A great activity a family can participate in is strolling through a neighborhood or park!
Understandably, some parents have hesitations about what mode of transportation is best for their young children at the beginning.
There is nothing worse than regretting your purchase and realizing you could have researched further before buying that product!
You don’t want to throw your child on a vehicle with wheels if they are not prepared to control it because this could lead to injuries.
Today, there are various options for your child but it can be hard to pick which one is best!
Some prefer to use a balance bike which is similar to a traditional bike but without the pedals.
Learning to ride a bike at a young age can be beneficial for your child since they can use that skill when they are an adult!
Believe it or not, according to Five Thirty Eight, only six percent of Americans do not know how to ride a bicycle.
Others might choose a scooter that you stand on and push off with your legs to move.
Either way, your child will gain better motor skills and work on their upper body, core and lower body muscles while learning how to ride it!
How do you know which is best for your child and how does one pick between all of the options?
Here is a guide to the benefits and disadvantages of balance bikes and scooters along with tips on if you should opt for two or four wheels!
One of the best things about balance bikes is that they are easy to use and it also prepares your child to handle a real bike one day.
The main goal of the balance bike is to teach your toddler how to control and steer a bike.
Regardless if a regular bike has training wheels or not, a lot of children struggle with the peddling aspect of bikes.
Balance bikes do not have pedals which causes less of a problem if your toddler falls over.
This is a fantastic option to consider to help your child transition easily to a big girl or boy bike one day!
Scooters are another great option for your toddler and very easy for them to catch on to how it works.
Not only do you have an option on how many wheels your child’s scooter has, but it also is a bit safer.
Scooters allow your child to have quicker reaction times to errors since it is easier to react while standing compared to sitting.
Hopping on and off a scooter is quick to learn since toddlers can start off by walking next to their scooter and getting used to its motion.
Standing while riding a scooter also provides more stability for your kid, making them more confident and less fearful compared to a bike.
With electric scooters growing as a more popular form of transportation, this is a more practical option nowadays to prepare your child to ride scooters as they grow older!
Two or Four Wheels?
The decision on how many wheels you want on your child’s bike or scooter depends on how advanced your child is at balancing.
If you have an extremely young child who has not gained great balance skills yet, definitely choose four wheels over two since that requires minimal balancing.
The benefit of choosing a four-wheel bike with training wheels is that you can usually remove the extra two wheels as they grow more advanced.
Unfortunately, some children have a hard time letting go of their training wheels which can stunt their bike riding skills.
Meanwhile, starting your toddler off on a two-wheeled bike risks more injuries but will teach them how to ride adult bikes way faster.
For scooters, the answer is similar as well.
Two-wheeled scooters require more balance but will be easier for your child to catch onto since they are able to recorrect by stepping off the scooter easily.
Meanwhile, four-wheeled scooters are easier to balance but make turning significantly more difficult.
A three-wheeled scooter is a good choice for those who are between the skill level of four-wheeled scooters and two-wheeled scooters.
Overall, two-wheeled scooters are better for toddlers needing to learn balance while three-wheeled scooters are better for improving turning skills.
For bikes, choose a four-wheeled bike if your child is still learning to steer and balance but remember to take the extra wheels off once they gain those skills so they don’t become dependent on it.
When comparing scooters and balance bikes, the decision should be made based on the child but logistical matters should be considered as well.
For example, balance bikes are slightly harder to transport compared to a scooter since it takes up more space.
Additionally, costs have to be considered as well.
According to Screenless Kids, balance bikes can be purchased for as little as $40 to $50 while scooters are closer to $50 to $60.
Meanwhile, a scooter might be easier for your child to learn but it will not prepare them to learn how to ride a bike.
Sparking your child’s interest in biking at an early age can help them continue that activity as an adult, creating a healthy exercise activity that can be done at any age.
If your child is still learning basic skills like turning and balancing, consider getting a scooter so they get used to turning and balancing with a smaller risk of getting hurt.
A general rule parents can follow is to start their child off on a scooter if they are extremely young and consider switching to a bike once their motor skills improve.
Overall, there is no wrong answer because all of these options provide a healthy exercise activity for your child to partake in outdoors!
No matter which you choose, make sure your child is wearing a helmet to help minimize any head injuries.
Also, be sure to keep an eye on them while they are learning the early stages of biking or scootering in case they fall over! Visit The Learning Experience’s Bubbles and Friends YouTube channel for more outdoor fun videos.