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How to teach a child to ride a bike

Riding a bike…  this is such a fun milestone for any child!  They get do so much more.  They can join the rest of the family on bike rides (and not have to ride in the wagon in the back) and they can play with friends in the cul-de-sac and do their fun ‘racing games’.  Riding their bike makes them feel so old, too.  (They will show off to anyone that will watch!)

A few months ago, right before our second son turned five, we taught him to ride his bike, using the same method that worked with our first son.  I wanted to share some tips that we learned along the way.

My husband took each of our kids to a field near our house.  It is the local school’s soccer field.  The field is flat and if they fall down, it won’t hurt.  The reason that this works for us, is that the fear of falling off and getting hurt was eliminated, so the kids are a lot more “brave” than they would be if we were on the street.  We still put them in some protective gear: helmet, tennis shoes, long sleeved shirt, long pants.   (The elbow pads seemed to bother them when they were trying to hold onto the handle bars).

So- he took them to the field and had them get on their bike.   He would tell them that he would hold the bike, and he did.  He would run behind the bike, holding the seat with one hand and the handle bar with the other hand.  After several times of doing this, it was time for them to fly solo.

He would start them off the same way, run behind them and then let go.  He cheered for them and they would go.  The would just fall over at the end, at first (but in the grass, this doesn’t hurt).

He taught them to put their feet down when they started to fall.  (They just fall at first, but that’s ok because they are on grass).  See the video below of how his first ride went…


Next, after a day of this, he took them back and taught them how to push off on one pedal.  Move the pedal up and push off with it.

Last, show them how to use the breaks and get off without falling down.

That’s it.  Practice. Practice. Practice.  Each of our kids learned at the age of four and they have been pretty successful in it, once they are over the fear of falling.

Our biggest problem was that they would watch the bike instead of the ground! haha!  Not the best way to pay attention, but that stopped after the first day.

Oh- a tip:  use a smaller bike because they can easily reach the ground.

Good luck!

Here he is, after 2 days of practice, doing great… How to teach a child to ride a bike

Hi there!

I’m Becky, a former elementary school teacher turned certified child development therapist and blogger. I work at home with my husband and together we are raising (and partially homeschooling) our four children in the Carolinas. I love diet coke, ice cream, and spending time with my family.

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  1. I’m at that stage of my life. My oldest asked for a bike for his birthday, so I’ll be needing this in 3 months.

    1. OH- how fun!! I am going to add another video later of him “showing off” to us after he got home from learning with his Dad. 🙂

  2. thanks for timely public this post. your step by step teach a child to ride a bike helpful for all child.

  3. I think balance bikes are great but can someone tell me how they “teach skills like…using caution,

  4. Our four-year-old never quite got the hang of the balance bike last year and is much more interested in it this year. We would be using the bike on the trails and on our daily walks through the paths .We have beautiful paths at a lot of our conservation areas, My guy is also a little clumsy just do to his fearlessness and his eagerness to just go, so this would be a perfect for him. Thank you so much for offering this contest.

  5. I like and understand fully your topic and bookmark it for future post of you.I really appreciates with your article. thanks for sharing useful tips with a wonderful, nice and simple photos.