Disclosure: We aren’t being compensated for this post on teaching your child to ride a bike, however, if you purchase through one of our links, it is an affiliate link. Thanks! This is also a guest post written by my husband, Bobby.
Riding a bike is one of those rites of passage and life skills that all kids should learn. Being health-conscious, we recognize how important being active is for children. Riding around on bikes is also a prime social activity for neighborhood kids. We thought we would share what we learned along the way.
Heather and I invested the time into our daughter and now she can ride around the cul-de-sac while we sit in a chair under a tent in the driveway. (This last bit being a bonus tip: if you have a beach tent, set it up in the front yard or driveway. You can sit in a chair or on a blanket and get work done in the shade, while also keeping an eye on the little ones.)
To use the cliché “life-hack”, we found a great trick to teach our daughter how to ride her bike. EK was started off using training wheels, but when we took them off, she wasn’t getting the hang of it. She struggled to balance and pedal at the same time. She had become dependent on the training
wheels and was leaning to the sides way too much. If we ran along beside her for support, she leaned into us. What finally worked to teach her balance? We removed the pedals!
We made sure her feet could comfortably touch the ground while sitting on the seat (had to lower it a bit) and then taught her to push the bike along with her feet. This forced her to keep her balance while
simultaneously allowing her to prevent falls by being able to simply stand up. She would go to a higher part of the street and then coast down while she balanced and “steered”. After we took the pedals off, it was only a few days before she was kicking along and able to lift her feet up for extended periods of time. At that point, we knew she was ready. Going down a slight hill allowed her to maintain speed and she was able to balance indefinitely.
Once we put the pedals back on, she was able to quickly master the age-old skill of riding a bike. That’s it. We went from struggling to teach her balance to a professional cyclist in just a few days. Some companies actually sell balance bikes to help train this very skill. I wish we had known how valuable one of these would be, we would have started it on it a long time ago and skipped training wheels!
**** EK already had a bike, so all we had to do was remove the pedals temporarily. And of course, EK’s bike is Disney Frozen themed!***
Related: Running with Kids