Earlier in the summer I shared this tutorial on Paging Supermoms as a Tuesday tip. It’s so simple that you still have time to cross “learn to ride a bike” off the summer to-do list before summer is over!
Riding a bike is a right of passage for kids, and teaching them how to ride falls on the parents. Be a SuperMom and teach your child how to ride a bike without any scraped knees! It’s easy, it’s fast, and it’s frustration free!
Of course you’ll need a bike. You’ve seen those cool looking balance bikes, and instead of buying one, we’re going to convert a traditional bike into one. Just a regular old bike will do. It just needs to be small enough that they can touch flat footed while on it.
Step 1: Remove the pedals. One pedal will be threaded backwards (so it doesn’t come unscrewed while riding). You’ll need a wrench to take them off.
Step 2: Drop the seat down as low as it can go. The lower it is, the safer the child will feel. You can raise it back up once they’re riding. You want them to be able to touch the ground easily with both feet.
Step 3: Take off the training wheels. You’ll also need a wrench for this.
And ta-da you just created a balance bike. Have the child ride by pushing with their feet. This allows them to put their feet down to catch themselves, and prevents them from falling over. An important key in riding a bike. At first they will just take baby steps, but soon they’ll be able to coast a distance. Have them practice turning and weaving. When they’ve got the hang of it, we like to throw crackers on the driveway and have them aim to crush them (this is the favorite part!) It’s not going to take very long (some kids only need a half hour, others will need a few hours) and then you can put the pedals back on. When they are able to turn and weave and balance for a good distance you will know it is time to put the pedals back on.