Your child’s first bike is something they will always remember. Most children begin learning how to ride when they are toddlers or in preschool, and they build on those skills as they get older. But pedal bikes with training wheels have a competitor: balance bikes, which many families prefer as they coax their little ones to learn to ride. Which choice is best for your child? Our early childhood education teachers explain below:

What Is A Balance Bike?

A balance bike is a bicycle that lacks pedals, allowing your child to sit on the bike seat and push themselves forward using only their feet. Balance bikes permit your child to learn how to stabilize their bike while they ride instead of focusing on learning to pedal. At first, they may simply walk or run while seated on the bike, but eventually they’ll learn to keep the bike upright, keep it balanced, and make turns, start, and stop all while maintaining balance and stability.

Balance bikes are a great choice for kids who have mastered walking and are ready to use their own walking motion to learn balance before they learn how to pedal. As your child gets faster at walking with their balance bike, they’ll begin to glide and will eventually lift their feet while they ride.

Plus, many balance bikes are lightweight and take up less space than bikes with pedals, making them ideal for young children who like to explore. They are also less likely to get their legs scraped up by the pedals because there aren’t any!

Our picks for balance bikes include the Strider 12 Sport Balance Bike, which is lightweight and easy to assemble, but we also like the Banana Bike LT, a less expensive option which is still sturdy and lightweight. And the Woom 1 12-inch Balance Bike is a bit pricey, but a great choice for little ones with shorter legs. For more recommendations about which balance bike to give your child, contact our child development center today!

A Word About Bikes With Training Wheels

This is the bike you likely learned how to cycle on. Bikes with training wheels are the traditional choice, allowing your child to become comfortable pedaling while also steering and stopping their bike. They’ll learn how to pedal before they learn to balance with the training wheels removed, which makes it easier to keep up speed when they outgrow their training wheels. 

Bicycles with training wheels are a good choice for older kids who are able to learn a pedaling motion. They are also helpful for children who need the motivation of feeling that gliding sensation right away, as they are just learning how to bike.

Our favorite bicycles with training wheels include the Raleigh Jazzi 12 Kids’ Bike, which offers optimal comfort and a sturdy build. We also like the Specialized Riprock Coaster 12, which comes with a set of training wheels considered to be the best on the market and offers an easier pedaling experience. Looking for other recommendations about beginner bikes for kids? Call our early childhood development center in Monroe to speak with our preschool teachers!

Which type of bike did you choose for your child? Would you recommend it to others? Let your fellow parents know which bike helped your child learn to ride in the comments section, and contact Child’s World Academy today to enroll your little one at our local daycare center.