Learning to ride a bike is an exciting rite of passage for any child. For younger children, tricycles can be a useful preparation tool, as they take care of the balancing side of things whilst children master one of the most important skills of learning to ride: pedalling.
This means that by the time your child makes the transition to “big bikes” (or pedal bikes), the only thing they’ll need to focus on is learning to balance!
But how old does your child need to be before they can start riding a tricycle? In this article, we will be looking at the ideal age for kids to start riding tricycles.
The general recommendation is that 2.5 – 3 years is the youngest a child should be when they start riding a tricycle. At this age, your child will have developed the gross motor skills necessary to pedal a tricycle (including coordination and the physical movement of pedalling.
Although tricycles tend to be safer than bicycles, as they are lower to the ground, more stable, and do not tip over easily, they are still generally not recommended for children under this age. This is because most children under this age will be too short and not strong enough to ride a tricycle. They may also not possess the necessary gross motor skills, meaning they may be more likely to fall off or have accidents.
With that being said, a balance bike or specialised tricycles for toddlers may be an option for slightly younger children (e.g. 24 months and up) to learn how to pedal. These may be a safer option to help your younger child learn how to pedal, if you don’t want to wait until the 2.5 – 3 year mark.
However, there are several factors that you will need to take into account when determining whether or not your younger child is ready to ride a trike. For example, you will need to consider your child’s height (as they need to be tall enough to be able to comfortably reach the pedals, and put their feet down when they want to stop the tricycle), as well as their physical strength (as they need to be strong enough to be able to pedal and steer the tricycle).
If your toddler is able to reach the pedals, put their feet down, and is strong enough to pedal and control the trike, there is no reason they can’t give pedalling on a balance bike or tricycle for toddlers a try!
When it comes to buying a tricycle for your child, there are a few other key things that you will want to keep in mind. For example, you will want to choose a tricycle that is appropriately sized for your child’s height and age (as a toddler will require a smaller tricycle than a child who is 3+ years old, for example).
You will also want to choose one that has the proper safety features. Look for trikes with a wider front tyre to help balance the bike, and a parental assistance handle to help with steering. Check out Push Me Home for this!
Finally, you’ll want to choose a trike that your child loves! A lot of the time, the easiest way to do this is to take your child with you to pick out a trike. Not only will this be a great bonding experience for the two of you, but your child will also be able to pick out a trike that they love the look of, and which they will continue to love for several years to come!