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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.