As children grow up, their preferred toys change and can sometimes lead to some things parents aren’t prepared for. From ride-on toys, scooters, and rollerblades, it’s your job as a parent, to give them confidence and necessary skills to tackle each challenge they might face. Learning how to ride a scooter or a bike is an excellent outdoor activity you can use to spend some quality time with your kids.
A child on a kick scooter might sound scary to a parent, but if you take the time to teach them and instruct them how to ride a kick scooter safely, then it is a moment any parent would be proud of. Kids are not kept safe by avoiding experiences, but in fact, by placing them in situations from which they can learn and develop, and being there for them during these moments, cheering them on and providing helpful advice and lessons is the best way for them to grow up safe and aware of their abilities.
Riding a kick scooter is no different. You just have to have some confidence in your child’s abilities and be assured that even if they fall, they will quickly get up and want to try again. Here are some tips on how to help your child learn how to ride a kick scooter.
First of all, safety is very important. Get your child all the necessary safety equipment, like a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads, so even if they do fall, they won’t get seriously injured. The most common places of injury are head, knees, and elbows, so wearing safety equipment will help with keeping these body parts safe.
Even if you are extremely confident in your child’s abilities, don’t skip on the equipment, especially the helmet. Other factors might affect your child’s abilities, factors you can’t count on, such as other people on the sidewalk, traffic and so on, so it’s best to be safe.
Once you’ve acquainted your child with the safety equipment, it’s time to get acquainted with the kick scooter. It is called a kick scooter because a child holds onto the handlebars with their hands and pushes him- or herself with their feet. They can develop great speed if they kick continuously, so it pays to be careful and go through the learning process so they won’t lose balance and fall. Let your child see the scooter from all angles, and investigate which part does what. Let them push the scooter around the house for a little while before letting them get on it.
A house is a safe place, and they won’t be so scared and self-aware, so it is a good place to start doing some early pushing in the house or in the backyard. Put your child with both feet on the scooter, and push them around to let them see how it feels being on the scooter. When you both feel comfortable, let go of the handlebars and let them steer. They won’t go far, but it will give them a chance to experience how much influence they have on the direction they are driving in.
A good way to continue their learning is by demonstrating. Take the scooter yourself and start driving it around. Show your child the maneuvers and kicks, how to keep their posture and most importantly how to stop moving safely.
Your child will surely want to drive at a fast speed, so explain to them the possibilities of such reckless driving. You can also find videos online that you could use to demonstrate other features of riding a kick scooter, such as falling safely on their side, dealing with bumps and holes in the road, climbing on the sidewalk and so on. Discuss all of these with them to make sure they fully understood your intent and their role in traffic.
Once you both feel ready, take the driving outside, to a nearby park. Give your child some space, and let them ride further away from you, but still close enough that you can see them. Here they can experience various terrains, such as pavement, grass, cracks in the road, cobble, and obstacles such as other people and children in the park, and pets, which they will have no control over, so they will have to learn how to navigate through them.
You can also set some goals and challenges for your child to learn how to ride a kick scooter. Set up some cones on a path and tell your child to drive around them without knocking them down. It is a fun and safe way for them to ride and learn how much their weight, pressure, and steering affect the scooter they are riding. You can also give them a goal to achieve every day, like going to the store and back in a certain amount of time, and once they complete the challenge award them with a gift. Children love challenges, so this is a great way of getting them to commit to the learning process of riding a scooter.
Finally, if you can do some research and buy the scooter that fits your child’s needs the best. There are various models, with two, three or even four wheels for stability, with and without brakes, with an extendable handlebar, to fit as your child grows, and so on, so make sure that you get one that your child will both love and be safe with. Plastic scooters don’t tend to be as durable as metal ones, but might be a good choice for the first time riders until they get the hang of it.
Make sure to check everything is working properly before each ride, and get your child to be responsible and take care of the scooter so it can last longer.