Riding a bike without training wheels is a big deal for most kids, but how do you know when they’re ready?
As the parent, it is your job to help your child learn this skill, but you might have questions of your own. If you think your child is ready to take off the training wheels, here are a few tips for teaching them how to ride a bike.
How to Teach a Child to Ride a Bike
Use a Balance Bike
Before taking off the training wheels, you’ll want to make sure your child knows how to balance on the bike. The best way to do this is to invest in a balance bike. A balance bike looks just like a normal bike except it has no pedals. Since there aren’t any pedals, your child will use his or her feet to push the bike along, lifting their feet as they get moving. This lets kids focus more on balancing the bike rather than trying to make it go. However, if you don’t want to spend money on a separate bike, you can try taking the pedals off your child’s existing bike.
Take the Training Wheels Off
Once you know your child is ready, it’s time to take the training wheels off. For this step, you might have to experiment a little. Some children learn to ride their bike better if you take only one training wheel off, while others are ready for you to take both off at once. There are pros and cons to both methods, so you will simply have to choose what’s right for your child. If you choose to take only one training wheel off, you run the risk of your child learning to lean to one side; however, this option can be a little safer since they can ‘catch’ themselves with that wheel. Taking both training wheels off at once can cause your child to fall more frequently, but it can also force them to pick up the skill a little quicker.
Choose Your Riding Surface
When you first take off the training wheels, choose your riding surface carefully. A great place to start is in the grass on a small hill if there’s one close by. The hill will help your child gain momentum, and the grass will be soft for when they fall. After they’ve gotten the hang of riding in the grass, you can transition to a harder surface, such as the driveway and the sidewalk. Pretty soon, your child will be zooming around the neighborhood!
Of course, it is important to have proper safety equipment on when riding a bike. Make sure your child wears a helmet every time they ride a bike. When taking the training wheels off, my kids also wanted gloves and knee/elbow pads. They gave them a sense of security in case of a fall.
How do you help a child learn to ride their bike without training wheels?