Hands down, the activity my kids do most during the summer is ride their bikes. There are always about 10 bikes on our front lawn as the neighborhood kids come over to play, ride around with my kids, and come home for a much needed drink of water.
We’ve always been a biking family (even in the snow!). TJ (my 8 year old) learned to ride a bike without training wheels the youngest. He was only 3 years old. He could run circles around Nate and Erica. He now is in the phase, “Look at me ride without hands”, to which I have to go outside and watch him ride down the street, without hands, looking back at me the whole time to make sure I’m watching, and not looking ahead at the parked cars he’s about to hit. He’s been way too close to hitting parked cars then I like to remember.
So, how do you teach a toddler to ride without training wheels?
- Make sure the bike is an appropriate size for the child. If they can’t put their feet down, it’s too big.
- Adjust training wheels so they are not touching the ground. To learn balance, children should have to lean a bit each way before the training wheels come into play.
- Once child becomes better at balancing, keep moving training wheels up until they aren’t using them at all (even though they might still be attached to the bike)
- Push starts: If you are running with a child to help him learn to ride, hold lightly by his shoulders, rather than holding onto the bike.
- Push start on a very slight incline, like your driveway. This helps the child get a bit of momentum.
- Even when you are doing everything correctly, some kids are just stubborn! My niece would not learn how to ride for my sister, yet as soon as a babysitter came over and assumed she already knew how to do it, she took off! The power struggle had ended. LOL
New Method To Learning To Ride Bikes:
My neighbor purchased a balance bike for her three year old recently. I had never seen these before, but my first thought was, “Genius!” This bike has no pedals at all. In fact, you use your feet to scoot forward and learn balance and steering. Adding pedals later only makes it so the child can move faster. It’s a great way to teach toddlers how to steer, learn balance, and learn control . Here are some pictures of my 2 year old nephew learning how to use a balance bike. It is slightly too tall for him, but in the next few months it will be perfect!
This bike is intended for children ages 2-5 years old. The maker of this bike is Trikke Tech, and their balance bikes come in pink and blue. I think it will change the way kids learn to ride and make it so they are less frustrated with the process!
Disclaimer *We were given this bike to review from Trikke Tech