As part of my grand plan to introduce as many physical activities to Theo from a young age, we bought him a balance bike for his second birthday in May. However, he was a little too short then for the bike even at its lowest seat level to be comfortable. He was also at the age where he thought his green crocodile helmet looked cool, but he hated wearing it. Hence it was stored away in the basement for a while in the summer.
However at a friend’s Halloween party last week, he took great interest in what one of the kids had – a balance bike.
For almost 2 hours, he was pushing himself everywhere with it, getting up and down pavements. I didn’t make a big deal of it then as I didn’t want him to suddenly become self-conscious of what he was doing.
The next day, which was a Sunday, I suggested to Dan to bring Theo out for a ride. Easily enough, the boy was enthusiastic about it despite not riding it for months.
He rode it down our very long street and back up to the playground and then back home. When he first left with it, he was kind of walking with it. But when he was approaching him, he was pushing it so fast while chasing his Papa with it. In a matter of 1.5 hours, Theo became confident in using his balance bike.
I really do prefer starting him off with a balance bike to a tricycle or a bike with training wheels. Being on a balance bike means he has to ride his bike while balanced. There is no false sense of security there. He had to figure it out himself how not to fall over. It is a great bike to have to develop gross motor skills. Also, it helps build confidence as it’s quite hard to fall over badly. It is important to make sure that the child’s feet can touch the ground while using the balance bike. They use their feet to stop and prevent any falls.