What is the best present for your kids on their birthday, a scooter or a bike? It can be a tough question for every parent because both options have many valuable benefits for the development of young children. From gaining confidence and having fun to developing a sense of independence, these simple vehicles play a vital role in helping them stay healthy, both mentally and physically.
Here’s a comprehensive comparison between both options to help you make an informed decision on the first wheels of your children.
Ease of use
It is quite quick and simple for children to learn how to use a scooter for several reasons. Firstly, most scooters have 3 wheels – 1 rear and 2 front – so they can stand up and help your kids keep balance easily. Also, the deck is often lower than that of a bike, meaning that the weight of the riders is still on their feet while stepping on and holding the handlebar.
What makes riding a bike more difficult for kids is that they have to keep balance before pedalling and moving forward. This can be a challenge for many of them as it requires a lot of skills and courage. In most cases, parents should show them the right steps to ensure the can cycle independently and safely.
A standard bike tends to be heavier than a scooter because it typically has more parts which are constructed from metals, such as aluminium or stainless steel. However, this will depend on the model and brand that you purchase. Here you can see a review of one really good bike for 4 year olds.
The weight of a vehicle is an important factor to keep your kids engaged for hours. While it might easy to move a lightweight scooter, a heavier and bulkier bike might require more effort to pedal and steer, making them tired and exhausted quickly.
If you live in an uphill area, make sure to consider this feature carefully. It’s can be hard on your kids to ride a metal bike up a steep surface, as well as dangerous when they go down hills at a high speed due to gravity. Also, choosing a lighter model can help parents carry it easily when the kids stop riding and walk home.
Value and price
In overall, most scooters typically range from £20 to £100, while the price range of balance or mini bikes can be anywhere from £30 to £500. This considerable difference mainly comes from the variations in sizes and materials of these models. If you have a tight budget, a scooter seems to be a better choice.
However, keep in mind that you’ll get what you pay. Unlike bikes, scooters won’t set up your kids ready for a gradual transition into riding. Once you have spent on this type of vehicle, it is unlikely to provide the same benefits as a standard bicycle.
Health benefits and skill development
Biking and scooting can be both a great outdoor activity for children to stay active and healthy. With their legs constantly pushing to propel or pedal, the lower and upper body muscles will develop and become strong.
More importantly, motor coordination, proprioceptive feedback, and spatial awareness are other skills that can be encouraged with both activities. By deciding when to pedal, hop, apply the brake, or steer, they will develop a sense of direction, hazards, speeds, as well as improve the planning skills at a young age.
Final verdict: Scooter or Bike for 4-year-old kids?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question because it’s up to you and your children. In overall, both bike and scooter can bring a sense of enjoyment and motion to your kids, as well as help them learn new skills.
Though there are a few drawbacks, a scooter might be a great option if it can capture their imagination and help build friendships or confidence. More importantly, this type of vehicle is much easier for them to move and steer in the backyard, making it safer for your kids to learn to ride.
On the other hand, if you want your children to develop cognitive and physical skills through cycling activities, then there is no option better than a mini or balance bike. It might take time to learn basic skills. But once your kids have mastered these things, they will not only have fun but also develop essential skills in life.