Kids love riding the bicycle. It is one of their favorite sports during childhood. They spend the majority of their childhood riding the bike and mastering their riding skills.
From riding the bike to the park to racing with their friends, they enjoy every second of it.
But it might be hard for the kids to fully enjoy riding from the start because first, they have to learn how to ride.
Now, teaching your kid to ride a bike is a hassle in itself. It takes a lot of time and a lot more patience.
Many parents find it hard to deal with their kids on a bike. So, they choose to ease the process right from the beginning.
And, what is the best way to do so?
Simple, Balance Bikes!
The right age for kids to start riding is between 3-5 years. But many parents choose to get their toddlers familiar with riding through scooters, tricycles, and balance bikes.
In my opinion, balance bikes are the best ones for toddlers to get the basics of riding down before they sit on a regular pedal bike.
Here are 9 reasons why:
1. Kids Get to Start Early
Letting a toddler start with a balance bike has an undeniable advantage over directly introducing them to a regular bicycle.
When the kids see a pedal bike for the first time, it might seem like a puzzle to them. They might think of it as an impossible task to tackle.
Without any prior training, balancing might seem unimaginable to anyone, not only just kids.
With balance bikes, kids will have an idea about what they are going to face. They will not be as scared and nervous anymore. By the age of three, when the kids first touch a bicycle, they might even be ready to ride without any help.
2. Escape the Risk of Grave Injuries
While learning something, there is always failure before success. There is no question that your kid will fall at least once in the process of learning to ride.
Even with training wheels on, it does not guarantee complete safety. Many kids tend to sustain severe injuries from a fall while learning to ride.
The risk of an injury falls to less than 10% when your child has been practicing on balance bikes. Any falling off due to unbalance they are to face in the beginning will be on a balance bike.
And on balance bikes, the seats are lower to the ground by design. So, while riding, if a balance bike starts to tip, your kid can plant his/her feet on the ground with ease and prevent falling.
Since balance bikes are low to the ground without pedals, even if your kids fall off, they will only sustain some minor scratches and nothing more.
And, when the kids’ transition to regular pedal bikes, they already become the master of balancing. So the chances of a severe fall are zero to none.
3. Build Coordination and Control
Hand-eye coordination and hand-leg coordination are the essential things to master to ride a bike smoothly. A beginner rider cannot coordinate the movement of the bicycle seamlessly.
In hand-eye coordination, the kids will have to be able to ride looking straight ahead and brake instantly when necessary without looking downward or panicking. It takes a lot of practice to be able to do so.
The kids can get all the practice they need on a balance bike. On balance bikes, the kids learn scooting first, then coasting, balancing, and finally turning.
So, when your kid can do all of these activities on a balance bike skillfully without any hitch, you know it’s time to get them a pedal bike.
They will be able to control and maneuver the regular bicycle in no time at all.
4. No Need for Training Wheels
Since your kid has already gotten the hang of balancing and coordination on a balance bike, there is no use of training wheels anymore.
Training wheels are not very effective anyway. Instead of learning to balance faster, kids become more reliant on training wheels and degrade their progress.
The training wheels only serve as an extra appendage to the bike.
The transition from a balance bike to a regular bicycle is only a minute to an hour process.
Your kids will be capable of riding on a bike within a few hours without ever needing training wheels.
5. Boost in Self-Confidence
Your kid will already know much about a bicycle and can already balance without ever touching a regular bike, thanks to balance bikes. They will not be as nervous or scared as they would have been for the first time.
A pedal bike will not be something completely new or unseen for them. The kids will already be confident enough to ride it. You probably will not even have to counsel them to prepare them mentally.
Especially with toddlers, anything they do is for the first time and get excited with even the littlest things. So, we can only imagine how excited and happy they will be while learning to ride.
It will make them confident enough to do more and learn more.
6. Kids Get more Invested in Outdoor Exploration
Playing outdoors and being in nature are necessary for a child’s growth and development. Kids need to spend more time outside in the fresh air. Riding a bike outdoors, they can kill two birds with a stone!
The toddlers can spend more time in nature and learn to ride at the same time.
Instead of cycling in the driveway or parking lots, you can take the kids to a park or hiking trail to learn and gain experience.
So, they can learn to turn corners, avoid pits and falls, coast down small hills, and ride around obstacles.
With a lot of practice on balance bikes, the kids won’t be too afraid to ride out in public on their regular bicycles.
It is way better to get the toddlers out on a balance bike rather than letting them get hooked on television and cartoon too much.
7. Easier on Parents and Foster Parent-Child Bond
Balance bikes are small enough to carry them around for parents. Letting your kids scoot and coast by themselves on a balance bike makes them learn balancing easily.
So, you can cut down on the hours that you had to keep running after them holding the bicycle. It saves you from the exhaustion of a whole day’s worth of work, not to mention the back pain.
Many families love to go cycling together. Even if your toddler does not know about cycling, they can still coast around for a while on their balance bike on your family cycling trip.
Kids love to do physical activities with their elders. Letting them do those activities with you and not feel left out brings the family closer.
8. Lightweight and Cost-Effective
Toddlers won’t be able to pull the weight of tricycles and scooters for too long. They will get tired faster and might give up. But balance bikes are lighter without the extra weight of the pedals.
Your kid can ride longer distances or coast up and down little hills without getting much tired.
Parents have to spend a ridiculous amount of money on toys for kids every year. The toys do not contribute much to the toddler’s physical and mental development other than serving as a distraction when they start crying.
A good quality balance bike lasts for years. It does not only become part of your older kid’s childhood, but the younger ones can ride on the same bicycle.
Balance bikes are cheap in the first place. You can sell them online if your kid has grown out of them, but they are still in good condition.
9. Exercise and Fun
Coasting on a balance bike helps toddlers develop the muscles on their legs. Cycling is also very effective for development in height. Many kids already show good athletic ability with the many tricks they can perform on balance bikes.
The little ones get to build up their stamina on balance bikes, from coasting for a short distance to going for a couple of miles quickly.
Establishing good coordination and control also leads to the kid’s mental development.
Kids do not view riding bicycles as a hassle or exercise but simply as fun. It is something every kid loves to do. They love racing with their friends or coasting down a hill.
By getting them balance bikes, you can let them start with this fun more early.
There is no harm in getting a balance bike for your toddler. If anything, it makes them more excited and invested. They look forward to riding a pedal bike even more.
If you are thinking of buying a balance bike for your toddler, I have few articles about balance bikes, their reviews, and my opinion about them. Please read from the links below:
- Best Balance Bikes under $100
- Best Balance Bikes under $200
- How to encourage your toddler to ride a Balance Bike?
- Are Balance Bikes worth it?
So, get a good quality balance bike for your toddler quickly. The sooner, the better!