Why are balance bikes so popular with toddlers and pre-schoolers? Cast your mind back, and remember the freedom you felt when you mastered bike riding as a kid?
Maybe you started with training wheels, and gradually they flipped up, and you were able to balance on two wheels. Eventually, you were able to ride to your friend’s house or school as confidence grew. But do you remember the spills you had?
Learning about Balance
I remember thinking how skilled I was on my bicycle one minute, and then the wobbles came before a spectacular crash. Skinned elbows, skinned knees and lots of tears followed. I had lost control while trying to balance, steer and pedal a bike that was slightly too big for me.
It was my seventh birthday when I started learning to ride my two-wheeler. It was a second-hand rusty metal bike with training wheels that I would kick up thinking I didn’t need any extra help. Of course, I did because I continually fell off, losing equilibrium.
Thirty years later, I was terrified when my boys took up riding. As a mum, I worry about my kids hurting themselves more than I worried about falling while pedalling on their bikes. Balance bikes solve this worry. Our kids have the advantage of learning to balance before they have to learn to pedal a bicycle.
Balance Bikes for Stability
An essential skill in cycling is learning to balance on two wheels. Kids are learning to master the technique and positioning that gives stability while moving forward or turning. Learning to balance means learning to ride on two wheels is much easier.
We commonly call them balance bikes, but you hear other names used for them too. Some people may refer to them as pre-bikes, run cycles, pushbikes, glide bikes, toddler bikes, or training bikes, and they are small and lightweight bikes without pedals that allow children to develop balancing skills.
Who can ride Balance Bikes?
Kids 18 months, or even younger if they desire, can learn how to focus their centre of gravity on a balance bike. If they regularly practice riding skills a couple of times a week, their stability and balance dramatically improve. Riding a bike helps kids learn body control.
Once they learn to balance themselves correctly, kids learn to pedal regular bikes with confidence.
The gross motor skills of a child learning to ride balance bikes dramatically improve. They are working out how to balance and steer, while riding is easier without pedals. Pedalling shifts body weight side to side, leading to wobbles, losing direction and becoming unstable. A balance bike is designed to be low to the ground and allows the rider to drop their feet quickly to the ground, steadying themselves not to fall.
Benefits of Balance Bikes
Balance bikes offer many advantages:
- Cycling is an adventurous way for parents and children to explore the local parks.
- Younger children can start learning balance.
- Because of its size and weight, it’s easy for adults to carry.
- Balance bikes encourage free play, imagination and exploration.
- An excellent option for outdoor recreation and exercise.
- It is easy to learn balance on two wheels, as feet can touch the ground quickly.
- Transitioning to a two-wheeler is accessible without needing training wheels.
So, it’s all positive feedback here. What’s stopping you? Check out Kid Mart’s range of balance bikes, and let your child start mastering the riding fun.