Fun for Toddlers – The Balance Bike
Y’all might think I’m nuts, but I bought my 3 year old a bike. To be completely truthful, my husband and I gave our son a bike for his 2nd birthday and then gave him the next size up when he turned three. We didn’t get him a traditional bike with pedals and training wheels. We got him a balance bike and he LOVES it.
The first bike we got him, a Y-Bike in a suitably safety-orientated (read: screaming loud) yellowish green, had fairly wide plastic tires on it- similar in material to the coveted Big Wheels of my generation. It required some balancing, but not enough where he would topple over every time. It offered enough un-balance for him to get used to the feel of loosing his balance if that makes any sense.
By the time he turned 3, he was very comfortable on his Y-Bike and definitely ready for the next stage…a more realistic balance bike.
After deciding we wanted this next bike to be as close to a real bike as possible, we settled on a TykesBykes brand balance bike. So far we have been very pleased as has our son. It really looks like a “real” bike. The boy hopped right on and rode it as if he had been on it all his life. He’s even mastered the hand brake already.
Just this evening, the boys headed out to do a little mountain biking on a nearby trail and the boy was riding down hills like a pro! He’s much braver with his dad, I have to say. They went for a ride around the neighborhood a couple of days ago and the boy wiped out a few times only to call out from under his bike, “I’m ok! Just fell down a little.” He cracks me up.
I am very glad we chose to go the balance bike route. I am pretty confident, that when we add pedals to the equation, the boy will have little to no difficulty making the necessary adjustments. His wipe outs have been minor and I do insist he wear a helmet. My biggest fear is distracted drivers.
What do you think about balance bikes? Has your child tried riding one? Did he or she like it? If not, do you have any questions about balance bikes?