How to Teach a Child to Ride a Bike
You know the saying, "it's like riding a bike"? Well, you've gotta learn to ride before you can have a chance to forget. Teaching your child can be tough, but it can be done.
- Encourage your child to ride his or her bike. Tell your child how much fun it is to ride a bike. Set a good example by riding your own bike and having a good time. Make sure you always wear your helmet!
- Attach training wheels to your child's bicycle. Training wheels make learning to ride much easier and safer.
- Put a helmet on the child before they get on the bike. This teaches good safety habits.
- Show them how to mount the bike, by throwing one leg over the back wheel and standing over the center bar. Help them into the seat. Make sure the height is set so that they can keep their feet on the ground while sitting on the seat.
- Hold the bike upright while they become comfortable with being seated on the bike.
- Have the child put their feet onto the pedals and begin pedaling slowly. Continue to hold the bike upright. You may wish to do this and the next few steps for the first time on grass to ensure a soft landing for the inevitable first fall.
- Push gently and help them increase speed enough that the bike could remain upright without support. Don't let go yet!
- Ask the child if they are comfortable and feeling safe. Reassure them that they are doing fine. Tell them you are going to let go of the bike and they'll keep going on their own.
- Let go of the bike, but walk or run alongside the bike so your child knows you are still there. Continue to offer encouragement and support, but don't try to correct them.
- Help them up after they fall. Make sure they aren't hurt without scaring them. Help them back onto the bike to try again.
- Ride with them or walk alongside for the first several times they go out on their bike. There are going to be many, many falls, and your child may want your help.
- Use the "towel method" to teach your child how to balance on the bike. Wrap a large bath towel around your child's waist and twist the ends to form a large soft "rope" behind him/her. Do NOT twist the towel too tightly. Hold the towel rope firmly by the ends and jog along behind the bike while your child rides and balances on the bike by him/herself. Do not hold the bike or your child, but use the towel to gently keep their balance as they pedal along. This method is much more effective than you holding onto the bike as your child must find the correct balance almost exclusively on their own while the towel provides a "safety net" they can lean against should they start to tip over.
- Attach a short rope to the seat post. This can initially be used as a handle to keep the bike upright while they are learning to balance. As their balance skills grow, you can let out more slack in the rope, yet still have the ability to catch them and keep them from falling by pulling the rope tightly upward.
No Training Wheels MethodOne of the easiest ways to teach a child to ride a bike is to simple remove the pedals from the bike and let the child push them selves. They will soon gain balance skills. Once they are coasting and balancing on their own, just put the pedals back on and away they will go!
- It may take several days or weeks before your child can ride their bike alone. Don't rush them, just offer support at whatever speed they are most comfortable learning at.
- Don't force your child to ride a bike if they don't want to. If they aren't interested, they won't learn no matter how much you force them to try.
- Another good method is to remove the pedals from the bike (remember the left pedal is reverse threaded), and have the child ride like that. They will use their feet to propel themselves down the road, and eventually take their feet off the road when they are ready to balance. Then replace the pedals and let them ride normally.
- but if your child doesn't feel comfortable riding the bike then tell them that they don't have to if they don't want to especially if they are scared
- Always make your child wear a helmet when riding their bike.
- Make sure that your child wear the kid gloves during training.
- make sure that the brakes are working properly and tires are in good conditions.
Things You'll Need
- Correctly-sized bike
- Safety helmet
- Kid hands gloves
- Training wheels
- Large soft bath towel
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