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Leisure

Teach Your Child How to Ride a Bike

We’ve all heard the saying “it’s as easy as riding a bike E This saying can be true to many things in life, except for teaching children how to ride a bike. This can be a daunting task for any parent. I hope that we can help you make your task just a tad easier with these helpful tips.

Safety always comes first so be sure to have the following safety gear for your child before you begin to teach them how to ride a bike:

  • A properly fitted helmet
  • Elbow pads and knee pads
  • Gloves

If you have not purchased a bike to teach your child yet, be sure the bike you buy has both adjustable seats and removable training wheels.

There are two methods of teaching your children how to ride a bike; the first method of using training wheels can be viewed under the preschool section, as most parents with children in this age range prefer their children to use training wheels. The second method is displayed under the K-3rd grade section, although the second method can be taught to children as young as three-years old.

Preschool
The Training Wheel Method: To use this method be sure that the training wheels on your child’s bike are properly adjusted. Most people adjust the training wheels on bikes so that all three wheels are on the same level; this is not the correct way to have your child’s training wheels. They should be slightly above the back wheel of the bike, so that the bike teeters from side to side.

The object of having training wheels is to teach your child how to maneuver and pedal a bike, not to have them ride consistently on it. It is much safer for children to ride three wheelers if you simply want them to ride something that is safe. Therefore, your children should only have the training wheels on for a few months at the most, while you are training them to ride on two wheels.

Once your child becomes accustom to riding their bike, braking, turning, and pedaling it’s time to take their training wheels up just a little further. This may make it very rocky at first, but this will begin to teach them balance, which is the essential ability they need to ride a bike properly. Continue moving the training wheels up a little at a time, for a few weeks with your child riding it at least thirty minutes a day. With practice and the adjustments of the training wheels, you will see the training wheels barely ever touching the ground, this is when your child is ready to drop the training wheels and take off.

Now that the training wheels are off you’ll have to teach your children how to get on the bike and get rolling without the training wheels. Have them stand on something that is a little taller, such as a small stool or stair step, and to climb on the seat that way. Once they are on the seat they can push off the step or stool with their foot to get their bike rolling. Be enthusiastic and encouraging every step of the way and with every new accomplishment.

Main points to address:

  • Encourage your child with enthusiasm.
  • Use the Training Wheel method to teach preschoolers.
  • Only allow your preschooler to have their training wheels on for about a month.

Grades K-3rd
The Running method: This is the traditional way to teach children how to ride their bikes and is used most often by parents. This method is as simple as it states, your child is on their bike as you run next to them being their body helmet. Some parents hold onto the seat of the child’s bike, while many enthusiasts state you should actually hold the child gently by their shoulders.

When you hold the child’s bike seat, you will correct the lean of the bike for the child when essentially they should be learning how to balance their bike. You can even purchase a bar for your child’s bike to help teach them through Wallaby Kids (http://www.wallabykids.com/).

You can also teach your child the basics of riding by having them use a smaller bike than normal, without training wheels. The seat should be pushed down to the lowest setting and they can place their feet flat on the ground while they are sitting on the seat. Some enthusiasts state that taking the pedals off the bike is helpful here as you are only teaching your child how to balance the bike. Have them scoot around with the bike this way for a few days or a week, after they have learned to balance. Then you put the seat up so their feet reach the pedals properly and place the pedals back on and let them show you how they can ride.

Main points to address:

  • Run next to your child’s two wheeler.
  • Hold your child’s shoulders as opposed to their seat.

Resources
Resources that can help you in your venture include:

Posted in Leisure.

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