Teaching your child to ride a bike is a moment that every parent looks forward too. For adults, riding a bike has become like second nature and it’s not something that needs to be thought about.
However, if you take yourself back to the time where you first learned, you may recall having some difficulty. So, when it comes to teaching kids to ride, there are some important factors to consider ensuring you get it right. Although, some kids love to ride on everything and are quick to pick this up. For these children, it might be worth looking at something even more exciting like a hoverboard over at whooopsadaisy.
Here are some tips for helping your child to learn to ride a bike:
Safety Whilst Riding
Safety is the key thing to keep in mind when teaching kids to ride a bike. For starters, ensuring that they have a helmet should be your priority. You will also want to remember fluorescent/reflective clothing for night time and lights on their bikes/helmets too.
Next up, grabbing some training wheels would be a good idea. Since riding a bike is completely new to kids, developing the balance to learn how to ride is one of the toughest parts for them to learn. The training wheels help kids become familiar with how a bike feels but balance bikes are also a great way of teaching children to balance without them becoming reliant on the training wheels for stability. Emmy has training wheels from a young age and took far longer to learn to ride her bike without then than Harry who mainly rode on a balance bike from a young age.
Pick the Right Location to Ride
The environment that you teach kids to ride a bike in is vital. It’s best to find somewhere that kids already know to ensure that they feel comfortable.
Ideally, you’ll want to find an area that has a smooth and flat surface. Furthermore, a space that’s large would also be a good idea. It gives kids the freedom to ride around and learn better.
If you have space in your driveway, great! However, a school or familiar shopping car park could work well too – make sure you only use the car parks when the shops are closed though. We use our local football club car park when it’s non-match days and the barriers are down, meaning the kids can ride and I don’t have to worry about cars speeding around the corner.
Balance & Steering
As mentioned before, balance is one of the most important aspects for kids to nail. After they’ve ridden the bike with the training wheels for a while, you’ll have to remove them and teach kids how to balance on their own.
Have your child sit upright and hold onto the handlebars with you there for support. Then, get them to pedal the bike at a very slow pace, keep holding onto their bike until they have the balance – my advice is to not tell your child you are letting go as this panics them and they fall.
The more practice they get, the faster they’ll be able to go and balance themselves at the same time. Once they’ve nailed that, they can work on their ability to steer the bike. Make sure they’re going at a slow pace and teach them how to move the handlebar to move in different directions.
Pedalling is one of the final processes to learn. This may require you to be on your toes to hold your child with support as they develop their ability to pedal.
As they start to pedal gradually faster, keep your hand on their back to guide them. You can also have another hand on the brake in case they accidentally start moving too quickly.
Learning to pedal will take time and practice. But once they’re able to do it, they can bring all of the above steps into one, and before you know it, they’ll be riding around on their own!