Teaching Toddlers To Ride A Bike

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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.

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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?

  1. Make sure the bike is an appropriate size for the child.  If they can’t put their feet down, it’s too big.
  2. 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.
  3. 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)
  4. 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.
  5. Push start on a very slight incline, like your driveway.  This helps the child get a bit of momentum.
  6. 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!

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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

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156 Comments

I’d love to win! My three year old is ready to learn. We removed the pedals on a regular
12 inch bike for the older two, but the bike is heavier.

My 3 year old would love this bike. And it looks like such a great way to teach him how to ride. Thanks for posting your teaching tips.

My son is turning 3 in October, this would be the perfect gift for him, as he loves to be outside on his trike & is FASCINATED when bigger kids zoom by on their bikes.

I saw something similar in Canada and thought it was an awesome idea! I would love to win one for my two youngest boys (4 and 2). Also, thanks for all the tips! My 6 yr old is still learning to ride w/out training wheels.

I’d love to win a new bike for my son! He is almost 6 and still can’t ride without training wheels (I think his bike is too big for him)! Using a balance bike would be a quick and easy way to teach him how to balance before trying to tame the difficult skill of riding! Genius!

I would love to win this bike! My son is 20 months and I’ve been told by another Mom that her son started using his balance bike just after his 2nd birthday. My son is tall and has been walking/running for a long time, so he might be able to use it even sooner than that. I love the idea of the balance bike!

My 3 yr old loves to ride the tricycle they have at our church playground. I think she is ready to have one of her own 🙂

We really really could use this bike, I have a six year old that can’t ride, a four year old that never tried and a almost two year old….so we have plenty of need and want for an item like this!

I added a balance bike to my son’s Amazon “wish list” a few weeks ago. We first saw one at his friend’s house and he just loved it.

My two-year-old almost got hit by a truck because he wanted to follow his older brothers and couldn’t steer well enough to stay in the driveway. I could use a bike like this!

My three year old is being so stubborn and won’t pedal. First, she keeps pushing back on the pedals to make them break and then she struggles pushing the pedals over the heighest part. this would be perfect.

I’d LOVE to win this for my son who will be 3 next month. On the “gifts to get him” list is a bike with training wheels, but if we won this, it would be amazing and would probably be best to start learning on since we have a rock/gravel driveway and it’d be nearly impossible for him to learn to ride a bike on crazy street.

I desperately need one of these for my Toddler. He recently received a small bike with training wheels for his birthday and he just cannot figure out those pesky pedals!

I love your blog and I have to say this giveaway is one of the greatest ever! My daughter would seriously benefit from a bike like this.

My child is 2.5 years and picking up other kids balance bikes at the park and around the neighborhood to try them out. We NEED to get him one soon before he steals one. We would love to win!

Spencer would love this bike. He tries to do that concept with is tricycle but is always banging his shins against the pedals. At this point he has no interest in actually pedaling, so this bike would be awesome for him!!

I want one of these so bad! We are in the middle of teaching our 6 year old( I know late in the game) and our almost 4 year old…it is challenging.

I have never heard of a balance bike, and do believe it is a most genius idea. My daughter will be 2 in October, and I can’t wait until next year (spring/summer) when she will get to go riding with the rest of the family. This bike will help get her on her way.

I want one! we used one for my older two sons, but gave it away as we thought we were done having kids. now that #3 is just about old enough, i’d love a new one. it worked miracles for my older boys! they never used training wheels at all!

I have never heard of this bike; it sounds awesome! We are currently trying to teach our 5 year old to go without his training wheels and his little sister is starting to learn as well.

My three year old just got a tricycle for his birthday. I don’t think he is ready for a two wheeled bike yet, he is just getting the hang of peddling. It would be cool to win though.

Awesome bike! I have seen them around as we have gone to the park, and my tot always tries to run and get on them. It would be great if we could avoid that power struggle!

This would be so fun for my almost three year old. She always see’s the big kids on their bikes and wants one of her own. This would be a great way to teach her how to balance for when she does get one!

I would love to win one of these for my little munchkins (currently almost 3 and 19 months). This would make teaching them to ride so much easier! Thanks for the chance!!!

I’d love it win a balance bike! My friend’s two-year-old has one and just learned how to ride a regular two-wheeler. They are awesome!

I just saw a neighbor boy riding one of these yesterday. I think it would be awesome for my 2 year old (actually the 2 and 5 year old would fight)! What a fun giveaway! Thanks!!!!

I don’t recall how I found your blog, but I love it! My niece just turned 3 and my son is 1. I can’t wait until they chase each other down the block on their bikes!

oh this would be so nice. my little guy is way past due to start on a bigger bike and this would be the right thing for him!

Would love to give one of these bikes a try with my 2 and 4 y.o.- niether one is riding a bike yet… maybe this is just the thing!

The balance bikes are great. My oldest first “biked” on a balance bike and when we got him a pedal bike when he was 4.5 y.o., he easily picked up how to do it – he was riding on his own in literally a few minutes (never used training wheels). My 3 y.o. is currently on the balance bike and it is getting pretty worn out, and I still have a baby who will need one…so we’d love to win one! 🙂

This is such a nice giveaway! My neighbour has a similar bike and my 2 year old son loves to push it. We were thinking of buying him one, but hopefully we win it :).

This is oh so perfect for my son who will be two in December. Bikes are his thing, whenever he sees one in a store his attention goes straight to that section in an instance.

I’ve got three kids under five right now (the six year old loves to bike), so I think we could put one of these to good use.

Would LOVE to get this bike for our 4 year old son. We’ve been researching and balance bikes seem to be the right choice…at least for us!