Teaching a child to ride a bike without training wheels is one of those important passages of childhood, right up there with crossing the street solo and tying your shoes for the first time. But teaching kids to ride a bike can be a bit tricky.
How to teach a child to ride a bike:
• Let your child decide when he or she is ready to ride a bike. Most kids give up training wheels when they’re 5 or 6.
• Make sure the bike isn’t too big. Young riders should be able to have their feet flat on the pavement when sitting on the seat, and they should have 1 inch of clearance when they straddle the frame.
• Help your children develop a sense of balance by weaning them off training wheels. When your child is ready, move the training wheels up about one-quarter of an inch. As balance improves, move the wheels up again.
• Teach children to ride a two-wheeler on a slight grassy slope or a narrow sidewalk surrounded by grass – not in the street or an empty parking lot. It’s really easier to let them make their mistakes on something that’s not going to hurt them when they fall.
• When you’re ready for a first run, put your hand under the seat to help steady the bike. Once you let go, stay close and be ready to grab them once they start to fall. Eventually, though, you’re going to have to let them take a few spills.
• Lastly, insist on a bike helmet when teaching you child to ride a bike – and beyond.