Boosting kids’ confidence with balance bike training
28 March 2022
A balance bike is where a child’s cycling journey begins. These lightweight, pedal-less bikes help children develop the necessary balance to then learn how to cycle, and there is absolutely no need for training wheels.
Mastering balance whilst children are sitting down and in motion is the hardest part of learning to ride a bike. And, balance bikes help to aid this learning process, without having to rely on training wheels for support.
How do balance bikes work?
Children sit on the saddle of the balance bike and propel themselves forward using their feet to push along the ground, rather than using pedals to rotate the bike’s wheels. They then use a combination of their feet and hand-operated brakes to slow down and safely stop. With an emphasis on balance and postural control, children start to develop the necessary skills required, which in time will then enable them to ride a bike independently in a controlled manner.
“We absolutely love that the Frog Tadpole Mini and Tadpole balance bikes are fitted with brakes and children can easily reach the brakes. The seat is located close to the frame that easily accommodates our youngest Minibikers”, commented Kelly Imir at Minibikers.
Thousands of children start their balance bike journey with Minibikers at an early age and are often pedalling by the age of 3 years old.
MINIBIKERS BALANCEABILITY COURSES
Minibikers, an award-winning learn to cycle national training programme, introduced the UK's first Toddler Balanceability Programme for children as young as 18 months to 4 years old. Minibikers provide an early introduction to cycling, focusing on fun activities that build children’s confidence, developing gross motor skills, spatial awareness, and dynamic balance skills.
“My son did a balanceability class with Minibikers and can now ride a bike and he is three. He’s gone beyond any of my expectations. We purchased a Frog bike through Minibikers and I can honestly say it’s the best thing we have ever done, as we had another brand bike before and it was certainly too heavy for him.” Ms Williams
As a child’s confidence grows and they become more stable on a balance bike, they will begin to master the art of gliding, manoeuvring around objects and focussing on how to stop using the bikes’ brakes.
A whopping 96% of children aged above 4 years old were able to safely ride a pedal bike on completion of the course.
From a Tadpole Mini to riding a Frog First Pedal bike.
Learning through play
Minibikers courses provide children with so many benefits, including:
How Minibikers teach
There are a variety of ways that Minibikers teach children, to ensure the most engagement, the most confidence building, and the most success.
A picture (or video in this case) is worth a thousand words:
Don’t just take our word for it:
“Our three-year-old son had very little experience on a balance bike and would only walk. He started with Minibikers and after just two sessions he was sitting properly and balancing. By week four he had picked up speed and was using the brake. The Minibikers environment fosters rapid development for biking - Highly recommended.” commented Mr Beauchamp.
Which locations offer Balanceability courses?
Minibikers is continually expanding its courses throughout the country. They are currently offering courses in:
- York (coming soon)
- Solihull (coming soon)
- Norfolk (coming soon)
With more locations to be added. Find out which courses are available here >>
Minibikers Schools training
Minibikers’ vision is to introduce children to cycling as early as possible. Their Schools Training sessions guide children through their cycling journey with interactive training sessions, aimed at children in EYFS and Key Stage One. These sessions have an emphasis on developing balance skills and strengthening gross and ﬁne motor skills, leading to greater confidence in riding independently. Find out more about Minibikers Schools Training here >>
Minibikers in the community
Minibikers are committed to ensuring cycling is accessible to all children. In partnership with several charities, Minibikers has provided tailored programmes to children with various SEND related support needs.
One parent said, “We love attending these and look forward to our child progressing onto the pedal course, it has been amazing to see their progress each week!”
Mini Bikers has also recently supported Vista, by funding places for children to attend the level 2 programme. All children that participated can now ride independently.
Want to find out more?
To learn more about Minibikers and the great things they are doing to help get more kids on bikes, visit www.minibikers.co.uk