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How do you teach a 2.6 yr old the basics of riding a bike?

(25 Posts)
hereidrawtheline Wed 28-Jan-09 14:25:43

Well for xmas based on lovely advice from MNers instead of getting DS a trike we got a 12" bike with stabilisers as it would have more life in it basically and save him from learning to pedal a trike then learning a bike. He is very uncoordinated and though he loves his bike he just can not get to grips with it. He does have SN has just been diagnosed with some sort of ASD probably AS. He knows his left from right which helps a little with the bike stuff.

He only pedals backwards and cant seem to put all the actions together. I know he's obviously very young! But he is so eager to get out there and try it and each time he gets upset with himself and I want to try to help him. Any ideas?

Hulababy Wed 28-Jan-09 14:27:37

Have you considered taking the stabilisers AND the pedals off? This would make a form of balance bike, where he could then use his feet to propel and scoot himself along.

claw3 Wed 28-Jan-09 15:10:34

Oh bless him

When ds was learning to pedal, i used to get him to put his feet on the pedals and encourage him to pedal, while i pushed him along. Thats the best i can come up with im afraid.

jazzandh Wed 28-Jan-09 15:22:45

While I think you did the right thing getting a bike - can you borrow a trike for a few weeks? When I first put DS on a bike at about that age - he too peddled backwards. Think it is a natural reaction as it is easier.

I put him on a trike until he peddled properly - ie forwards! Obviously backwards peddling on trikes propels them backwards - so they get the point a bit quicker imo.

It still took him a couple of goes to do the same thing on his bike - useful to be very patient (DH took DS out) and find some downward slopes so the pedels are easier to push around!

Take a belt or scarf along when you go out - easier to tow them along when they give up!

Good luck

cornflakegirl Wed 28-Jan-09 15:28:17

We got DS a bike for his third birthday. Took the pedals off per advice on here. DS tried it once then refused to go near it again because it was too wobbly. So we put the pedals and stabilisers back on, and let him get on with it. He mainly pedalled backwards, scooted along and demanded to be pushed to start with, but he got the hang of it after a bit.

littlelyn Wed 28-Jan-09 15:50:47

Either put it away for a couple of weeks and then try again or, if you have slightly older children in the family / friend circle invite one closest to your ds over. They usually like riding other children's bikes (even if on the small side), this will renew your ds' interest plus show him how it's done and hopefully inspire him to keep trying.

katiek123 Wed 28-Jan-09 15:54:08

you don't grin

(still scarred from the memories of teaching extremely frustration-prone, volatile DD to ride hers - she finally got the hang of it age 7! am sure it will be much easier for your little one though smile)

fryalot Wed 28-Jan-09 15:55:08

oh, good idea, littlelyn!

I was going to suggest just letting him get on with it. I think they all pedal backwards first before they quite grasp the concept of going forwards.

I do think littlelyn's idea is fab though

littlelyn Wed 28-Jan-09 16:24:07

Thanks squonk blush. That's my quota used up for another year...

fryalot Wed 28-Jan-09 16:52:43

I could stalk you posting "good idea littlelyn" after your every post grin

littlelyn Thu 29-Jan-09 15:40:53

squonk - belated grin

ICANDOTHAT Thu 29-Jan-09 16:05:27

These are great: and select 'LikeABike'. They are not only great for balance, but will also help the concept of moving forward.

ChasingSquirrels Thu 29-Jan-09 16:13:22

I just kept letting him have a go, he really had no idea and ds1 and I both tried to show him how.
He just got it last Oct half-term, so 2y9m, and was away.
ds1 didn't learn until 3y2m as that's when we got one, he just got on and rode.
(both with stabalisers)

Gorionine Thu 29-Jan-09 16:19:33

I realised at toddlers recently that DD (2.2) can pedal on a bike (with stabilisers), until recently she was also pedalling backwards so I think it is just something they learn on their own, watching others rather than being taught it.

DontCallMeBaby Thu 29-Jan-09 16:25:41

DD got it in her sleep, I swear. She pedalled backwards for a while - nightmare, we bought the bike on impulse and due to a combination of circumstances ended up a mile from home, uphill all the way, with a child's bike, an adult's bike, a pushchair and a 2yo to get home. Anyway, she pedalled backwards for a while, we tried to teacher her, then one day she got up, we took her out on the bike and there was no more backwards pedalling. I think something just connected in her brain. I have never been able to teach her anything EVER.

hereidrawtheline Fri 30-Jan-09 08:33:40

dontcallme I feel you with never being able to teach anything! DS is like that too! I shall continue trying! Thanks all for your suggestions. I cant afford a balance bike though so will have to persevere with this one.

nickschick Fri 30-Jan-09 08:39:57

I think that your ds might be just little too young- a good measure of how/of they can pedal is to watch them walk up and down steps if they do it one fott to a step on alternte feet generally they can 'pick' it up.

DontCallMeBaby Fri 30-Jan-09 17:10:39

DD was well on her way to 4 before she consistently walked up stairs with alternating feet, but was riding a bike (with stabilisers) at 2.7. There's always an exception, isn't there? And it's usually my kid.

pointydog Fri 30-Jan-09 17:20:15

I'd say, don';t rush it. He's still very young, make sure he keeps enjoying trying it out every now and then and encourage him to go on any other sort of push along in the meantime.

bran Fri 30-Jan-09 17:25:46

I must try letting another child ride DS's bike, that's a fab idea. He's 4.5 and has had the bike since June and still can't pedal. Before this bike he had a wooden running bike which was fantastic and he loved to use it. Before that he had a trike but he never managed to pedal that either, I always had to push it with the parent handle. I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 13, so I have no idea how to teach a small child to do it, especially one who doesn't even want to learn.

DesperateHousewifeToo Fri 30-Jan-09 17:40:11

I think sometimes its a strength thing as much as anything i.e. it's hard work and an alien way of using their leg muscles at first.

Could you find a gentle incline to get him going forwards? Or a steep one depending on how quickly you want him to learn grin

georgiemum Fri 30-Jan-09 17:43:20

I have been told that the best way is to use one of those wooden bikes (with no pedals) to get the child used to balancing then you can just move up to a proper bike without needing the stabilisers.

ICANDOTHAT Fri 30-Jan-09 18:11:56

EBAY have 2nd hand wooden, balancing bikes ... much cheaper.

hereidrawtheline Sat 31-Jan-09 09:44:18

desperatehousewives you made me laugh! Thinking of DS hurtling down a major hill!

I will look at ebay too but in the meantime I am scouting out hills! Come to think of it there is one at the top of my road!

DesperateHousewifeToo Sat 31-Jan-09 10:04:05


Couldn't you take the pedals and stabilisers off his current bike rather than spend more money on a new balance bike? (I bet a bike shop would do it for you).

We found a long gentle incline better than a short steep one. Gives more time per 'try'.

Good luck. Let us know how you get on.

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