Teaching Kids How to Ride a Bike: Tips for Parents

Foto: Pixabay/ CC0/ damian_konietzny

Teaching kids how to ride a bike is easy and most children will be eager to learn it. Here are a couple key tips on making the training even more exciting.

There’s nothing that kids love more than speed and the thrill of exploring out on their own. Once they’re old enough, teaching your kids how to ride a bike is quite an amusing and rewarding experience for all involved. Before you yourself rush into things, here are a couple tips to keep in mind throughout your lessons.

Particularly important with small children: teaching your kids how to ride a bike requires you to be attentive at all times. Children perceive the world in completely different ways than adults do. It is therefore absolutely essential to have a thorough understanding of your child’s strengths and weaknesses. Otherwise things can get dangerous.

Here are a couple things to keep in mind:

Kids often have…

  • a limited sense of vision and direction
  • a lacing sense of balance
  • difficulties judging distances
  • a high center of gravity
  • the feeling of being the center of attention

Teaching Kids How to Ride a Bike: How-To Guide

Teaching kids how to ride a bike learn to ride a bike wear a helmet
Teaching your kids how to a ride a bike is easy! Here are a couple helpful tips and tricks. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - sylwiaaptacy)

Here are a couple initial safety tips and prep-talk suggestions before you hit the streets:

  • Make sure your children wear their helmets while they learn to ride a bike.
  • Be sure to position the seat at an appropriate height for each child. They should be able to sit upright with their feet on the ground.
  • Set the correct handlebar height. The child should maintain an upright position, be able to reach the brakes and steer comfortably.
  • Talk to kids in a calm manner, when you are teachings them to ride a bike. Do your best not to set expectations too high.
  • Let the children mount the bicycles for the first time without your help so they can get a feel for it on their own.
  • Begin by encouraging the kids to push the bike along forward without pedalling.
  • Explain how the pedals work.
  • Lend a hand during the first couple test rides: run alongside and give a careful push here and there to help maintain momentum.
  • Remember to remind the kids that the beginning is the hardest part. They will not be able to ride a bike perfectly immediately.
  • Don’t push them too hard. If they get tired, know when to call it quits and give it a another go again tomorrow.
Learn to ride a bike teaching kids as a mentor
You’ll be amazed at how quickly your kids will learn to ride a bike. Here are a couple tips for the best mentors out there. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Pixabay - Rauschenberger)

Important Tips for Parents

A kid can be taught how to ride a bike rather quickly. How long it takes depends on the age. Here are the most important steps to success to keep in your back pocket:

  1. The earlier, the better: Get your children used to being active outdoors. How about starting them on a scooter before you teach kids to ride a bike?
  2. Forget the training wheels. While they may promise safety, training wheels only make it harder for your child to develop their own sense of balance. In this case, it’s better to have them hold your hand throughout the first few lessons.
  3. Teach your kids how to ride a bike in a safe environment. Be sure they don’t swerve out into traffic and can train in a low-noise and low-traffic area.
  4. Know your child’s strength and weaknesses. Everybody has their own abilities to be proud of. Be sure to encourage your child – no matter whether he or she is easily distracted or has yet to master his or her motor skills.
  5. Get them moving. Encourage them to pedal themselves and only push them slightly. This is the only way they’ll learn to keep their balance. Don’t constantly push or stabilize them yourself as they move forward.
  6. Know the risk of injury. Although playing your part in preventing minor setbacks throughout the learning process is okay, make sure the children understand the dangers and risks of cycling.
  7. Fall off, take a short break and it’s right back on. This way, your children learn from their mistakes and are better prepared next time.
  8. Look ahead. If your children can already keep their balance up on their bike, walk beside or in front of them (and don’t push from behind) so that they always look straight ahead.
  9. Try and try again. Once your kids have found joy in learning to ride a bike, be sure to make use of every opportunity you have to practice so they don’t lose sight of it.
  10. Be a role model. Parents will always be role models for their children. Treat your own bicycle with care and teach you kids what a positive approach towards riding a bike looks like from the start. This begins as early as their first rides in the child carrier trailers. Here they start to gather initial points of reference, such as the feeling of going fast, experiencing nature and the collective experience of being together with others out on the road, albeit subconsciously.

The Perks of Cycling

Riding your bike has its many advantages – and not only for children. Cycling…

  • is great for the environment.
  • makes you more independent.
  • can never be forgotten. Once you have taught your kids how to ride a bike, they will always be able to do it.
  • keeps you in shape and sharpens your senses.
  • is a perfect way to explore your surroundings with friends.

This article was translated from German to English by Evan Binford. You can view the original here: Fahrrad fahren lernen: So bringst du es deinen Kindern richtig bei

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