Choosing the best bicycle for your childChoosing a bike for your child that is appropriate for his/her age doesn't have to be a difficult task if you follow some of these guidelines. Here are some tips on finding the right model for your child.
Springtime is the wonderful time of year when we start to think about outdoor play and bicycles. Children love playing outside and introducing them to their "first set of wheels" can be fun for both the parent and the child. There are so many varieties of bicycles and ride-on toys to choose from. How can you make sure you get something age appropriate for your child?
Here are some ideas of what type of bicycle would be best for what age group:
1-3 years old
A bicycle with three or four wheels would be a good choice for toddlers. Depending on their balance and coordination a tricycle is one option for this age group. Kettler Trikes is a popular brand. They are made of heavy duty brightly colored plastic and some models come with a push bar for mom and dad to use when needed. They seem to be well made and easy to maneuver. Also Fisher Price makes a tricycle that has a handle attachment so you can assist your toddler if they are not strong enough to peddle on their own. Little Tykes makes a Go and Grow Rider that is perfect for a 1-year old because it is low to the ground and they can push it with their legs. It has an adjustable seat so as they get taller you can adjust it. A three-year-old may enjoy something like a big wheel. Huffy is a popular brand for big wheels. This type of ride-on will make your child feel ?grown-up? because they are larger and more bulky than a traditional three-wheeled bicycle.
4-6 years old
Preschool and kindergarten age children are probably ready for a two-wheeled bike. Four and five year olds may need training wheels to help them with their balance but this is a good age to start introducing them to a traditional two-wheeled bicycle. Children in this age group might also enjoy a scooter. Scooters are easy to control and they can help in balance development. You can also buy scooters with three wheels for younger children.
6-8 years old
Most kids in this age group know how to ride a two-wheeled bicycle. This is where size plays a role. There are medium size bicycles available for children in this age group. A six-year-old may not be ready for a full size bicycle. You can purchase bikes that are designed for each gender. For girls you can buy a pink sparkling Barbie bicycle with colorful streamers coming out of the handlebars. There are "dirt-bike" style bikes for boys with the bar that goes across the handlebars and a cool pad. A Spider-man theme or one with racing stripes is a popular choice for boys at this age. Some popular brands for bikes in this category are Huffy and Schwinn. Bikes like these can be purchased at any sporting goods store or large department stores.
9-12 years old
This age group will use a full size bicycle. Bikes that fit children in this category may be more expensive. Some models of bicycles like mountain bikes and ten speeds are an excellent choice for kids who are this age. Some brands that are well known for their adult or youth bicycles are Schwinn and Mongoose.
No matter what age category your child is in there are some accessories that will guarantee their safety when riding a bike of any size, shape, color or style. The most important accessory that every child should wear is a helmet. Helmets have been proven to protect from serious head injuries. In some states it is required that children on bicycles must have helmets. It is also a good idea to wear elbow and kneepads for protection from hard surfaces that can cause bumps and bruises.
Bicycles are meant to be an enjoyable recreational activity for children of all ages. You can follow some of the advice mentioned above when choosing a bicycle that is a right fit for your child. If you make sure your child is armed with the correct gear you can ensure a safe, pleasurable experience.