For my husband, cycling is like a religion so it came as no surprise when he wanted to teach BooBoo how to ride a bike without training wheels.
I was surprised to learn that some children can achieve bike riding success from as early as 3 years old! Wow, who knew?
You know what else I didn’t know? The best time to teach a child to ride a bike is between 3 – 6 years old based on the following readiness cues:
Your child is well-practiced in steering, pedaling and basic depth-perception on a bike with training wheels.
Your child is interested and confident enough on a bike to attempt independent bike riding (this is a biggie).
Once your child is ready to learn, try these simple tips for bike riding success:
Get a bike that fits. If you’re anything like me, you think small child = small bike. There’s actually more to it than that. Fortunately, there are bike frame size calculators online to help your child achieve a proper fit.
Don’t remove the training wheels just yet. Training wheels are bike stabilizers and balance is key when learning independent bike riding. Begin by raising the training wheels off the ground. Doing so will introduce your child to the sensation of balancing a bike while still offering the security training wheels provide. Getting your child accustomed to maintaining balance and control is the first and most important step in achieving bike riding success.
Hold on. Once the training wheels are removed, you can offer stability by holding onto your child’s bike seat (which is totally hard) or using a Balance Buddy (which is totally easier). Your child will feel much more secure knowing you’re there every pedal of the way.
Let go. Finally, once your child has the confidence and know-how to ride off into the sunset (with proper safety gear of course), be sure to let them know when you plan to let go of the bike. My dad didn’t believe in this philosophy and I still have the road rash to prove it. Discuss how and when you plan to let go and if your child seems riddled with doubt, save the experience for another time. Follow your child’s cues; they’ll let you know when the time is right. Remember, biking should be fun!
Check out these great how-to videos on teaching your child how to ride a bike safely; happy riding!
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