3-Easy steps to teach your child to ride a balance bike
- Proper fit
Setting the right seat height is essential for your child’s comfort, efficiency and to avoid injury. Changing the seat height is simple! There are three height levels to choose from, simply set the seat height so that your child’s feet are flat on the ground with their knees slightly bent whilst mounted.
There are two settings for the handlebars. Set the handlebar height with respect for the seat height and your child’s comfort. If the seat height is on the lowest setting, set the handle bar height at the lowest setting. If the seat is set in the middle or the highest setting, set the handlebars on the highest setting.
Children grow quickly, be sure to check the seat height every few months and make adjustments as required. Remember to always wear a helmet and ensure that it is fitted correctly.
- Keep riding & have fun!
Children will instinctively pick up a Balance Buddy bike by the handlebar, throw a leg over and want to ride! The best thing you can do is encourage them through praise for having a go, regardless of how well they ride. Balance Buddy teaches children to ride with confidence and ease. Allow them to set the pace and keep encouraging them along the way by praising positive experiences. Pushing them to do things that they are not ready for can cause setbacks. It can take months for a child to get over a scary moment. Most children willingly participate when they see others doing an activity, so it is helpful to take them to a park where they can see others riding their bikes and having fun!
- Support the child - NOT the bike!
This is so important! Parents naturally want to support the bike to help the child to ride. They grab onto the bike and just hold it, restricting the bike so that the child feels secure. But, doing this hinders the ability for the child to learn to balance. When learning to ride a Balance Buddy bike, it is essential that the child can feel the bike moving, tipping and balancing. When the bike tips sideways it is important that the child learns how to correct the movement of the bike tipping from side to side, this is how they find their balance. If an adult holds the bike, stopping it from tipping, then the child can’t naturally find their centre of balance and shift their weight to counteract the bike tipping. Learning to stabalise your balance whilst riding can only be learnt through trial and error. This is the same reason why training wheels don’t work!
If you want to stay close and help to teach your child to ride, then the best way to do this is to follow behind them or to walk next to them. Support your child’s body and not the bike, this way they can still feel the bike tipping and learn to balance. When walking next to them, support the child under their arms or by hanging onto the back of their shirt providing just enough support so that they can feel safer. By using this technique, your child will find their balance and grasp the concept of keeping the bike centered underneath them in no time at all. It won’t be long until they no longer need your assistance!
Many kids just jump on and ride, but some don’t find their confidence quickly. At first, they may prefer to become comfortable by walking around with the bike between their legs and learning how to work the handlebar. With patience, the correct guidance and positive praise, they will eventually start to "trust" the bike and progress rapidly. Older or more mature kids get to this point in minutes, whereas very young children may take a few weeks. Learning to “glide” is achieved when they make the transition to trusting their natural instincts and their skills to balance. Lifting their feet off the ground, allow them to make this transition at their own pace and soon they will be unstoppable! Learning to ride their Balance Buddy bike should be a fun and rewarding experience for both the child and the parents. Most important is to always have fun!