Learning with Ride on Toys
I see this question come from a lot of my family members who see my son gliding around on his bike.
Though I have noticed that these questions come more from people that either don’t have young children or new parents.
This is the way that I see it through the actions of my 3 year old son, Everett.
Stage 1 (Ages 1+) By the time children are 1 year old, they start interacting with ride-on toys. From ages 1-3, they are primarily scoot along toys that offer the capabilities of steering and being that they are close to the ground it allows control of movement by the child’s feet.
Stage 2 (Ages 2-5) Children often master the coordination of scoot-along toys by the time they are 2 years old, but often ride them up until they are 4 years old. The next stage is the tricycle stage. The tricycle stage includes the classic tricycles we rode as children as well as modern versions from italtrike. Stage 2 gives children a little more freedom and maneuverability and allows that child to go faster. This is a good stage to teach the proper aspects of safety; always wear a helmet & stay out of the road.
Stage 3(Ages 2-6) Now they have mastered the tricycle and want to ride bikes like the “big kids” in the neighborhood. While some parents have leaned towards a 2-wheel pedal bike with training wheels, we recommend a balance bike. Balance bikes, often referred to as runner and training bikes look like a bike but with no pedals. We noticed with our first child that he relied too much on the training wheels and never really gained any confidence in balancing. Since most children have learned the basics of pedaling in the tricycle stage we like to focus on balancing in Stage 3. Balance bikes allow the children to start walking with the bike; proceed to an occasional balance and then to an all-out run and glide. Even after a child masters the balance bike they often go back to it for jumping ramps and going down small hills. We strongly recommend helmets, knee pads and wrist guards.