking in the hands of a tablet or any other gadget. Keep in mind that today’s children quickly switch their attention from one thing to another without going into details.
Finally, it is worth saying that the bicycle is not just a means of transportation. It is a new stage of development for the child, connected with certain events, places, routes and people. It is a significant contribution to the mental and physical development of your child. So do not put off for a long time buying a bike for the baby. And remember about protection.