What to do with this activity?
Kids learn to ride a bike at different ages. It's a great skill to learn, and you can show your child how and where to cycle safely.
There's no need to spend lots of money on a bike because they will grow too big for a particular size of bike very quickly. Check with Free Trade Ireland or your local re-cycle centre to see if you can get a bike free! If not, check local websites for second hand bikes for sale.
From around 2 years of age, balance bikes without pedals are a great idea. For 3 or 4 year olds we suggest temporarily taking the pedals off a regular bike. Make sure the bike is the right size to suit your child, and that the saddle is at the right height so that their feet can reach the ground easily. They will soon learn to balance and take their feet off the ground. Show them how to slow down using their feet, and how to use the brakes. When they can balance, glide and brake, add the pedals and go to the next stage. Get them to place both feet on the pedals and glide, then gradually to push one foot down then the other. Don't take them on to a main road until they are very confident and a bit older.
Have a look at this video on youtube for guidance on teaching your child how to ride a bike.
Why am I doing this?
One of the ways children learn is through play. A child who is playing is refining learning skills that continue to develop during childhood and beyond. "Pretend play" is important for developing your child's language skills. Children make up their own games, but playing games with others helps their concentration and social skills. Play can also help to show what children know and understand.
How can I do more?
Spending time playing with your child is a great way of helping them learn. Games like "Simon says" and "One, two, three red lights" are great fun. There are lots of activities you can do like playing card games or board games when you can have a quiet time together. Your child can learn the rules by watching a dry run first. Then you can play for real. An important thing to learn is that you don't always win. It can be good for young children to win, to give them confidence but learning to lose is important too. There will be many times in life when you don't win and learning to cope with that is a good life skill you can teach your child too.
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