I was at the local park with my daughter, trying to teach her to ride without training wheels. I was running behind her bicycle and holding her seat to help keep her from tipping over. This was good exercise, but it was not very effective and eventually gave me a sore back. After watching us for a few minutes, another father at the park came over and said that he had just taught his daughter to ride last week. The best tip that he told me was: “Buy her some some elbow and knee pads.”
So, we went and bought some pads that night. My daughter put them on; practiced falling down on the pavement a few times, and instantly became fearless. The next day, after a half-hour of practice with the pads on, my daughter was able to ride without training wheels. Removing fear from the process made it much easier for her to learn.
A second tip that we used was to wrap a towel under her armpits and use that to help stabilize her instead of trying to hold onto the seat. This allowed her to find her own balance point and still catch her when she tips to one side too much. It also keeps your back from getting all sore.
|Pacific Cycle Cars Bike Pad Set (Red)
This set of knee and elbow pads will make your kid fearless. They also come in handy when learning how to rollerblade. Make sure they wear a helmet too!
|Huffy Disney Cars Bike with Training Wheels (12-inch)
The main distinguishing feature of this bike is that it has Lightning McQueen drawings on it, but honestly, that was all that mattered for my daughter. The frame is heavy, and the quality of the bike is on par with the other bikes you find at other big box stores. Better bikes can be found, but they probably won’t have the right Disney characters on it. This bike has 12″ wheels. When learning to ride without training wheels, it helps to have a smaller bicycle so the kid can have some extra clearance when trying to stand over it.
|Huffy Disney Cars Bike with Training Wheels (16-inch)
This is the same bike as above, just with a larger frame and 16″ wheels.
What tips do you have for teaching your child to ride?
See our other posts on bicycle trailers, trailercycles, children’s bike helmets, and balance bikes!