How to teach your child to ride a balance bike quickly and simply
How to Ride a Balance Bike
Balance bikes are great for teaching children to learn to ride a bike for the first time. In contrast with bikes with training wheels, they are pedal-less and break-less. Because they don't require pedaling or braking, balance bikes allow children to learn how to push off, balance, and steer before introducing the other two complicated steps. This way, when they are ready for a regular bike, they are already confident in their coordination abilities.
Preparing to Ride the Bike
Show the different parts of the bike to your child.Explain they sit on the seat facing forward. Show them the handle bars and explain that's where their hands go.
- If the bike has a break, walk with you child alongside the bike and have them practice squeezing the break.
Fit your child with a helmet.Explain to them that it's necessary to wear a helmet so their head is protected if they fall. Make sure the helmet fits snugly and the straps are tightened against their chin.
Adjust the saddle.Have your child stand with the bike between their legs. The saddle height should be set to where they can sit on the bike and both of their feet are flat on the ground.
Lean the bike toward your child and swing their leg over the top.Have them stand next to the bike and, standing on the foot furthest away from the bike, lift the other foot up and over the bike seat. Their food should land on the other side of the bike.
Sit on the seat with both feet flat on the ground.Hold the handle bars to stabilize the bike as your child leans back to sit on the seat. Then, have them grasp the handle bars.
- Your child should not have to be lifted up onto the seat.
Riding the Bike
Walk while sitting on the bike.Have your child to walk as they normally do while also sitting on the bike. This will allow them to get comfortable with the feeling of moving forward on the bike while moving at a slow pace.
- Make sure your child is looking forward instead of their feet. They need to learn to watch where they are going to steer in the right direction. It helps to have someone standing up ahead of the child on the path for the child to focus on.
Use one foot to push off from a stationary position.Lift the foot off of the ground. Extend the leg out in front of the body and place the foot down on the ground out in front. Push off the foot.
- Using a flat road or sidewalk when your child starts out will ensure they don't pick up too much speed on hills.
- You may hold onto your child to help stabilize them. However, do not hold the handle bars. Your child needs to get used to steering on their own.
Alternate using both feet to continue pushing the bike forward.Go back and forth between putting the right and left leg on the ground and pushing forward. Make sure the push is strong enough to where the bike does not come to a stop.
Hold both legs off the ground and glide forward.Once your child has reached a fast enough speed, about 5 mi (8.0 km), lift both legs out in front of the body so they do not touch the ground. Allow your child to glide along while steering the bike.
- Feel free to walk or jog alongside your child in the beginning to make them feel more comfortable. However, once your child has gained more confidence, allow them to go on their own.
- Tell your child to "push, push, glide." This is an easy direction they can repeat to themselves
Slow down and come to a complete stop.Help your child learn how to decrease their speed to be able to stop. If the bike has break, walk alongside your child and demonstrate how to squeeze the break.
- If the bike does not have a break, show your child how to decrease the number of steps they take to slow to a stop. Using a path that starts on shallow slope downward and then slopes upward. The upward slope will help the bike slow naturally.
- Remind your child that if they feel they are going too fast, all they need to do is slow down enough to put both feet on the ground.
Video: Teach Your Kid To Ride A Bike - How To Ride A Balance Bike
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