When Little T was around two years old, we got her a cute little tricycle without the seemingly popular push handles. We felt that the push handle would mean just pushing her and she wouldn’t really be able to practice pedaling. Well, our cute little tricycle proved too difficult to use. Do you know why? Because toddlers cannot really manage pedals yet! (Here’s how we helped Little T learn how to pedal.)
So, when Little Sir was about to turn two last year, we wanted to find a better bike. We had the notion of getting him a “ride-on bike,” something that he would just push with his legs. We weren’t really sure, though, if there was anything other than the usual ride-on car.
When my husband was at the mall (and I was at home) on the eve of Little Sir’s birthday, he kept me updated with what was available. He remembered the pedal-less bike that we talked about and told me about the YBike. It was out of our budget, but I got very excited when I visited its website right then. Long story short, Wonderful G went home with one for Little Sir.
The Balance Bike
The YBike is a kind of a balance bike, which does not have pedals, stabilizers or training wheels, and breaks. All a child has to do is to steer it while walking or running on it. As we have seen in Little Sir, the benefits of such bikes are numerous:
- Development of balance and coordination, which are the most important skills when riding a “real” bicycle
- Development of body confidence, as a result of improved skills in balance and coordination, that translates to other gross motor activities
- Promotion of healthy exercise
- Can be used indoors (oh how Little Sir zooms around the house!) and outdoors
- Gives a sense of independence… no thank you, you don’t need to push me!
Those who saw the bike after the gift unwrapping felt that Little Sir was deprived of a good, ol’ bike… because what kind of a bike is THAT? But Little Sir’s reaction, which was the only thing that mattered, was a different story. He immediately hopped into it, propelled himself forward, picked himself up when he fell, and tried and tried again. Soon he was zooming about so fast that I would feel faint (we didn’t think to get him a helmet!)
Little Sir has been enjoying his YBike for more than six months now. He loves it and rides it almost everyday. Within a few days of getting it, he was already doing tricks on it – he would propel himself so very fast and then lift his feet up, balancing with his body, or he would also challenge himself to abruptly halt in front of a door or a wall.
One of the benefits being touted by YBike and other balance bikes is that children will be able to transition better to bicycles without the need for training wheels. Though we are waiting for Little Sir to grow some more before geting him a regular bike with pedals, we really think that it is possible for him to skip the training wheels as he is already mastering the art of balancing and steering.
What do you think of this as first bike for toddlers? Did you ever want to buy one? I highly encourage you to check it out when you’re choosing a first bike for your child!
(By the way, this is not a sponsored or paid post. I really don’t do that… but I sometimes wish that I do!)