Is Your Child Ready To Pedal?
By Michelle Ogilvie
How do you know when it’s time to teach your child to pedal? The most obvious indicator is when they have developed excellent control and confidence on their balance bike. There are a few signs to look out for too, so before you rush off to order a pedal bike run through this checklist first.
Signs they are ready to Graduate:
The basic signs are being able to run, glide, brake and steer but what should you be looking for to know when they have truly mastered these techniques?
We have put together a Ten-point checklist to help you decide if it’s time to move up to the next stage!
These simple manoeuvres listed above all suggest they are ready to pedal. For example, take point number 3. If you find your child is propelling the bike forward but keeping their feet on the ground, this suggests they may not have learnt or be comfortable with the skill of balancing just yet. When they lift their feet they learn to move with the bike and lean with their bodies rather than just pushing the bike along.
Once you can see they have ticked all the boxes on our 10 point checklist, another way to tell is just to watch them riding. Are they good at manoeuvring the bike? Perhaps they are trying to do tricks or starting to run with the bike to increase speed. These all show a higher level of skill when it comes to steering the bike as well as just balancing.
There are many individual cycling instructors and courses across the country offering sessions to learn and perfect all of the skills listed above.
Mini Bikers run Balanceability classes around Leicester for both toddler bikes and pedal bikes. They have a 3 stage training plan to get your child up and wheeling in no time!
Why Should You Be Sure Before Buying A Pedal Bike?
Learning to ride a bike is tricky so it is worth considering if your child is developmentally ready for this progression. Pedalling and steering whilst maintaining balance is massively multitasking for a young child. If your child is struggling it may not be that pedalling is too difficult. It is sometimes the case that whilst they’ve mastered their Balance Bike they don’t quite have the coordination to balance and push the pedals at the same time.
Don’t worry if your child has outgrown their Balance Bike and isn’t quite ready to pedal yet. You don’t need to purchase a bigger Balance Bike, our First Pedal bikes are a fantastic option as a larger Balance Bike, all you have to do is take the pedals off.
Yas, the founder of Mini Bikers, feels that when it comes to riding a pedal bike if they are progressing from a Balance Bike the transition is a lot easier. Children have already mastered the balancing, steering and braking. Just the pedalling left to do!
Don’t Get Rid Of Their Balance Bike Straight Away!
We would recommend holding onto it for a few weeks before passing it onto a sibling or friend. You may find they want to pick it up just to enjoy zooming around whilst they master their new pedal bike. Having it around will help keep them motivated and prevent any loss of enjoyment for cycling if they struggle with their pedal bike at first.
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