There are so many things that I love about having kids. Specifically reliving my own childhood memories through my kids’ experiences. Some of my first memories include running around the playground, going down that hot, metal slide [which thankfully they don’t make anymore!], and swinging until I thought I was going to fly over the swing set.
One of my clearest memories was learning how to ride a bike for the first time.
Learning to ride a bike was difficult back then – to say the least. I remember falling on the concrete, scraping my knees, and crashing 187 times before finally getting it right. I was so nervous every time I got on my bike!
Today, however, kids have an awesome new way to learn to ride a bike from the age of 2 or earlier. Enter: The Balance Bike. And when you learn to ride a bike at 2 yrs old, graduating to a bike without training wheels is super easy.
My 4 yr old son just started riding his big boy spider man bike with NO TRAINING WHEELS and hasn’t fallen once! It’s quite impressive really. And I attribute it all to the balance bike he rode when he was 2.
What are the benefits of starting my toddler on a balance bike?
SO MANY BENEFITS.
1- They learn how to balance. It will be safer in the long run when they ride a bigger bike.
2- It gives them a tiny bit of independence.
3- It’s FUN for them.
4- Gives you and your stroller a break. They now have their own vehicle for walks. 🙂
5- It helps them ride a big bike without training wheels MUCH sooner!
What is the best age to start my toddler on a balance bike?
-Between the ages of 2-4.
My first son got his balance bike for his 2nd birthday. He didn’t actually ride it comfortably until he was about 2.5. It takes a little time for them to learn how to balance, put their feet down, pick up their feet, and stop.
We started my second son at 2, and he took to it a lot faster! [probably because he big brother to watch]
Every child is different. I would recommend introducing it at 2 yrs old, and then let your child decide when they are really ready for it. Some may not be ready until they turn 3 or after, and that’s perfectly fine!
How do you know if they are ready for a balance bike?
Honestly, I don’t ever pressure my kiddos to ride their bikes – or to do anything else for that matter, except maybe eat their veggies [they get lots of pressure to do that ;)]. I knew they would want to ride their bikes when they felt comfortable on them because it’s FUN!
When introducing the bike, make sure that their feet can touch the ground. This may seem obvious, but if their feet can’t touch the ground, they aren’t going to be able to ride it comfortably and stop when they need to. This fact alone may be an indicator for when your child is ready for the bike.
For reference, my boys are slightly taller than the average toddler at this age. Having their feet on the ground was never an issue when they were 2.
Which brand and where did you find it?
We have the MiiR Youth Bambini. This bike fits most toddlers I believe.
From my experience, this bike is the best out there. It is durable and sturdy. I have two rough and tumble boys, and my second son is using it now. Though it has scratches, it is still like new. And trust me when I say, it has been used – rocks, dirt, concrete, grass, hills, valleys, and the list goes on and on. [boys will be boys!]
Also you can raise the seat up easily without needing tools. I would recommend getting a bike that can be used until age 5 or so. [Even if it’s too tall for your toddler at first.] You never know how fast your kiddos will grow, and you want to get the most use out of your bike!
Big boy’s Spider Man Bike.
Please make sure your little cuties are wearing their helmets. I can’t stress enough how important it is to get them wearing a helmet EARLY in their bike-riding career. Whether you have boys or girls, they undoubtedly will crash or fall over at some point, and you always want that noggin protected!!
We use the Nutcase Little Nutty for Kids. It is very durable as it’s been passed down to my second son at this point [and thrown around quite a bit]. Actually, he wears this thing all.the.time. Like, even when he’s not riding his bike. It’s interesting. Does anyone else have a kid that likes to wear a helmet around the house? Should I be concerned? LOL
Anyway, I like that you can adjust it on the back to fit your toddler’s head [because we all know how fast those things grow!]. They have other cute and colorful ones for girls and other designs for boys as well.
Does your toddler use a balance bike? Has it been a positive experience? Did they take to a big-kid bike 10x faster? Comment below and let me know!