Want to know how to teach your kid to pedal a bike? Read on….
Keeping in mind the benefits of bike riding for young kids, it is no surprise that it is the best outdoor exercise. But how do you teach your young one to pedal a bike? If you use the right teaching method, you can teach your child this fun and easy skill in less than an hour! Keep in mind that young children have no patience; if they can’t master a skill instantly, they will most likely give up. Thus, you need to use an effective and easy pedaling method to provide your child with a fun bike riding experience!
Mentioned below are a few easy and fun tips and tricks to help you teach your kid how to pedal a bike.
How to Teach Your Kid to Pedal a Bike
- Introducing your Child to pedaling
Show your child the bike. Introduce them to its different parts and let him/her get comfortable with them. Then, let your child push the pedals with his/her hands to let them see how the pedals and wheels work. We recommend holding the bike up when doing this so that your child can easily see how pedaling works.
- Knowing if your kid is read to pedal
Is your child ready to pedal? This is the first question you should ask yourself. Some children are naturally physically coordinated enough to start pedaling a bike at a very young age, i.e., 2 years. Other kids, however, may need more time to learn this skill. Start teaching your child the art of pedaling between the ages of 2-6 based on their abilities. Sometimes all you need to do is give your child some time to grow up and sharpen his skills!
- Build a Trainer
Trainers are the best way to introduce your child to pedaling. They will not have to focus on balancing, steering, starting and stopping; their sole focus will be on pedaling.
Trainers support the front tire while lifting the rear wheel off the ground to allow your child to pedal without propelling the bike forwards.
You can build a trainer using the following:
- Toy blocks: Stack some similar-sized toy blocks on top of each other to build a quick trainer. Position the bike appropriately on the stack of toy blocks to lift the rear tire off the ground. You will need to hold the bike to balance it and prevent it from toppling over. This method works on any bike and is the best for teaching your young one to pedal quickly!
- Training Wheels Trainer: If your child’s bike has training wheels, use them to build a trainer. Set the training wheels to their lowest setting lift them off the ground using bricks. You will also need to support the bike in this method to make the method more secure.
- Balance Buddy Trainer: A balance buddy is a handlebar that you will attach to your young one’s bike’s rear axle. It will allow you to prevent the bike from toppling over if your child pedals the wrong way. The only downside is that as the bike propels forward, you need to run along with it (this could also be an upside for parents who want to get in some exercise but can’t find enough time).
- Seat Adjustments
Another important thing to keep in mind is how low the bike seat is how low the seat of the bike is set. It should be low enough so that your child’s feet touch the ground without any problem or struggle. This will ensure that they can stop the bike easily without falling over.
- Bike Riding
Once your child has mastered the skill of pedaling, it is now time to let them ride the bike on their own. Make sure that you do not let your child start pedaling while it is standing still. Instead, give the bike a little push until the bike is moving fast enough to be stable. This will make pedaling a lot easier for your child as they won’t have to overcome inertia forces (the forces that prevent an object at rest from moving). Plus, with the bike already in motion, balancing will be a lot easier as the bike will not fall over if your child misses a stroke or two.
- Using the toes to start Riding
In the beginning, ask your child to place their feet behind the pedals and use their toes to push the bike forward until it is moving fast enough to make balancing the bike easy. As mentioned above, this makes riding bikes a lot easier for young learners.
- Converting the Pedal Bike into a Balance Bike
If your child is struggling quite a lot, you should consider turning the pedal bike into a balance bike by removing the pedaling wheels. This will allow your child to get used to the larger size and build of the pedal bike. Allow your child to coast for long distances until they get comfortable with it. Once they can coast the bike easily, put the pedals back in and allow your child to start pedaling!
- Using Training Wheels
You can also use training wheels to help your child balance the bike easily and solely focus on pedaling. But remember to not let your child get too used to them as they might become reliant on them. This will make learning how to balance pedal bikes quite difficult!
- Trailer Cycles
Trailer Cycles are a great way to help children learn how to pedal. The trailer cycle will attach to your adult bike. This will allow your child to focus on pedaling while being on the go without worrying about balancing. However, you will not be able to check your child’s pedaling motion to make sure that they are pedaling forwards instead of backwards.
Choose a grassy spot to cushion falls. Falling while riding bikes is quite common so make sure you choose a nice fluffy spot with an appropriate slope to make bike riding safer for your child.
- Additional Tip
Encourage your child to pedal ‘forwards’ instead of pedaling ‘down’ to help your kids visualize the correct pedaling motion.
Lastly, our best tip is to not stress too much. It might take some time but your child will eventually master the skill of pedaling!
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