Are Balance Bikes Worth It?

by Maisie

As a parent you want your child to progress appropriately for their age, including gross motor skills and confidence.  One of the best ways is to teach them to ride a bike.  Depending on their age, you may be considering a tricycle or a version of a pedal bike with training wheels.  There is another choice:  a balance bike offered in Australia.  These look like standard bikes but have are significantly smaller, sized to toddlers and preschoolers, and they have no pedals.  They are mobilized by the child’s feet.

They Fit a Child’s Body

The best balance bikes in Australia have been designed to fit a child’s body.  The seats can be adjusted to as low as 10 inches from the ground while a standard pedal bike is at least 17 inches.  While they are small enough for a toddler, they have room for growth so they are comfortable for the child as he or she grows.  Since they are planned for growth spurts, the parents (or grandparents) won’t need to replace them as soon.  Because they are lighter weight, it is easier for the kids to ride and easier for the parents to transport in the back seat of the family van or to tote home when the kid decides they want to walk for a while.

There will still be falls, but they will be so much closer to the ground there will be far less drama and tears.  On a balance bike, the child learns how to control speed, can turn, stop easily, and shift weight safely.  With the best balance bikes in Australia many children (depending on age and physical abilities) are able to master the basics in only a few minutes.

Pedal bikes are designed for taller, older children and the primary difficulty is learning to balance.  Training wheels may seem to help, but in reality, they teach the child how to deal with the tipping.  When the stabilizing training wheels are removed, there is still the learning curve of achieving balance.  When they are started out as youngsters, children who played with balance bikes will be able to transition to a pedal bike much easier since they already know how to balance on two wheels.

Uneven Surfaces

A balance bike is fine on uneven surfaces.  That means he or she can ride in the back yard where it is safe (as opposed to the street) or in the park.  That will make family outings more enjoyable and help the child relish the experience of riding.  They are a good tool to teach playing alone or to play in groups with neighborhood kids who have their own balance bikes.

It is never too early to help children learn the importance and fun of regular exercise and a balance bike is one of the first steps as early as 18 months.  This process will help foster independence, motor skills, judgment, and control.

These bikes are reasonably priced and available in many stores.  They are durable and adjustable so they are easily passed to siblings, cousins, or donated.

For the parent and the child, a balance bike is definitely the way to go.

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