Last month we were gifted a balance bike for our nearly 4 year old. He absolutely loved it and it got me thinking back to when Fizz was young and her biking effort completely failing until a friend taught her while playing out this summer. I asked a few friends to put together their tips ready for our new biking adventures!
Natalie – Plutoniumsox.com
“Get them used to a balance bike first then buy a good, light bike. Also start young, they pick it up so easily. My youngest was only a few months past her 3rd birthday and was riding within half an hour of getting on the bike. She rode 11 miles on off road tracks a few days after that and now we all cycle regularly as a family.”
Hayley – www.wingingitwithtwoboys.com
“Our eldest is five next month, and we got him a balance bike when he was three, he’s been practicing getting himself going and then lifting his feet up to glide along so he gets his balance – we’ve just bought him a bike with pedals for his birthday, so we’re hoping he’ll be able to ride it.”
I think this is where we missed a trick with Fizz – she never had a balance bike and because I wasn’t bike confident either teaching her completely failed! Jedi has this chicco balance bike and it’s been so lovely to see is confidence grow as he has used it. The bike is pretty much ready to go from the box (literally 5 minutes to sort so ideal birthday present!) and Jedi was quite good at using it and even went down a few hills! Very brave!
It’s a perfect size for 2-4 years old to get their confidence on a snazzy set of wheels. The colour is lovely and noticeable as well.
Pete – www.householdmoneysaving.com
“My children learned far better on concrete compared to grass. I know it hurts more if you fall off, but pedalling is so much easier and they can concentrate more on their balance.”
Both Fizz and Jedi have been riding on pavement and I think as long as they have a helmet it is ideal for starting to learn how to ride. The flat ground means they gain confidence as well as perfecting their balance before allowing the bumpy road to be part of their experience.
Jess – www.tantrumstosmiles.co.uk
“Wait until they are ready and really show an interest in riding a bike! My son is 8 and has only just learnt but a few days of trying and he was away and riding confidently. We have tried every summer from about the age of 4 and he just hasn’t managed to master it and was getting so frustrated. This year he really wanted to learn so he could ride to school and he picked it up so quickly.”
This is so true! Fizz was 4 when she got her first bike and it just stayed unloved in our hallway! Jedi however had had bike practice at school and it was a class activity that made his interest happen. The balance bike turning up just made him even more enthused!
Charlie – Www.ouralteredlife.com
“Letting go little and often so they know you’re there if they need you. Confidence is key.”
I think allowing space and independence is such a big thing for our children. Their confidence often comes from us allowing them that space to learn and go their own way.
“Literally have written about an amazing method we found. Dexter did it in half an hour doing it this way!”
Ohhh I’ll be trying this once big bikes enter the house again!
And finally this from Hannah (www.hibabyblog.co.uk) – does anyone else remember this too!
“Helmet on and shove them down a hill? 😂 I wouldn’t personally but it’s what my Dad did with us and we all learnt fast. Thrive or die parenting was envogue in the 90s I think.”
Let me know if you have any tips to add!