When Should You Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike?
Parents are often confused about when the best time to teach their first child to ride a bike is. They do not want to start too early and risk putting their child off cycling forever, but if they delay then their child might be missing out on a fun activity. What then is the best time to teach a child to ride a bike, and what type of bike is best?
How to Tell if the Time is Right to Teach Your Child to Cycle
Most kids are ready to learn to ride a bike between the ages of 3 and 7, but some can be taught to ride earlier than that. Likewise, some children are not ready to learn until they are older. Unfortunately, there is no way to know if your child is ready to ride a bike until you actually try it.
If your child is very young, then a balance bike for kids is generally recommended. The folk at Woom tell us that balance bikes are the perfect starter bike for toddlers because they are small and easier to maneuver than larger pedal bikes. The wonderful thing about balance bikes is that they do not have pedals and so allow young children to learn the most difficult skill when it comes to cycling – balance. Once they have mastered balance, they will be ready to move on to a pedal bike. Learning to use pedals is easier when you can already balance a bike.
How Long Does it Take for a Child to Learn to Cycle?
There is no exact timeframe in terms of learning to cycle. Some children will pick it up very quickly, while others will take longer. Confidence and coordination have a lot to do with the amount of time a child takes to master cycling. And as previously mentioned, balance bikes are great for getting younger kids started.
There is actually quite a lot to learn when it comes to cycling. For starters, there is the skill of balancing a bike while steering it in the right direction. Then there is pedaling and braking. Children must also develop their hand-eye coordination and reaction times. Putting all these skills together can be tricky for children. Some will just get it and will be riding their bike unaided after an afternoon of practice. For others, it can be more difficult and they can get frustrated, especially when it comes to balance and steering. Nevertheless, with practice most children will get the hang of cycling in a short space of time.
What is the Best Way to Teach Children to Cycle?
The old way of learning to cycle was to have training wheels attached to a bicycle. These training wheels would keep the bike upright while the child learned how to pedal, steer, and brake. Once these skills were mastered, the training wheels would come off and the child would then have to learn how to balance and keep the bike upright.
Although many people still teach their kids to cycle with training wheels, many will now start with the balance bike. This is because learning to balance the bike first makes it much easier to put all the other skills together when transitioning to a pedal bike.
Deciding when to teach your child to learn how to cycle is a personal one. You know your child best and you should therefore decide when they are ready to begin. With a balance bike though, your child may find it easier to get the hang of cycling at a younger age.