Did you know that 70% of all United States children between the ages of 5 and 14 know how to ride a bike?
Learning to ride a bike is both an important formative experience for a child and also a helpful means of socializing and transportation as they grow up.
If you’re a new parent, then you may be wondering the best way to learn how to teach your child to ride a bike.
There is no shortage of advice on the internet, but in this article, we’ve boiled it all down into a helpful guide. Learn these tips and get your children riding in no time at all.
First Prepare Your Child to Ride a Bike
Not every child is ready to ride a bike — that’s why children start learning at a different age. You should make sure your child is old enough to handle some scrapes and bruises because even the best riders fall sometimes.
You can also help prepare your child by letting them ride tricycles. This can give them the feel of riding a bike at a young age. Alternatively, electric motorcycles are three-wheel devices for children.
However, they look like they have two wheels. The product’s fun design and added speed are enough to get your child excited about riding a bike at a young age.
If you want to find the best electric motorcycle for your kid make sure you take into account their weight and age. Also, be sure you get comprehensive kids bike reviews before you buy. Some products may have been recalled or may no longer be suitable under current regulations. As a first stop, we like Kids Ride Wild. Its a product review and aggregator site, which is geared towards parents who want to buy bikes or other wheeled vehicles for their children.
Before you begin teaching, you need to make sure that your child’s bike is adequately adjusted. Lower the seat so that your child can sit up straight, but with a small bend in their knees. Next, remove the training wheels, if you have any.
Also, make sure that you properly inflate the tires on your child’s bike — you don’t want a blow out to occur. Finally, make sure that your child always wears a helmet when they ride. Test that the protective device is secure before you begin riding.
How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike With Without Pedals
You don’t want to dive into bike riding with pedals — it will overwhelm your child. Instead, teach them some fundamental positioning and balance skills on their bike.
You can remove the pedals on most bikes, so make you remove them so they don’t get in the way while your child learns. First, practice getting on and off the bicycle.
Once your child is comfortable on their bike you can practice some basic scooting and gliding techniques. Have your child take a seat on the bike and scoot back and forth across a smooth, safe service.
Ideally, you want to find someplace like tennis, basketball or school recess court. During this process, you want to make sure they’re taking long strides instead of short steps that can shuffle their feet.
You can also teach them to push off with both feet and glide. However, remember that they should keep their feet off the pedals while they glide. Once they feel comfortable gliding, set up a simple obstacle course so they can practice simple turning techniques.
Familiarize Your Child With the Pedals and Brakes
If your child can glide with both feet off the ground, make effective turns and look ahead of themselves while they ride, then they’re ready for pedals. Reinstall them if you took them off for practice.
Next, teach your child where the pedals are and how it feels to position your feet on them. A good way to show this is by holding the bike up for you child by firmly gripping the handlebars.
Let your child get on the bike and practice taking their feet on and off the pedals — more familiarity will lead to fewer falls. Next, you want to teach your kid how to use the breaks before they start pedaling.
This step depends on what type of brake system their bike comes with: coaster brakes or hand brakes. If they have coaster brakes, then continue holding the bike and let them practice push back on them.
Tell them to get a good feel for the amount of pressure you place on the brakes. With hand brakes, you can have your kid walk alongside the bike while testing how many fingers they need to apply the necessary pressure.
How to Teach Your Child to Ride a Bike With Pedals
Now they’re ready to start pedaling! Many times when you see parents teaching kids to ride bikes it involves the adult holding on the back for balance. Try not to do this method if you can when your child starts pedaling.
They need to learn that they need to balance themselves — after all, they can’t always rely on you. It will also help build their confidence since they did it entirely on their own.
We recommend starting with one foot firmly on the ground and the other on a raised pedal. Tell your child to press down hard on the front pedal. This kick will give the bike the forward momentum it needs to start moving.
They can also try scooting or pushing off — though it’s easy for them to lose their balance this way. Once your child gets over the initial excitement of pedaling, then it’s time for them to practice turning.
Have them loop around in large figure eight circles so they can get the feel of wide turns. Once they feel comfortable letting them move on to smaller circles so they can understand the adjustments needed for tight turns.
Need More Parenting Advice? Keep Reading Kids Ain’t Cheap
We hope this article helped you learn how to teach your child to ride a bike. Like many aspects of parenting, teaching your child how to operate a bike can be a rewarding experience — but only if done properly.
If you push your child too hard, then the experience can quickly turn traumatic. Luckily, Kids Ain’t Cheap offers plenty of advice on how to give your child the best life possible.
If you have any other questions about parenting, make sure you check out our full range of topics.