Teaching a Child to Ride a Two Wheeler {Tips}

Last weekend, my five year old and my six year old learned to ride their bikes without training wheels.  They both picked it up within an hour, and I thought I would share a few tips that might come in handy when you are teaching your little one.


1)  Get the gear - When learning to ride a bike, a child will fall, so make sure they are prepared.  We went to the dollar store and got a set of knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist pads.  I think we saved ourselves from a lot of scrapes.  Also, a proper fitting helmet should always be worn.

2)  Pick the right place -You need to look for a place that is flat and soft.  {We used a local baseball diamond, and it worked really well.}

3)  Need for speed - In order to get their balance, a child needs a little speed.  A little push goes a long way.

4)  Hold the child, not the bike - We started out holding onto the back of the bike, but it was making it difficult for the boys to "feel" the balancing of the bike.  When we started holding onto the child instead of the bike, it really helped.

5)  Be patient - Riding a bike is difficult {and a little scary} for little ones.  Be patient, and give them lots of encouragement.


Check out the "thumbs up" from my proud "bike riders" {and their three year old brother who will have his training wheels a little longer}.  :-)

Do you have a great tip for teaching a child to ride a bike?  I'd love to hear it.


Gina Bell (aka East Coast Mommy)

16 comments:

  1. As a mom to a 5 year old who is wanting to give up training wheels, I'm thankful for your advice! I think the speed aspect might freak her out (she's super cautious) but I can see it's necessary! Thanks for the tips! :)

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    1. Glad it was helpful.... but don't go too fast! lol

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  2. My 5-yo resists riding his bike at all because he 'can't do it' (not sure where he got the perfectionist tendancies *cough*)... and that's WITH training wheels. I know he'd love it if he was more comfortable, work up some speed etc. But I can't even convince him to get on the bike most of the time...??

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    1. That's tough. :-( I would just give it time. Maybe next summer he'll be more into it. My six year old was the same way last summer, and this summer he is riding like a pro. Good luck!

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    2. Get him a balance bike, seriously the most amazing thing ever. No pedals or training wheels. They have full control. My son was the same as yours, he is so hard on himself. Now he gives himself a push and picks his feet right up. Can ride down hill. It made a huge difference. Gonna move him to a bike with no training wheels soon

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  3. Thanks! I hope this helps us. My 5 year old had a bad fall off his bike in the spring (with training wheels) and hurt his arm pretty bad. He spend most of the summer doing everything possible to avoid the bike. We recently had a breakthrough and he he loves his bike all of a sudden. I don't think cautious little guy is ready for the training wheels to be take off but maybe these ideas will help when he is!

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  4. As a grandmother of an 8year old I was determined he learn to ride this summer. Get a bike without all the gears. Let them learn on a basic bike where they pedal forward to go fast Nd backwards to stop. Also, teaching him to put his foot down and how " to fall" really helped before he got started. I am proud to say that he is a bike rider now and VERY PROUD of himself. Positive encouragement such as .... You can do it as they ride just a tiny bit really helps.

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  5. Best tip ever is to find a gentle grassy hill. This gives them the speed without any effort so they can focus on pedaling and balance. Our four and a half year old was speeding up and down the hill 20 minutes after we began our no training wheels efforts. Our son also had a season or two of the use of a run bike under his belt so he had figured out the balance previously. Hope this helps others!

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  6. Best tip ever is to find a gentle grassy hill. This gives them the speed without any effort so they can focus on pedaling and balance. Our four and a half year old was speeding up and down the hill 20 minutes after we began our no training wheels efforts. Our son also had a season of the use of a run bike under his belt so he had figured out the balance previously. Hope this helps others!

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  7. My four year just learned as well and what worked for us was to have me on one side of the bike and my hubby on the other. We would start by each holding one handlebar and running beside her and then we'd let go, but keep running beside her. This helped her learn her balance and gave her confidence, plus we could grab the handlebars or her and the bike if she was going to fall. The only downfall to this method is that my hubby and I are not runners and were exhausted by the end. We tired before she did!

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  8. We used the runner (bike without pedals) for a few months and both our kids learned to ride a bike within ten minutes at the age of four. We never used training wheels so the kids never relied on them. The runner was a great purchase and we are believers!

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  9. Just took my 6 yr old to a local program called learn to ride $20 - he never wanted his training wheels off and was quite hesitant with any suggestions of not having them - he was riding on his own without training wheels and even doing circles within the first hour - unbelievable - the tip was that first they took the pedals off his bike (easy to do) and then let the kids run/ride with their feet and practice balancing for about 20+ minutes till they looked like they had the balance thing and were comfortable cause they could drop their feet at any time. Then we put the pedals back on and they all just started putting their feet up 1 at a time and with Minimal help they just took off - very short at the start but within hour - it was Amazing - had kids in group from 3-10. Hope this helps

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  10. Maybe next summer he'll be more into it. My six year old was the same way last summer, and this summer he is riding like a pro.

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  11. Start them early on a 12 Strider,
    Advantages of Riding a STRIDER
    STRIDER balance bikes are ultra light weight (under 7 pounds) and very easy for young children to control.
    Research shows that learning balance and coordination with exercise jump-starts a child’s growth and development.
    Riding the STRIDER bike not only teaches balance and coordination, but it develops glittering confidence.
    The STRIDER No-Pedal Balance Bike is a simple pedal-less design that allows young children to focus solely on learning balance first.
    The STRIDER is free of cables, chains, sprockets, pedals or protrusions that can harm a child.
    The STRIDER provides for a safe, speedy, smooth and natural transition to a pedal bike.
    The seat and handlebars are adjustable, so that one bike fits children 1 ½ years to 5 years, with the simple addition of an optional XL seat post.
    The patented, integrated footrests provide a place for children’s feet while coasting along.
    Durable, steel frame and fork for years of service.
    The STRIDER is outfitted with puncture-proof EVA polymer tires that are maintenance-free and lightweight.
    Unique no-tool design allows bike to be assembled in less than 5 minutes.

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  12. After 5 years of trying to teach my very nervous child to ride a bike, we finally did it. He was still so nervous to ride his bike with training wheels, but at age 10 we said enough is enough. We didnt go out and buy a strider as he was too big and it was a stage that costs more money then you need to spend. We simply took the pedals and training wheels off his bike, and got him to walk around with it and balance with each step. Speed is the main key. He needed to go fast in order to keep it balanced. After a hour or so of trying that, i felt he was ready for the pedals. (The bike with no pedals would of only been useful for a day) Then we went to the community basketball court that is next door and it gave him more space to go. He was a little wobbly at first. He was doing well and then started to get nervous again so we went back to just balancing with feet. Then before he knew it, he tried again and he was off. It really only took a few hours in total and he was ready. With the extra push he needed to encourage him to do it, he did. He was so proud of himself and so were we. Now Mommy needs be be brave and let him bike around the neighborhood with his friends..LOL

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    1. What a great story! Thanks so much for taking the time to share it with me. :-)

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