Little kids are full of beans and love to play and be active. We are told that toddlers aged 2-4 should have at least half an hour of structured play each day, along with a minimum hour of unstructured free play.
Riding is a fantastic physical exercise but a normal bike can be tricky to ride for a 2 year old – not to mention dangerous. Balance bikes are a smart choice if you want to get your young child riding early on. Not only are they safe but can expose kids to exercises beyond walking, running, lifting and throwing.
What’s different about a balance bike?
The first thing you’ll notice about a balance bike is that they do not have pedals. This means the child focuses on steering and balancing. The bicycle is propelled by the child’s legs pushing on the ground – basically running or walking while seated.
They are an awesome way to help a young person develop balance, which they are continually refining all the way up to their teenage years. Balance bikes can be used both indoors and outdoors and are lightweight, meaning the child can easily carry the vehicle around themselves.
Parents are extremely conscious of supporting their children with early balance skills such as crawling and walking, however as the child ages, it’s common for us to fall away in supporting development in this area. Riding a balance bike is a great way to practice and master the next stages of balance and coordination development.
Top Benefits of Balance Bikes
There are lots of other great reasons why you should consider a balance bike for your child:
- They improve coordination and strength
- They avoid training wheels
- The child can start riding earlier
- There is less chance of injury
- They promote fun and fitness
A normal bike will have training wheels when a child first learns to ride. However, studies have shown that when a kid takes them off, they struggle because they are left all vulnerable. With training wheels balancing for them, they haven’t properly learnt to balance themselves.
A balance bike removes the need for pedalling initially, so they can focus on developing balance. This not only helps increase strength but also increases agility, coordination and motor skills.
Because the child always has their feet on the ground, there is less likelihood of crashing. So this type of bike reduces the risk of injury which is always important for a little one.
If you’re looking to get your child a bike for Christmas, and they are aged between 18 months and 4 years old, we recommend looking at a balance bike.