How To Teach A Toddler To Ride A Tricycle

There are certain milestones in a child’s life that make a parent so proud. One of these proud moments includes watching junior ride a bike for the first time. But before they are old enough to handle two wheelers, it’s always advisable to start with tricycles first.

Teaching your young ones how to pedal a tricycle is not tough at all. In fact, life would be splendid if everything were this easy. Compared to teaching table manners, potty training, and general discipline, teaching a kid how to master the tricycle is definitely child’s play.

If it’s your first experience with kids, then here’s how to teach a toddler to ride a tricycle in 5 easy steps.

What you’ll need:

  • Elbow and knee pads
  • Tricycle and helmet
  • A couple of minutes

Step 1: Safety First

The health and safety of your toddler should be your first priority when teaching them any necessary life skill. While a tricycle offers plenty of support and a very low fall-height, you can never be too safe when it comes to your kids.

Make sure you have a properly fitting child’s helmet secured on tightly as well as fitting knee and elbow pads. With safety gear on, you minimise the chance of injury in the event of a fall. Similarly, painful injuries might discourage your toddlers from getting back on the saddle; so make sure they are well protected.

Step 2: Climbing On and Off the Tricycle

Climbing on and off the tricycle is a very crucial phase that deserves at least a few minutes of practice. It is important to ensure that they can get on and off safely without needing any assistance or feeling panicked.

Initially, be sure to hold the tricycle when your child is climbing on and off to prevent any unwanted movement. Once junior is comfortable getting on and off without your assistance, it’s time to move on to the next step.

Step 3: Scooting Forward

Think back to when you were just a little kid trying to learn how to ride a bike. Aside from the typical strolling, your most popular way of moving was by pushing off with your feet. This is also the easiest way to teach a child how to ride any bike.

If the tricycle has detachable pedals, take them off to encourage your child to use their feet for forward motion. Try encouraging them to scoot forward on a level surface and teach them to stop with their legs.

Step 4: Steering

Once your young Lance Armstrong has mastered the art of scooting, it’s time to teach them how to steer the tricycle. You can walk beside your child while they scoot and help them negotiate turns, bends, and roundabouts.

Begin by letting the toddler bump into obstacles along the way and then instruct them on how to proceed. If using words like turn, stop, left or right do not seem to work with your child, then you’ll need to hold on to their handlebars for a while. Soon, they should begin turning reflexively and independently.

5: Pedalling and Take Off

Ask most parents in the UK, and almost every single one of them will tell you that they never got to teach the final step. By the time your toddler is able to scoot and turn, the pedalling element comes naturally.

However, I’ll show you how to do it in case your child has not yet got the hang of it.

First, make sure that the child’s legs are long enough to reach the pedals comfortably. Have them place their feet on the pedals and push them along a gentle slope. This allows them to experience the revolution of the pedals and learn the motor pattern of pedalling faster.

Additional Tips

With the above-mentioned tips, your child will get so engrossed in their tricycles that it will be impossible to separate them. There are still some additional tips that will help make the teaching process smooth, safe and fun for everyone. They include:

  • Limit accessories initially – Things like horns, streamers and other fancy decorations will only serve as a distraction.
  • Provide verbal and visual cues – Kids learn better if they experience it themselves or watch other people doing it. Visual and verbal cues include waving your toddler on with your arms or urging them on with encouraging words.
  • Use smooth surfaces and open spaces – Pedalling and riding will be more easy, safe and fun if it is done on a smooth, flat surface. A rough surface will make it much harder for your toddler to pedal independently. Similarly, wide, open spaces allow for more freedom to steer, less obstacles and fewer distractions.

To see how easy it is, just check out this loving father try to teach his young daughter how to ride a tricycle here:

Jack C. Bennett
 

Jack Bennett is the founder and editor of Kidsonbikes.co.uk. In personal life he is a proud father of twins. He believes it is more important than ever before to encourage children to experience the joy of bike riding. Kids on bikes make as much sense as the sunshine in our world.

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