Every kid needs to learn how to ride a bike at some point. To be able to ride a bike, kids need to balance themselves on a bike. Most kids usually learn how to balance themselves using tricycles or bikes with training wheels. The problem is tricycles or training wheels are not very effective in teaching your kid how to ride a bike.
Fear not, nowadays, you can get your kid a balance bike. You can start using balance bike for kids as young as 18 months. So, if you have a three-year-old child, they are not too young to start learning how to ride a bike with balance bike. Here are some things you need to know about balance bike for 3 year old.
What is Balance Bike?
Balance bike is a bike with no pedals. Like other bikes, balance bike has two wheels. A child can push the bike with their feet to ride it. Balance bike can be used to teach a child as young as 1,5 years old to ride a bike.
Balance bike is designed as a replacement for tricycles or training wheels. It starts to get popular in many countries because it is easier for the kid to transition from balance bike to a normal bike.
Why Balance Bike Is Better Than Bike with Training Wheels
One of the reasons why it is better to get balance bike for 3 year old kid is because it is safer than tricycles or even bikes with training wheels. While tricycles are hard to maneuver and can get tipped easily on uneven surfaces, balance bike has better balance and smoother control. Not to mention that when a kid uses balance bike, they will focus on balancing themselves instead of pedaling. It means that the kid is more ready to balance themselves on a normal bike.
Another reason why it is better to use balance bike to teach your kid how to ride a bike is because your kid can walk or even run for a few kilometers when they use balance bike, while when the kid uses tricycle, they are rarely able to go far. This is why trikes are usually equipped with handle for parents to push it.
If you want to teach your kid how to ride a bike, it is better to look for balance bike for 3 year old than bike with training wheels. Training wheels do not teach your kid how to ride a bike, while balance bikes do. Bikes with training wheels tend to tilt to one side, which teaches your kid how to ride a bike while unbalanced. It means, your kid will have to unlearn it once they start riding a normal bike. Balance bike will help your kid how to ride a bike while balanced.
Benefits of Using Balance Bike
There are some benefits of using balance bike to teach your kid how to ride a bike. Balance bike helps your kid to develop their motor skills. It can also help your kid to be more social. You can teach your kid about sharing or taking turn with it.
Riding balance bike can also encourage your kid to do more physical activity since your kid will have to go outside if they want to use balance bike. This can also help you to minimize screen time of your kid. Last but not least, a balance bike helps your kid to learn about balance.
How to Choose Balance Bike
Now you know the benefits of balance bike, you might want to know how to choose a balance bike for 3 year old. Here are several criteria for you to choose balance bike for your kid.
The first criteria is size. When it comes to choosing a balance bike, size is the most important criteria. Two things you need to consider before buying a balance bike is tire size and seat height. Basically, there are four tire sizes: 10-inch, 12-inch, 14-inch and 16-inch. While you can find 10 inches balance bike, it is not recommended because your children can outgrow it easily.
Before buying a balance bike for your kid, you need to make sure that your child can stand over the bike and put both feet on the ground. You also need to ensure that there is a space of two or three centimeters above the seat.
You can also use the inseam measurement of your child to know the size of balance bike that will suit your kid. The distance between the floor and your child’s crotch is inseam measurement. One thing you need to remember, it is better to get the right balance bike for your kid rather than one that your child will grow into.
Another criterion you need to consider is the weight of the balance bike. Generally, the weight of the balance bike should not be more than 30 percent of your child’s weight. If the bike is too heavy, your child will find it hard to push the bike around. Usually, the more features a balance bike has, the heavier it gets. You can get a lightweight bike with many features, but it is usually more expensive since it needs special components.
Aside from tire size, you also need to decide the type of tire of balance bike your child needs. Basically, there are five types of tires: big apple, plastic, foam, air and rubber. Each of tire type has its own pros and cons, so you need to look for the one that suit your kid.
Another criteria you need to think about is material of balance bike. There are three main materials of balance bike: metal, wood and composite. The pros of wooden balance bike are it is more eco-friendly and trendy. The con is that wooden balance bike is not as adjustable as the balance bike made of metal or composite.
The metal used for balance bike is either steel or aluminum. Usually, a balance bike that is made of metal has seat that you can adjust. The balance bike made of steel is usually heavier but more durable while the aluminum balance bike is lighter. The biggest problem of a metal balance bike is that it can get rusty if you do not keep it indoor.
A composite balance bike is made of composite plastic. The good thing about this kind of bike is that it will not rust or rot or crack. The downside is that it is more expensive. But if you have more than one children and plan to pass it down, composite bike is a good choice.
Once you know all about a balance bike, you can get the best balance bike for 3 year old.