It is a right of passage for many children, learning to ride a bike. This is so much the case that we now use the term ‘training wheels’ as a metaphor for training anyone on anything. Once the training wheels come off, they are on their own to learn for themselves.
If you want to teach your child to ride a bike, there are several steps you can have to make sure they have fun at it, and that it is a good experience for everyone.
The first step is helping your child to choose the right one. Don’t choose one that is too large, believing your child will grow into it, because this will just make it harder for them to learn. Find a bike that is the right height so they can stand over the top tube with their feet on the ground.
Next, you need to find them a good helmet that sits level across the middle of the forehead, rising no more than an inch of so over the eyebrows. You should also consider gloves because when they fall, they are going to put their hands out to protect themselves.
Video – Teach Your Kid To Ride
When teaching them to ride a bike, choose a place that is flat and smooth, which is free of traffic.
To start, have your child ride the bike with the training wheels on. Once they have an understanding of how to peddle, you can take the training wheels off. Don’t leave the wheels on for too long.
Once your child can coast with their feet up, they can begin pedaling the bike. The first thing to do is have your child sit on it with their eyes closed. This will help them learn to stabilize the bike.
At this point, the child can begin pedaling. Have them stand over it with one foot on the ground and the other foot on the pedal in a 2 o’clock position. Have them press down on the front pedal, and then put their foot onto the other pedal as they move forward. You can steady them as they do this.
Once they get a handle on pedaling, you can help them learn to steer. Set up a line of cones and have your child navigate through them. You can also put a cracker on the ground, and your child can try to ride over it from 20 feet away. This will help them have a goal, but also learn how to steer slightly, from long distances and how to pay attention to what is in front of them.
As they begin to learn more about how to steer and pedal at the same time, you can make the course more elaborate and give them more obstacles to pedal around.
Lastly, using a cracker, teach them to stop by having them pedal towards the cracker and then stop just before the cracker, so they don’t hit it. You can also use the Red Light/Green Light game to teach them.