Do you remember trying to ride a bike for the first time? I do. I was an 80’s kid, there wasn’t much to do except explore, climb tree’s and of course ride my bike.
Learning to ride it didn’t happen overnight, and also because it was way too big for me it took a while. The confidence gained from persevering and reaching my goal to do it is what lots of kids go through, it’s an important part of growing up and teaches children the value of setting goals and working towards them, not just about riding a bike but other things in their life.
Integrating biking, or any sport into a child’s recreation time can give them valuable core skills they will use for many years to come.
The level of a child’s balance and development will help them with everything from climbing a tree, playing with friends and maintaining energy and team sports skills.
Taking the next step up from a trike, the balance or runner bikes are an excellent way to develop your child’s balance without even thinking about it.
They learn how to control their movements and the result of their body weight shifting and guiding their direction. Judging their speed and estimating their lines all while trying to control the little bike and keep it upright. The push -off movements and coasting bit by bit builds a good sense of how their balance works and by the time they step up to a larger bike, they will already be a step ahead.
The balance and stability skills learned here will be used in your child’s everyday life from playing on the playground and sports equipment to walking and more efficient control of their body.
Physical Fitness and Activity
It’s a natural part of a child’s development, to be active and on the move. The pre-school years are the perfect time to introduce them to a physical activity that is both fun and will help them grow in strength and coordination.
Kids are spending more time playing on devices or sometimes avoiding physical play altogether, introducing them to something as simple as a family bike ride, whether on a child seat when they are young or out on their own bike when older can give them excitement and a strong feeling of independence while developing skills they can apply to other sports.
Of course, kids this age are constantly moving around and always looking for the next new thing, I have walked many a mile with my daughter in the buggy when she was ready I started riding with her in the bike seat, now she’s old enough, the balance bike is getting good use. It helps her develop better strength and stability, and the best thing of all is she actually wants to go biking because it always been ‘fun’.
Life ain’t easy and what happens in the early development years when a child is growing up can shape the way they spend their later years. Goal setting, perseverance and the will to push yourself will be something your child will use every day and it will help them reach their full potential.
I remember one of my first rides without trainer wheels, I got pushed off and it didn’t end well. I knew as a kid I wanted to ride that bike even if it was way too big for me, so I jumped back on and tried again. I could see the end goal and understood this was only a temporary setback.
So mental toughness is the strength of the mind, dealing with setbacks and pushing through to that next level when you can see the outcome at the end.
Learning it’s ok to make mistakes and anything worthwhile is usually something you have to work for.
“Research shows that mentally tough children perform up to 25% better in exams” Source KidSpot.com.au, the simple act of trying to master riding a bike is a massive achievement for them and I believe it teaches them more than just that.
Family Fun Time
It seems everything is busier these days and finding extra time to spend together can be tricky. Maybe try making a point of getting together as a family and spend some time out on two wheels.
There are many child seats available if you have a young one and maybe you’re looking to get out and get some fresh air and exercise yourself? Going to the playground or heading down to the park can all be done on the bike if you’re close enough. Letting your child ride in a seat gives them some fun and excitement.
They will see biking as a fun activity and when their turn comes for their own bike they will have the drive to be out there doing it themselves, and they may be less inclined to spend time say sitting on the couch.
So the time and fitness spent together is a bonus for everyone!
Working in the cycle industry I have seen many times the sheer excitement that comes when a child knows that he or she is taking their new bike home. Either young or older children, you can see their faces thinking about what they are going to do and where they’re going to go.
Even if it’s only round the backyard for now, the feeling they get when they know they are independent and can travel to where they want to go is awesome.
It’s their first little journey and maybe, later on, they will ride to school or hang out with friends on their bikes, it’s a great period of their life and something I have fond memories of.
There are my five reasons your kids should start biking, its a fun way to help them learn valuable skills and give them an outlet for their interests which will transfer to other sports or ventures in their life.
What do you think? are there any other tips or things you have come across with your children or maybe you have memories from your childhood that stay with you?
Share your thoughts below.