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How To Teach A Child To Ride A Bike

Teaching a child to ride a bicycle can be a challenging process. Coordination varies from child to child. Some children may be able to ride a bike unattended from as early as 2 years of age, others may not until they are around 6 or 7 years old. Let’s have a closer look at some tips on how to teach a child to ride a bike.

Teaching a Child to Ride a Bike

Be patient. It will take a lots of practice, and a few tumbles to teach a child to ride is bike. If the child falls off, it is a good idea to get them back on immediately to prevent them from becoming frightened. Be persistent and they will be pedalling around in no time.

toddler on a balance bikePin

How do balance bikes work?

Balance bikes teach children to learn to balance while moving without relying on training wheels or stabilizers, therefore the transition to a pedal bike is often much quicker. You can even get balance bikes for toddlers.

First, you teach your child to stride along on the balance bike. Once they understand this, they will start to lift their feet and glide. As you child gets stronger, the gliding will be longer and faster. It can take a few months to a year for your child to learn how to do it. Your next step is now to buy a bicycle with pedals.


Purchasing a trike or three wheeled bicycle while a child is learning to walk is the first step. Tricycles teach youngsters to steer and use pedals. In the beginning, the child will probably shuffle along holding the handle bars or use his feet to push the trike along. With practice children will begin to steer and pedal.

girl on a tricycle Pin

How to teach a child to ride a bike with training wheels

Once the child has mastered pedalling and steering and the parent feels he is ready, move them to a small bike with training wheels. Make sure that the child is using the correct bicycle for his height. It is usually easier for the child to learn on a bike that is undersized. This will make it easier for them to reach the pedals and handle bars.

Start with two training wheels on the bicycle. As the child becomes more confident riding their bike, the training wheels will eventually raise off the ground. Parents will eventually notice over time, the training wheels are no longer on the ground when the child is riding and means they are no longer needed. Another option is to remove one side of the training wheels until the child feels 100 percent confident. Then remove the second one.

On another note, some children’s bike’s can be purchased with a steering device for parents. This is a long handle on the rear of the bike that allows an adult to steer and brake.

girl learning to bike with training wheelsPin

Once the training wheels are off

A popular method to teach a child to ride a bike includes the parent running with the child, holding them until they are balanced, and then letting go. The parents should ensure they are holding the child, not the bicycle. Holding onto the bicycle will make it unbalanced.

This video below will help you to teach your child to ride their bike.

YouTube video

Bike Safety for Children

Bicycle safety should begin early. Encouraging a child to wear a helmet while riding their trike will ensure that when they begin riding a bicycle it will be routine for them to wear one. Knee and elbow pads may also be considered when the child is learning to ride.

Bike Camp

If you are looking for additional help in teaching your child to ride a bike, you can also enrol him/her in a bike camp such as the one in Ottawa called Pedalheads. It’s an instructional bike camp that focuses on teaching kids how to use and ride a bike, proper safety techniques, and gaining the confidence to ride without fear.

How To Teach A Child To Ride A BikePin

Children should learn to ride at their own pace. Like most things, if children are pushed to do something, the chances are they won’t enjoy it. Riding a bike is not only a fun family activity, but it is also great exercise for a child. Hope these tips on teaching a child to ride a bike will come in handy!

Lyne Proulx
Lyne Proulxhttps://ottawamommyclub.ca/
Lyne Proulx is a Certified WEBB Bodywork Pet Practitioner, Certified Infant Massage Instructor (CIMI), Certified Professional Wedding Consultant, and an Event Planner. She loves all things Disney and is an avid teaholic and chocoholic. She coordinated the Annual Infant Information Day/Early Years Expo for the City of Ottawa for 8 years. She was the Queen B of the BConnected Conference, Canada's Digital Influencer and social media Conference in Ottawa and Toronto. She was also the co-chair of the Navan for Kraft Hockeyville 2009-2011 committee that organized five community events within 6 months, and helped Navan reach the top 10 finalists in Canada. In April 2011, she received the City of Ottawa Mayor's City Builder Award.

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