Riding a tricycle for most of us is an enjoyable childhood memory. Using ride-on toys such as tricycles, bikes, and scooters are essential to a child’s physical development. However, some parents are uncertain as to what age they’ll expose their children to riding tricycles.
The perfect time kids can begin to pedal a tricycle is between ages 1 to 3. Some children will master riding a tricycle when they reach the age of 3. Continue reading to know more about different facets of toddlers using a tricycle.
What Age Should You Introducing Pedaling to Toddlers?
Before letting a child ride a tricycle, you need to introduce them to the trike altogether. The age varies from child to child but on average kids are ready around the age of 3. To get started run over the toy’s essential details, like the pedals, seat, and protective equipment like the helmet. This way, they can get an idea of what it is and how to use it. The essential parts of the tricycle you need to demonstrate are the pedals. If they cannot learn how to pedal, they will not move. You can demonstrate pedaling by putting their feet on the pedal and rotate them with your hands. Tricycle strollers are great practice tools in preparation for riding on their own. It is a must to show them that the wheels start to move when they move the pedals.
How to Encourage Pedaling?
Tricycles are also a great way to boost a child’s confidence, endurance, coordination, and independence. It is also an excellent instrument for children when they start to be curious about their surroundings. However, children are sometimes stubborn and are not easy to teach as they get distracted.
One way to encourage and teach your child how to pedal is through games. You can also reinforce these games with rewards like snacks or extra time watching their favorite shows. Here are some surefire games you can play with your toddler so they can learn to ride a tricycle:
Catch/Cat and mouse game
If your toddler has an older sibling, you can let them play cat and mouse. Your toddler will be the cat, and their big sibling will be the mouse.
You can also set up your living room or backyard to make it like an F1 racetrack. However, be mindful of the floor or surface your toddler will be racing. As long as it’s a flat surface and not slippery, you’re good to go. You can start by making a straight racetrack so they can get accustomed. As time goes by, you can make the race enjoyable by making curves on the trail. You can also put some obstacles so your toddler can learn how to steer.
You can encourage your child to use it but do not force them. It can result in injuries and fear of riding a tricycle. Children have different paces when achieving essential milestones, and it shouldn’t be too much forced.
Safety Tips for Tricycles
Safety should be on top of your list as a parent. When your toddler explores new things, especially with ride-on toys, you must be well-equipped with safety precautions. Here are some of the safety reminders when your child starts to ride a tricycle:
- Always wear helmets and other protective gear, and impose a ‘no helmet, no ride’ policy.
- Make sure the tricycle is well-built and made from sturdy materials. Check for any damages before and after your child uses it.
- If the tricycle has a strap or belt, check on them before and after usage.
Factors to Consider Before Buying a Tricycle
Although your child is within the age bracket where they can ride a tricycle, there are still factors to consider. If you bought one and the child’s not ready, your toddler might not enjoy it, and it’ll be a waste of money. Here are some of the considerations you need to ponder over before buying a tricycle for your child:
Tricycles come in different sizes, which fit children from any height. Choose a trike that is suitable for your toddler’s height, as well as their weight.
Like any other ride-on toys, a tricycle needs a little push to move. Toddlers need to have enough leg strength to make the trike move wherever they want to go. Also, they need to be strong enough to steer the toy.
Though a tricycle has three wheels to support a child, it doesn’t mean that children don’t need to balance themselves. Your child needs to have enough body balance to ride and get off the trike without stumbling. Moreover, they need to stay upright and be stable while riding the tricycle.
A child needs to know how to pedal while looking out and steering away from obstacles. Your kid needs to have coordination and spatial awareness so they can operate the tricycle.
Additional attachments can boost the riding experience of a child. Most tricycles, especially those for one-year-olds, have a push bar, which lets parents maneuver the tricycle. Some tricycles have a built-in push bar, but popular ones have removable ones.
Tricycles are an excellent way for children to explore their environment. It is also an essential part of developing your child’s gross motor skills. However, children still need to be supervised while using a tricycle.