What is a Balance Bike?
If you’re a parent, you would be very proud to see your children learn how to ride a bike, wouldn’t you? Learning how to ride a bike safely and confidently is a skill that may come naturally to some or with constant practice for others. Always remember that every child is different and each one learns at a different pace.
Learning how to use a balance bike is all about learning how to incorporate coordination and balance. Allowing your toddlers to develop these skills is crucial in learning how to ride a bike safely.
You may have forgotten how you learnt the skill yourself. You probably learnt using a traditional pedal bike with stabilisers however, when it comes to learning coordination and balance, experts now believe that toddlers can get more benefits from learning to ride using a balance bike rather than a pedal bike with stabilisers.
You might be wondering what a balance bike is and why you should consider purchasing it for your toddler. Let us take a closer look at its pros and cons.
A balance bike is a human-powered machine made up of a frame with two/three wheels, handlebars, and fork. Unlike a regular bike, it doesn’t come with a pedals. To propel it forward, kids need to push it off using their feet. Due to its lack of pedals, it allows children to concentrate on how to balance themselves, and eventually progressing to pedal-driven ones.
Kids can learn how to ride, coast or jump using balance bikes, often with no assistance from their guardians or parents. They can be considered as replacements for training wheels or tricycles as they were designed for children who typically use them at a certain age.
How does a balance bike work?
A balance bike is specially designed with a low seat position to lower the centre-of-gravity and make balancing at low speeds quite easier. It also enables children to reach the ground as they sit on the bike or stand from it. Since children can readily reach the ground with their feet, all they need to do is push it forward and begin walking, running, gliding or striding.
A balance bike teaches children to steer corners by leaning it whenever they make a turn. As soon as they are confidently gliding, they have mastered their bike coordination and balance. You can go ahead and allow them to use the pedal-driven bikes as soon as they wish for it.
As you can see, learning how to ride a balance bike is quite easy. More than often, kids won’t be requiring any guidance from you for all they need to do is sit and hold the handlebars and propel themselves forward by walking, running, gliding or striding on it. Even the most timid of children can do these easily and confidently on their own.
As they begin to sit, hold the handlebar and move forward, they will eventually get used to the feel and weight of the bike. Constant practice will improve their coordination and allow them to progress to bikes with pedals sooner than later.
How to teach a child how to use a balance bike?
As we have mentioned earlier, learning how to use a balance bike requires less hands on from your side of things. Kids just need to hop on and learn by feeling the balance and the weight of the bike. However, before you allow your kids to ride it, you must check a few things and make sure that their learning process will be safe and fun.
Make sure the play area is clear of any harmful obstacles like running vehicles or other kids playing around and rough surfaces that may affect your kid’s balance.
- To protect your child from occasional tumbles and falls, require them to wear a well-fitted helmet.
- Make sure that your they can firmly put their feet on the ground as they sit on the bike.
- Supervise and watch them enjoy the ride!
What age can a child use a balance bike?
As soon as children begin to learn how to walk, run or jump with both feet, they can start off with using a baby balance bike.
If you still aren’t sure that a balance bike is good for the development of your toddler, take a closer look at the developmental benefits it could bring.
Develop gross and fine motor skills
During the toddler stage, children begin to develop their fine and gross motor skills. This is the stage when they begin to learn how to walk, run or jump on their own, as well as climb on furniture or playground equipment and walk up the stairs.
Allowing toddlers to use the balance bike will help them develop their sense of balance which will, later on, help them play sports or join physical activities that are suited for the preschool stage.
Stimulate social and emotional development
A baby balance bike can help toddlers learn independent playing and build confidence or encourage them to play with other children, by seeing who can go the fastest!
Develop spatial awareness
Since riding a baby balance bike involves overcoming small obstacles, learning how to balance and ride it independently will help toddlers learn how to navigate their immediate space.
Promote healthy physical activity
The baby balance bike involves active movement, it promotes toddlers to engage in physical activity which is very crucial in developing their motor skills. It is also a great opportunity to keep them away from television, tablets or smartphones.
If you are looking to introduce your children to a balance bike, why not take a look at what Beehive Toy Factory has to offer for your child. Not only is it great to aid their development but they also look so much fun!