5 Things You Need to Know Before Teaching Your Toddler How to Ride a Bike

toddler-riding-bike
Image adapted via Flickr/ Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious

The days are finally filled with more sunshine and warm weather, and it's safe to say spring is here and summer is just around the corner. I love this time of year because all the kids from the neighborhood come out, and the streets and air are filled with the laughter of young children enjoying the outdoors.

This time of year also brings new and experienced bike riders to the streets. It's adorable to watch little ones try to keep up with their older siblings on their bikes and celebrate with them as they learn to pedal and move on their own.

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If you're going to be teaching your older toddler how to ride a bike this spring, here are 5 things you need to know before the lessons begin:

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Image via Flickr/ swambo

Take them with you to pick out a bike.

Did you know that bikes come in different sizes? I didn't the first time I went to pick out a bike for my kid. I was only concerned with making sure it had the right colors and characters painted on it so my child wouldn't refuse it flat out.

Taking your older toddler to the store with you isn't always an enjoyable experience, but, in this case, it can be really helpful. It's all about the right wheel diameter — not just about handlebars and seat height — so be sure to do your research before you go, too.

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Image via Flickr/ mliu92

Keep a positive, peaceful attitude.

I can admit, when it comes to things like teaching my kids how to ride a bike or watching them climb up the rope ladders at the playground, I don't always keep my cool. I am anxious by nature, and these activities just seem to throw my nerves to the next level.

Whether you're like me or not, when you're teaching your older toddler how to ride a bike, be mindful of how you're teaching. Keep a positive attitude and your own anxieties to yourself, and it will be gentler on both of you.

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Image via Flickr/ Richard Masoner / Cyclelicious

Discuss the importance of all safety precautions and follow them.

Those helmets and knee pads may not be what your toddler wants to wear, but it's important you make it a priority. If they want to ride their bike, they have to have all the gear.

Talk with your child about the importance of the safety equipment like helmets and wearing safe clothes and shoes while they're enjoying the outdoors and exercising. Doing so will help keep them safe, and by starting that early, there will be less fight-back when they're older.

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Image via Flickr/ Tammra McCauley

Don't force it.

It may have been your favorite thing to do during the summer as a child, but not all kids are interested in riding a bike, so don't force it. If your child is too afraid to sit on the bike or is hesitant about trying, you're not going to turn it into something fun by force. Take their cues, and if they're not interested, think about trying next summer.

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Image via Flickr/ donnierayjones

Start with training wheels.

Not all kids need the stabilizers on their bikes, but if you're trying to teach your 3-year-old to ride a bike, they may not have the balance on their own yet. If your toddler got their taste of wheels using a tricycle, they may easily transition to a bike more easily than a child who hasn't ridden before.

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What are your tips for teaching kids to ride a bike? Share in the comments!

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5 Things You Need to Know Before Teaching Your Toddler How to Ride a Bike

Devan McGuinness is the founder of the online resource Unspoken Grief, which is dedicated to breaking the silence of perinatal grief for those directly and indirectly affected by miscarriage, stillbirth and neonatal death. Using her own experience of surviving 12 miscarriages, Devan has been actively supporting and encouraging others who are wading through the challenges associated with perinatal and neonatal loss. Winner of the 2012 Bloganthropy Award and named one of Babble's “25 bloggers wh ... More

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