He woke up to the singing of ‘Happy Birthday’, and to a brand new balance bike and helmet at the end of his bed the morning of his 2nd birthday. It was such an exciting day! He has been asking for a bicycle for months as he saw all the ‘big kids’ riding theirs around the neighborhood. Big Brother’s balance bike was difficult for him to balance and ride at first. In fact, we had to help him balance the first month and a half. However, over a year has passed and I am amazed at how this small bike without any pedals has improved my Little Man’s balance and overall gross motor skills. His overall coordination has improved so much, without much instruction from us (his parents) he has mastered turing the handle bars to guide his direction, he is able to lift up his feet briefly while scooting along, and he is also now able to ‘run’ his bike quickly with his feet while sitting.
What is a Balance Bike?
“Balance bikes have been made out of both metal and wood. It can be a normal bicycle with pedals and related parts removed, or it can be purpose-built (especially for very small children, for whom normal bicycles are generally not available). It can have no brake, or it can have one or two hand-activated rim brakes.
To function properly, a balance bicycle must be small enough that the rider can walk the bicycle while sitting comfortably in the saddle, putting both feet flat on the ground. The rider first walks the bicycle while standing over the saddle, then while sitting in the saddle. Eventually, the rider feels comfortable enough to run and “scoot” while riding the bicycle, then to lift both feet off the ground and cruise while balancing on the two wheels.” (wikipedia.com)
Disclosure: All of the opinions shared belong completely to me. I am not sponsored by a balance bike company nor are they giving me any products for sharing this information. I am not promoting a brand of balance bike, but rather encourage you to read reviews and find a bike that is a great value and best fits your child. I will share that ours came from a great deal on Zulily.com!
What are the Benefits of a Balance Bike?
Most balance bikes are light weight allowing young riders to feel confident and in control. At this young age, bicycles are simply too tall, too heavy, and too complex for youngsters to feel this sense of control. Advances in coordination and balance follow quickly as do the development of the thought processes necessary for steering, crossing obstacles, backing up, and doing tricks. Watching this development of thought and skill is actually quite amazing! Most kids who practice on a balance bike are capable of riding a pedal bike without training wheels by age 4, and sometimes even sooner!
Click HERE to visit Kids Balance Bikes.com, a great site where you can read all about different types/brands, view charts that can help you purchase the right size bike, and watch videos of young toddlers learning to ride their balance bike.