net roundabout

It’s park life with a balance bike

Following our kite adventures last week, and the continuing dry and sunny weather, I suggested taking N’s balance bike to the park in town for a ride around.  While he does get to ride it at home, we have gravel on our drive so lots of space but not a very comfy ride.

We’re lucky as there are 2 nice parks in town.  The one we usually end up at is near some of the parking so it makes sense if we go to look at the canal to also go to that playground.  The one we went to is People’s Park, and I’ve not been there for years, probably since we were children.

bike riding int he park

It’s got a great little playground for under 8s, lots of paths for cycling down, plenty of grass for a spot of football or dog walking, and a small aviary for children if they’re so keen.

N just wanted to ride his bike.  On the farm it’s all gravel apart from the patio and the yard (which at the moment is too mucky until the cattle are out in the fields again), so it’s a treat for him to be able to ride on normal paths.

We had a brief look at the birds in the aviary

Banbury aviary cockatiel

Checked out some of the unusual equipment in the play area, just leaving when it started getting busier

layback seesaw
Nice and relaxing
net roundabout
N wasn’t convinced by this as a roundabout
climbing frame
He insisted on wearing his party shirt out! Notice the new shoes – neither of us like them, but had no choice as they were the only ones in his size (they do look less orange here!)
chilling on the slide
Chilling out and looking quite grown up

And did a bit more cycling before heading off home.

balancing biking
Speedy Gonzales…he’s since had the saddle raised. Shows how much he’s grown

After seeing several older children on bikes (with stabilisers which he didn’t seem to notice thankfully as I don’t want him to have them, and without – some older youths), he’s now been going on about getting pedals for his bike.  Hmm, maybe a little young at the moment.

I’m thinking maybe around Easter we’ll take a trip to the bike shop and check out what there is in the hope of getting some pre-summer offers.  My thought was that if he had a proper bike ready for when the grass was drier, then it would be safer for him to learn the transfer from balance bike to pedal bike.  When we got home from the park, he got straight on his pedal tractor to tell me

‘I’m pedalling my tractor mummy, I’m going to get pedals for my bike’.

How old were your children when they had their first bike?  Has anyone got experience of children going from balance bike to pedal bike to share?

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  1. Hi, nice review. I’m quite interested in this bike, but I’d love it if you would add a follow up review now that you’ve had it for a few months and I’m sure have a more nuanced opinion of it by now. Thanks in advance!

    1. This wasn’t actually a review. Just taking the bike out. And he’d had it a year by then. He’s been on 2 wheels for a while now so will be selling on the balance bike when he lets me

  2. We have a park that is good for bikes too although my little boy hasn’t shown any interest as yet but I’d love to try him with a balance bike. There are some great playgrounds out there now aren’t there with all these unusual swings and roundabouts – I’m always tempted to go on them myself 🙂

    1. I definitely think balance bikes are the way to go. For a start, they can be on them from 18 months+ if you get the size right. N had his at 2, but wasn’t quite big enough/the weather was rubbish for a couple of months after that.

      I’m surprised at how different all the equipment is at the various parks around. Every one seems to be unique which is great for the kids if you go to more than one.

  3. Our wee man loves his balance bike. We were told it was better to teach them but I am yet to find out! He is not very good at pedalling on bikes he has been on with pedals but I believe that is the easier bit to learn. He just turned 3 and I was thinking of getting him a bike for Christmas or his 4th birthday next February and see how he goes. #CountryKids

    1. Similar age to N then as he turned 3 at the end of January. I was presuming we’d be doing proper bikes for his 4th birthday too (although that’s what we did with the balance bike, but he wasn’t quite big enough until the Mar/April time when he could also go outside on it). I’m hoping he’ll cope quite well as he does pedal well, but you never know. Might look for some offers at Easter and see what happens in the summer.

      Thanks for commenting

    1. That’s what I’m hoping. At the rate he’s going (unless he has a huge crash that puts him off), he’ll be riding a pedal bike before his 5yo cousin, who’s got stabilisers, but doesn’t really ride his. It doesn’t help that we’ve all got gravel and no paths on which to learn. Reliant on dry grass or going to the park which they don’t do, but we do.

      Mind you, N didn’t have a choice. He had a bike for his 2nd birthday, and that was it. But he’s always been intrigued with wheels on things…less so on toys!

  4. My older boy was very late riding a bike and finally got the hang of it using a balance bike they had at school. I think they are brilliant and don’t get stuck on rough ground like stabilisers can do all so easily. They save of parental back ache too 😉 Popping by from the Big Bad Blog Share Improve Your Google Rankings post – that’s a mouthful! (and Country Kids!)

    1. You’re right about the rough ground. N uses his over the gravel on the drive, the grass and up the yard which in some places isn’t the smoothest concrete.

      Thanks for popping by

  5. It sounds and looks like N has a lot of confidence on his balance bike, perhaps buy the bike at easter and if he can’t master the pedals at first then remove them until he gets the feel of the bike. Thanks for linking up and sharing with Country Kids.

    1. That’s a good idea. I’m thinking also that we need to try learning alongside his 5yo cousin who has a bike with stabilisers but doesn’t really use it – then they can encourage each other along. Thanks for popping by

  6. I don’t know what a balance bike is – does it just not have any pedals?

    Great range of photos!

    1. Yep, no pedals, so they just learn to balance through striding to move the bike along, almost like walking. The theory is they learn to balance, then can go straight to a normal bike without stabilisers because they don’t need to learn to balance, just to combine the balance and pedalling, where with stabilisers the child needs to learn to rebalance after losing them.

  7. My younger son loved his balance bike, and was really good on it. We got him a bike, with stabilisers, when he was 2 and 9mo and he cycled straight away. We’ve recently taken the stabilisers and pedals off to work on his balance again before we put the pedals back on and let him got for it! I don’t think it will take long. My older son, who didn’t use the balance bike, took a lot longer to confidently ride a bike. In the end, we took the pedals off his ‘big’ bike for a couple of weeks and that sorted him out. #CountryKids

    1. Can I ask why you bothered with the stabilisers, given the point of a balance bike is they go straight to pedals and 2 wheels? N can trike really well using pedals, so he just needs to combine the two. I’m not convinced that stabilisers do that because you’re never upright, they always lean on one of the stabilisers.

  8. Our garden is mostly grass, so it hasn’t been easy to learn to ride bikes. Although saying that, all three of them learnt by starting at the top of the garden and learning to balance, so the grass wasn’t a problem. They didn’t have balance bikes, but they used their bikes as if they were. #CountryKids

    1. I think teaching a child to ride a bike is so hard, as you forget learning yourself. I just remember being quite late and then always falling off round corners. At least N’s got the steering ok on his balance bike, scooter and trike, so that bit should be relatively easy.

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