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How to Teach a Child to Ride a Bike: Thoughts on Balance Bikes?

How to Teach a Child to Ride a Bike: Thoughts on Balance Bikes?

I’m wondering what age kids are generally able to start training for and subsequently start riding a two wheeler. Any tips on how to do this? Also, does anyone have experience with balance bikes? The concept seems to make a lot of sense just wonder if they really help. –Mary, Bright Horizons Online Community member

Learning to ride a bike is a childhood rite of passage; it’s a milestone that helps a child develop his self-confidence and is a big step in his independence! Here parents from our Online Community share their best tips on how to teach a child to ride a bike:

Aaron: We have a few kids at our center that have been riding two wheelers without training wheels since late 3 or early 4 and others who are 5 1/2 and can’t even come close. Like most physical skills it depends a lot on the child and their propensity for motor coordination. My daughter is 3.5 and very academically advanced, but one of the clumsiest kids I have ever met so I’ll be happy if her training wheels are off by age 6.  We have a few boys at the center that were walking by age 8 or 9 months who may well be riding by age 3.

Jeremy: The biggest point of advice I can offer to someone who is buying a balance bike for their child is to make sure it’s the correct size. Most websites that sell balance bikes have a sizing chart that can be compared to the inseam size of your child. Make sure the bike fits, otherwise the bike will just sit on the garage floor!

Toya: I agree that the readiness to master a skill like riding a 2 wheeler can depend on the child – their motor skills of course, but perhaps just as much so – their interest level in learning to do this. If your child is expressing interest at a young age, I’d certainly encourage him/her and help them start the learning process (with more support if they are on the younger side due to developmental factors). I think it’s important to encourage the child, but not necessarily push them to learn a skill they are not ready for/not interested in. My son was about 4 when he really started to express an interest in this (mostly from watching peers ride their bikes). Once he got it in his head that he wanted to learn, the process went quite quickly because it was a goal that he really wanted to achieve.

What advice do you have for teaching a child to ride a bike? Share below!

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