As a parent, you do the best that you can to spend more time with your baby. For sure, you are happiest when you see your kid enjoying life to the fullest. You cannot help but have a genuine smile on your face when you hear your child laughing out loud.
Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is still going on. You may deem it safer for your child to stay at home and just be content with their toys.
However, your child also needs to stay active and feel the grass beneath their shoes from time to time. So if you want to create more happy memories and bonding sessions with your child, why not buy a kid’s balance bike and teach your kid how to ride it?
Dive deep into this article and learn more about a balance bike for a toddler.
The Benefits of Balance Bikes for Toddlers
Balance bikes are also known as gliders or striders. They are designed for toddlers, and a child can begin riding a balance bike as early as 12 to 18 months. They are extremely popular in Europe, especially in Holland, the home of many professional cyclists.
Balance bikes are like bicycles minus the pedals. You might be wondering why pedals are removed from balance bikes. The reason behind this no-pedal approach is to allow toddlers to learn how to balance and steer. Once their balance and steering become more stable, they can have a smoother transition to riding a pedal bike.
Aside from improving the balance and steering of your toddler, here are the other benefits of learning how to ride balance bikes:
- Mastering one skill at a time. Introducing your toddler to a bike all of a sudden can be exhausting for them. Toddlers tend to move their feet in a certain direction while applying different speeds. Thus, balancing is the very skill that a toddler should first master for an easy transition to a real bike.
- The power to control. Stability is one of the main goals of a balance bike. As your toddler uses it, they will have more control over where or how fast they want to go. You will observe that children love it fast, so this process is an excellent introduction to the world of cycling!
- Lots of promising developments. Balance bikes hone children’s focus and provide many developmental benefits like spatial awareness, motor planning, motor coordination, and vestibular training.
- Sense of confidence. Tripping and falling are the usual obstacles toddlers may encounter while learning the balance bike. To remove their frustration and fear, you should guide them and assure them that it is okay to trip or fall off. As they gradually improve, they will gain confidence and the power to keep using the balance bike.
- More quality bonding time. Teaching your kid to ride a balance bike gives you the opportunity to create fun and lasting memories with them. Also, you get the chance to know your child better.
Balance Bike or Tricycle?
When contrasting a balance bike and a tricycle, the first difference you will see is the number of wheels. A balance bike has two wheels, while a tricycle has three.
The number of wheels aside, their function is the same. Both a balance bike and a tricycle are designed so that children can have fun while slowly learning to transition to the real deal: riding a bicycle.
A tricycle balances on three wheels so that children can focus more on pedaling. If you have a child aged 2 to 4, you may get a tricycle with a parent handle that allows you to control the tricycle even when your child is mounted.
With two wheels and no pedals, a balance bike is designed to train your child in balancing and attaining motor coordination. It is a good thing to start your child on a balance bike as early as 12 months up to the age of 2 or 3. Then, you can buy a tricycle so that they can learn how to pedal.
How to Teach a Toddler to Ride a Bike
It is bonding time! You have to be hands-on if you want your child to have a great deal of fun while learning.
We know you are eager to see your child ride a balance bike. Still, remember these essential tips as you teach them.
- Allow your child to play with the balance bike. You don’t know if your child will take to the balance bike. However, their new plaything will attract them and arouse their curiosity. Get them familiar with the balance bike by allowing them to look at it and touch it. You can also condition the kid by playing with a miniature motorcycle or bike or show videos where riders enjoy riding bicycles.
- Place your child gently on the saddle. Assure them that everything is okay by smiling. Then, position their hands on the handlebar and their feet on the ground. Use the balance bike frequently, and then let your child ride it without your support in the following sessions.
- Rock the balance bike slowly. By rocking it, you give your child an idea of how the balance bike works. One common thing toddlers share is that they are impatient. Once your child gets the drill, the toddler will want you out of the way so that they can move freely.
- Be patient and don’t go too far from your child. When your child turns you away, do not take offense. Just let them enjoy riding the balance bike on their own. However, make sure to stay close and alert so that you can catch or support your child in case they fall.
Remember to frequently use the toddler balance bike to let your child improve faster. Before long, you will see that from just merely sitting on and walking the bike, your toddler will then run, balance, and glide by raising their feet once the momentum is right.
Things to Consider When Buying a Balance Bike
To make learning fun and exciting for your child, you need to consider some things when you purchase a balance bike. Keep these tips in mind when selecting the right balance bike for your child.
- Ensure that the seat height of the balance bike is right for your child. When your child rides on the balance bike, their feet must be safely planted to the ground and able to push with ease.
- Examine the tires. Buy a balance bike with air tires because they are light and easy to maneuver. Tires about 12 inches wide are perfect for a small rider, while 14-inch tires are perfect for a tall one.
- Select the material that you find appropriate for your baby. You can choose from aluminum, steel, and wood. Their prices depend on the brand, but the cheapest is the wooden balance bike.
- Do not forget to buy a set of protective gear. It should include a helmet, gloves, knee pads, and goggles.
Assembling a Balance Bike
You want the best for your kid, and that includes keeping your toddler safe. Aside from always being at their side, it is important that you properly assemble the balance bike.
Luckily, a balance bike is very easy to assemble. Here are the steps you have to follow when assembling a balance bike.
- After unboxing, get the manual and read it carefully.
- Make sure that all the components are there, including the saddle, wheels, handlebar, nuts, and bolts.
- Get the front wheel. It is usually attached to a metal stem.
- Connect the front wheel to the frame where the rear wheel is attached.
- Then, connect the handlebar. For aesthetic purposes, make sure to properly install the pieces that will conceal the connection.
- Place the saddle and tighten the nuts and bolts using a screwdriver.
- Check the manual again and see if you followed the steps and installed all the pieces correctly.
- Test the balance bike before letting your child use it.
If you have a spacious home where your child can play, we strongly recommend trying the balance bike within your property. However, if you want your child to enjoy the balance bike outside your home, make sure to bring your toddler to a place that’s not so crowded.
Do not forget to don your kid with protective gear such as a helmet, biking gloves, knee and elbow pads, and rubber shoes. Wearing gear protects your child from unpredictable outcomes and accidents, and it also gives them the impression of riding a real bike.
Teaching your toddler to ride a balance bike is a great way to spend time with them. It allows you to witness their development and keep them healthy, giving you the utmost joy and fulfillment. Using a balance bike for a toddler not only prepares them for a real bicycle, but it also helps them become a disciplined and responsible person.
Is finding the best balance bike for your toddler giving you a hard time? Check out the Ashtonbee baby balance bike!
Ashtonbee’s balance bike aims to develop your toddler’s balance and confidence. It is a starter balance bike for kids up to 24 months.
The balance bike is made of steel, has no pedals, and comes with a 135-degree steering limit. It is easy to set up, and you don’t need tools to assemble it. With a very quick assembly process, you will have more time to see your baby happily riding it while building the skills and confidence in transitioning to a pedal bike.
Buy now and create more beautiful memories with your toddler!