What is a balance bike and can it help your child’s development? POSTED ON 26/03/2019
WHAT IS A BALANCE BIKE AND CAN IT HELP YOUR CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT?
Children’s bodies are made to move yet learning to ride a bike is tough for little ones. There’s so much to think about – balancing, steering, pedalling, braking. Traditional bikes teach children to pedal first, using stabilisers, and then to balance by removing them.
Balance bikes are bikes without stabilisers and renowned for building confidence in children enabling them to transition a grown up bike without stabilisers much quicker.
The benefits of a balance bike for children
Balance is the core skill to achieve to make riding a bike easy and enjoyable. The balance bike gives toddlers their first taste of riding a bike in the easiest way possible by allowing children to explore their correct balance point from their very first ride, building core strength and stability at the same time.
With both feet on the ground and moving at their own pace, children immediately feel more confident on a balance bike. They gain a sense of being in control and are more likely to explore and push themselves, choosing a direction and speed that suits them; safe in the knowledge they can put their feet down at any time.
Initially a child will sit on a balance bike, walking themselves along; soon they will cruise, using their feet for momentum; and before you know it, they’ll be off gliding along at speed. Practising coordination in this way significantly improves a child’s gross motor skills and through independent decision making and being given the freedom to explore, a child’s cognitive development is also improved.
How a balance bike works
Balance bikes are fun to ride and give children a greater sense of control and freedom but we think involvement from grown ups is key too. We encourage the use of Deliberate Play, where children are gently encouraged and supported in a range of movements and activities to help build self-belief and confidence. Our advice is to:
- Stay involved
Give children help and support as they ride, offering regular feedback to help increase their confidence and ability.
- Play fun games
Simple games on a bike, such as making different shapes with their bike, can help improve a child’s balance, co-ordination, ability to judge distances and their spatial awareness.
- Set small challenges
Ask children to change direction, stop, start, go faster, slower. Small challenges like this help to build confidence and control and encourage a lifelong love of cycling and exercise.
What age are balance bikes best for?
We recommend getting your little one on a balance bike from the age of two. For those just starting out, our 2in1 Micro Balance bike features innovative stabilising wheels, unique to Micro Scooters. These enable a slightly larger surface area to learn how to balance before taking the plunge on two wheels.
The rear stabilising wheels are designed to give just enough help to young children to keep them upright. This ensures that toddlers and younger children can learn to ride at their own pace. Once a toddler feels ready, the stabilising wheels can be replaced with a standard wheel, leaving you with a traditional toddler bike.
Which Balance Bike to choose?
There’s lots to think about when choosing a balance bike, so here’s some advice to keep in mind:
Consider the weight:
Toddlers get frustrated and tired easily, a balance bike should be easy to pick up and manoeuvre. The Micro Balance Bike is one of the lightest on the market, weighing just 2.2kg.
Look for a comfy and safe ride:
Riding a bike should be fun and safe. The Micro Balance Bike comes with front suspension as standard. The spring suspension not only allows for a smooth ride but also helps to keep the front wheel stable on the ground, ensuring that rough surfaces are less likely to knock your child off balance.
A good fit is important:
Make sure the bike can adapt and grow with your child. The Micro Balance Bike has fully adjustable handlebars and seat, allowing the best possible fit which will grow with your child.
The Micro 2in1 Toddler Balance Bike is suitable for ages 2, 3, 4 and 5. It is available exclusively at Micro Scooters in a variety of colours and comes with free delivery and a 28 day no quibble return policy.