Learning how to ride a bike is a skill that every child carries with them for the rest of their life. As a parent, it’s one of those milestones you want to capture and always remember. Obviously, we’re big fans of riding bikes because…it’s super fun and amazing! As adults, we know that biking is a great way to stay in shape and keep us physically active, but have you ever stopped to wonder just how important biking can be for your child?
Sometimes, we at Strider wonder if parents realize how exceptionally beneficial biking is for their child. Truth is, we see that development every day from Strider riders around the world. Get ready for a massive truth bomb, because we’re about to blow your mind.
Biking plays an important role in the overall growth of your kiddo. From learning how to balance and becoming coordinated to gaining strength and decision-making skills, biking nurtures the overall development of your superstar tater tot. Sure, bike riding helps your child grow physically, but it also allows them to grow mentally and emotionally. Creating a safe atmosphere for them to learn how to ride is the most crucial part. Why? Because being safe allows them to gain confidence. That confidence propels them to want to learn more and, more importantly, ride more! With the proper protection and a learn-to-ride process that allows your child to explore while feeling safe, you’ll see your little nugget blossom into a biking pro right before your eyes.
It Starts with Safety, Which Breeds Confidence
Keeping your child safe is a number one priority. When your child feels safe, they have the courage and the confidence to want to learn how to ride. In addition to a helmet and knee and elbow pads, you need a bike that fits your child. The right fitting bike, and we can’t stress this enough, is going to make or break the learn-to-ride process. It’s the one thing that could either propel them into the riding stratosphere and leave a trail of dust behind them or delay the process for months, even years. Balance bikes give your child four points of contact with the ground – front wheel, back wheel, right leg, left leg. Totally super stable position, right? Yup. Our balance bikes have the lowest seat height available. This keeps your child low to the ground (where they feel safe), and they know that if they do fall, they’re still OK. Thumbs up!
Let’s Get the Obvious Stuff Out of the Way
Getting outdoors is great for everyone, especially children. Not only does it just feel good to be in natural sunlight, one of the best sources of Vitamin D out there! Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and growing kiddos. Plus, being outside gives them plenty of fresh air, which has multiple health benefits, as well as helping them get a good night’s sleep. The better sleep your child gets, the healthier they are and the more their body will be able to grow (also, the better sleep you, the parent, gets).
Biking also keeps your child fit by keeping them physically active. Their little body gets a solid workout when biking, which gives them a chance to burn off some of that extra energy they might have stored up (a kiddo bouncing off the walls with energy is no fun for anyone), which also builds up their muscles. When your child is biking and has learned how to ride a bike, they’ll be less likely to get bored at home, plant themselves on the couch and crave junk food.
Riding their bike around gives children the chance to explore and become comfortable with their surroundings. Knowing their neighborhood and becoming familiar with the area helps them learn how to navigate areas and establish landmarks they should know. This is an extremely important part of brain development and will help them throughout life. Encourage them to spend time outdoors when the weather is nice and allow them to go off on their own from time to time when they’re ready.
Playing in the yard is fun, but it can get old fast. Riding a bike gives your kids a chance to go away from home occasionally and grow on all levels. Mentally, they are focusing on their surroundings, emotionally they are connecting with their body, and physically they are getting leaner and healthier with each trip out. Just make sure they’ve got the proper safety gear. That’s step one, always!
The Less Obvious, But Still Important
Biking isn’t just something that improves your child’s physical health, it also improves their mental and emotional health. Learning how to ride a bike and biking around the neighborhood increases your child’s confidence in a way that few other things can. Once they realize, “Oh hey, I can do this,” the world becomes their oyster. Riding a bike also helps children become more aware of their own body, which means they’re less intimidated by their surroundings and peers. The more biking your kiddo is able to do, the more comfortable they are in their neighborhood, and the more people your child will interact with around the block or in the neighborhood, which gives them confidence that lasts through adulthood.
We absolutely believe – with our heart of hearts – that biking is the best way to help your child develop physically. The mental and emotional benefits of biking will stay with your child throughout their life and help them develop into a successful grown up. If your little one is walking, they’re ready to start learning how to ride on one of our 12-inch bikes, like the Strider 12 Sport or Strider 12 Pro. If your little rock star has been walking for a while and is about 3 years old, we’d recommend the Strider 14x Sport. It’s a little bit bigger and meant to fit those kiddos who are growing like crazy. Plus, the Easy-Ride Pedal Conversion Kit makes transitioning from a balance bike to a pedal bike a breeze!