Just because it doesn’t have pedals, doesn’t make it any easier. Balance bikes though may look easy, but can be challenging for someone who has never been on a bike before, also the fact that they’re probably 18 months old. However, though it may be challenging and hard to understand, at first, it will increase and develop your child’s steering, coordination, balance, and leaning. So, if they’re having some problems adapting to the balance bike, here are some tools to get them happily riding!
Show by example
If they’re slightly panicked about getting on their balance bike, we understand. Learning how to ride a bike isn’t easy. So, we suggest showing them. You can use their bike (don’t put all your body weight on it) or use your own bike as an example. By watching you ride a bike, your child may become more at ease and understanding of the concept of bike riding. Make sure to be positive and show your child that you’re having fun and that this is a positive experience.
This may be the hardest part. Of course, you want your child to get on their balance bike, but it may not happen at the pace that you want it at. So, be patient. They’re learning something completely new and undiscovered, they will need time to feel the bike and how to approach it. They may take a couple days to even get to the point of sitting on it, which is normal. Some children may try gliding within a day or two, or may take them a couple months – every child is different. If you’re patient and positive, they will be more relaxed and willing to try their new bike out.
Teach them about the bike
Before buying the bike, show them YouTube clips of children riding balance bikes and having fun. Get them comfortable with the idea of balance bikes and that other child are having fun riding their bikes. Explain to them how the balance bike works and the different phases they will go through – use YouTube clips to help you. Get them involved in the purchasing of the balance bike. What color, what design they would like, that way they will be excited about receiving their balance bike, after all, the whole process of getting it.
Soft learning space
When they receive their balance bike, they’ll want to take it out for a ride. They will tip over a couple times, which is completely normal. For the first couple of times, make sure they try their bike out on a soft surface such as grass or carpet. This will make their falls soft and prevent them from developing a fear of riding their balance bike.
Bike riding is fun! However, we all remember our first time riding a bike – it was terrifying. Balance bikes make it easy by removing the pedals, however, your child will still need to learn how to balance and coordinate themselves. That being said, you can make this learning experience enjoyable by following these steps.