Teaching your child how to ride a scooter is one of the most efficient ways to bond with them. And to make sure that the experience is as hassle-free as possible, you could opt for the best toddler scooters that are currently available on the market. In this article, we will be tackling the benefits and key steps of teaching your child how to properly use and ride a scooter.
Just like when you learn to ride a bike, drive a car, or play any sport, it’s important to put safety first. The right equipment can make a huge difference between “just a scratch” and a visit to the emergency room. While we do not wish to induce panic about riding a scooter, we do want to emphasize the importance of protecting your child from serious injuries.
After you’ve bought the necessary helmet, knee pads, and shoulder pads, you should take the time to talk to your child about the importance of safety. Kids may not like wearing excessive equipment, but they are fairly receptive to new information as long as you present it in a pleasant manner in which you emphasize the benefits of wearing said gear.
Lastly, before getting into the learning process, ask yourself this question: do YOU know how to ride a scooter? Because if you don’t, you’re going to have quite a hard time teaching others. It would be as if someone who has never cooked a meal in their life tried to teach someone else how to make the most delicious meals. You get the point.
Determining your child’s capabilities
Just like some people are right-handed and some are left-handed, the same principle applies to feet. Play a few rounds of light soccer with your child to see which foot they tend to use more often when kicking the ball around. Moreover, if they lose balance during the match, see which foot they use to prevent their fall. That is their strong foot.
Once you’ve determined this, keep in mind that their strong foot should always sit behind their weaker foot when riding a scooter. They’ll have to push forward with their strong foot if they want to ride properly and maintain balance. And speaking of feet, make sure to get a scooter with an adjustable handlebar. The height of the bar also plays a big role in maintaining balance.
Normally, the handlebar should be placed somewhere between the height of their hips and waist. However, for beginners, it is best to align it to their waist height because it allows for greater control despite the detriment in speed. Next, make sure to teach them how to ride a scooter in a controlled environment. A paved basketball court should do just fine.
It’s time to scoot
Once you have taken all the necessary steps to prepare, it’s time to ride. For many kids, riding a scooter will come pretty naturally. It’s like walking, but instead of keeping both feet on the ground, they’re using one foot to stay on the scooter, and one to push forward. However, don’t get stressed out if your child has difficulties at first. With patience, they will get through it.
Easing your child into maintaining their balance is a fairly quick process. At first, make them straddle with their scooter while keeping both their hands on the handlebar and both feet on the ground. After a few minutes, tell them to place their weaker foot on the scooter, and try to keep a steady balance with their powerful one.
Don’t rush them. It’s important to let them get comfortable with this position at first. Stand beside them to offer assistance and let them try to move forward by pushing with their powerful leg. You need to remind them that their powerful leg is the main thing they need to focus on. If they lose balance, tell them to shift it to their powerful leg so that they can prevent falling.
Letting things come naturally
As mentioned earlier, you don’t need to push your kid too hard on their first try. Just stand beside them to offer assistance. After a few tries, the movement will eventually become second nature to your child. Sooner rather than later, your child will also be able to move at a faster pace, and they’ll be able to move the handlebar down a few notches.
At one point or another, it will also be time to encourage them to place their powerful foot on the scooter, right behind their weaker foot. Of course, you should stand close to offer assistance once this step is taken. This will test out how good your child has become at maintaining balance. See how far they can go while keeping both feet on the scooter.
If he or she can do this for at least a couple of feet without losing balance, and at a relatively high speed, you’ll no longer need to worry about their safety. At this point, you can leave them to do their own thing while you watch from the sidelines. Of course, that doesn’t mean that they should take off their protective equipment.
We encourage you to ride your scooter alongside them, as this is an extremely good bonding method. Children feel more confident later in life when their parents spend time and engage in fun activities with them.
Should you get a lean-type scooter?
Scooters these days, especially the ones made for toddlers, come in two varieties: the ones we mentioned above, where you steer with the help of a handlebar, and those where you have to lean in order to shift direction. The latter has become very popular for three-wheeled scooters, as many people believe them to be more intuitive to learn.
From what experts gather, this seems to be the case for the most part. If you have the option, rent two scooters. One that has traditional steering, and one lean-type scooter. Try to teach your toddler to ride each one and see how comfortable they are. After a few days of trial and error, they should be able to tell you which one they like most.
Other things to take into consideration
As adults, we sometimes tend to lose our patience quite easily. Try to remember how you were as a child. Think of all the passionate teachers that had the patience and nerves of steel to explain to you something over and over again. Be like that for your child, and don’t shout at them if they make mistakes or if it takes them too much time to learn.
Find within you the necessary mindset. And treat your child the way you would’ve liked to be treated when you were in their shoes.
Lastly, take into consideration the material and build quality of the scooter. Sure, you might not have an unlimited budget, or maybe even a decent one. But it is better to save up some cash to get a good scooter that won’t break right as your child is riding down the street. Remember what we said about safety earlier.
And brakes. Don’t forget the brakes if your child is just starting to ride their scooter. Some models come without brakes, but those are usually meant for kids that have at least some experience with riding scooters. Unless you want your child to slow down using their foot, and subsequently risk falling off, having brakes is essential.
Teaching your child how to ride a scooter is one of the most endearing experiences you will have as a parent. It gives you the necessary time to bond with your child and subsequently helps them grow up into healthy, mentally stable adults.
While there are certainly more aspects to parenting than this, you can’t deny the effectiveness of such an activity. It’s both a physical and mental exercise that will greatly stimulate your toddler. They’ll have fewer chances of becoming fat at a young age, and researchers believe that practicing sports at a young age will also increase kids’ grades in school.
Furthermore, this will also make you happy. Because any parent wishes to see their child succeed in life. It might seem like we’re reaching far with these statements now, but you’d be amazed at the results if you try it for yourself. So go out there and teach your child how to ride a scooter.