To begin with let your child explore their new tricycle. They may seem
contented with pushing the tricycle and becoming familiar with the
steering aspect. When the child is confident with steering, they can
start exploring the pedals and how these work alongside the steering.
Some children may quickly master the art of pedalling and steering and
be able to ride a tricycle even before they start walking independently.
Once your child is confident with a tricycle, they are then ready to
move on to a small bicycle. If your child attends a nursery or
playgroup, opportunities to develop these skills are likely to be
offered. Your child will have the chance to use a range of tricycles and
explore the motion of pushing and pedalling.
Once you have selected and appropriate sized bicycle for your child’s
age and height, it is advisable that they begin with stabilizers also
known as training wheels. This helps your child to develop their balance
and become confident with the new features of a bicycle. You will find
that the majority of children’s bicycles come with stabilizers attached.
To begin with your child will need a Helmet and Pads Set!
Ideally, it would be easiest for your child to practise on a flat path
or safe flat driveway where there is no traffic or hazards. When using a
bicycle with stabilizers a child will need supervision to ensure they
remain at a safe speed, as often the bike can easily topple over if a
child turns a corner too fast, and weight is transferred from the back
wheel to the training wheel, which is significantly smaller. It
is essential that stabilisers are fitted correctly and are in good
working order. Check your child’s bicycle frequently, to check
everything is safe and working effectively.
As your child becomes more confident with balancing, steering, breaking
and pedalling, the stabilisers can be raised slightly. Sometimes,
especially if your child is anxious about having the stabilisers
removed, it may be best to adjust them without telling your child! This
will allow your child to slowly improve their balance without feeling
anxious or losing confidence. As your child learns to balance and
improves their control of the bike, the stabilisers can be raised again,
until eventually; there is not need for them.
When the child is confident to try riding without stabilisers, it is
essential that they are supervised closely and offered support and
encouragement. The use of stabilisers works well as it allows children
to practise and develop skills more independently, especially if they
live in a quiet cul-de sac or have a large flat garden.