Monday, December 3, 2012
Ditch Those Training Wheels
We are discussing of course, balance bikes, small pedalless bicycles designed for older tots (think 2+). Here's the idea. You give a tot a little bike with enough clearance for him or her to sit on and walk with. She will walk herself around holding the handle bars and pushing the bike along. Next she will get a little braver and start to move a bit more quickly. Now for the kicker. She will start lifting her feet up and resting them on the small foot ledge that replaces a standard pedal. Ta daaa your toddler has just learned how to balance herself on a bicycle.
This makes for a seamless transition to a trainingwheel-less bike with pedals. Less of those traumatic crashes following "Mommy, promise you won't let go!" Learning the motor skills necessary for balance, that was the hard part. Learning to incorporate pedaling to these skills, not as tough.
The history and evolution of bicycles is really fascinating, especially in regards to children's bikes. If you would like to learn more, I really enjoyed the article "Down with Training Wheels" by Nicholas Day.