Learning how to ride a bike is a key life moment for kids. Your child will never forget the feeling of the first time they pedal their feet and move forward, balancing on nothing but two wheels. We all know that kids don’t jump on a two-wheel bike and start peddling steadily right away. Just like most skills, there are different phases of learning how to ride a bike. It takes some patience to teach your child to ride a bike, but it is a worthy skill to start practicing from a young age!
Read on for some tips on teaching kids how to ride a bike to celebrate World Bicycle Day as a family on June 3!
- Familiarize your child with a bike designed for early learners. These bikes are built like a standard model, however, they don’t have any pedals.
- Children sit on the seat, use their hands to steer the front wheel, and move the bike forward or backward with their own legs.
- There are also bikes that can be steered from the back by an adult. This allows the child to practice peddling without having to steer the bike or balance on their own.
- These practices will help children learn balance and become comfortable with the bike for when their fine motor skills are more developed.
- New bike technology for younger children allows kids to skip the training wheel phase. If your child has been practicing on a bike that doesn’t have pedals, you can slowly introduce a two-wheel bike.
- Go over all the safety protocols with your child, such as checking the tires and breaks, wearing protective gear, and riding in safe areas only.
- Tiptoe and scoot! Before attempting to pedal the bike, have your child use their feet to scoot the bike forward in smooth motions. Help them to concentrate ahead by standing a few yards in front of them and encouraging them to come to you.
- Practice gliding. Encourage your child to glide from one point to another with their feet out to both sides (you should model how to do this so that they can see an example). This will help your child feel comfortable having both feet off the ground for a few seconds at a time. It will also allow them to gain trust in themselves and their ability to balance.
- Repeat tiptoeing and gliding until they are confident and ready to practice peddling!
Start Slowly 🐢
The most important thing to remember as your kid starts to cycle is to take things little by little. Riding a bike requires balance and coordination, and most kids will start out pretty wobbly!
Be patient and guide your child one step, or pedal, at a time.
Begin by showing them the parts of a bike, including the most important ones for riding: the seat, the handlebars, the pedals, and especially the brakes! Knowing how to stop is a necessary skill to ride safely, so be sure to show them how and practice it plenty of times.
Find a Safe Area to Practice 🚸
The best places to learn to ride should be flat, open, and without any dangerous obstacles that can cause injuries if your child falls. Places like parks, empty parking lots, or driveways can be perfect, as long as there are no cars coming in and out.
If you have access to training wheels, these can be a big help when teaching your child the motions of riding a bike–pedaling, steering using the handlebars, and using the brakes.
No training wheels? No problem! You can offer your child extra balance by placing your own hands on the handlebars and back of the seat while they pedal.
Positivity and Extra Gear for Safety 🪖
If your child is scared to try riding, take the time to reassure them. You can have them use elbow and knee pads to protect against any falls—and don’t forget to teach them to always ride with a helmet.
Once your child feels comfortable sitting on the bike and moving forward, the rest is practice, practice, practice! It can feel discouraging to learn such a challenging task, keep your tone positive and encouraging. Remind them that all their hard work will pay off eventually, it’s important not to get discouraged by the falls along the way!
Hop On and Go! 🚴
Biking is more than just fun, it’s also an excellent way to keep both you and your kids on the move! It’s safe on your knees and your family can cover a lot of ground in a short time. As a family, exercise via biking lets you spend time together, stay active, and get some fresh air without it feeling like exercise.
Moving your body is essential for well-being and happiness, and biking gets the job done for the whole family! Teach them to ride and soon you’ll both be pedaling down the road toward new adventures!
Biking with the Lingokids App 💙
Another great way to support your child’s bike riding journey is through Playlearning™! Although it might not seem like it, when children strengthen their fine motor skills with learning apps, those skills transfer over to real-life situations– like riding a bike!
Parents, what tips and tricks do you have for teaching kids how to ride a bike?
Let us know by tagging us on our social media channel!