One of my favourite things about being a parent is witnessing the little differences between my two boys. Zackary, my eight-year-old, has always been precocious with a hunger for knowledge, while Benjamin, my four-year-old, has shown far faster physical skill development. In fact, Zackary only learned to ride a two-wheel bicycle a year ago and I’m fairly certain that Benjamin will master that task this year—about 18 months before his older brother did!
Read more: How to teach your child to ride a bike>
I think part of the reason for Benjamin’s quick mastery of physical skills has come from a desire to do everything his big brother does, and when it comes to riding bicycles, I’m completely supportive. Bicycling is actually my very favourite mode of transportation and I can’t wait until all three of us can go out for rides together! So I was pretty excited when Benjamin got the chance to test out the Runners Speeders “A” Series balance bike for Today’s Parent!
The concept behind this bike is simple: Instead of pedals, the bike is simply pushed with the feet along the ground so that children can coast and develop the balance they will need for riding a proper two-wheeler. Benjamin loved the sleek red balance bike and I loved that the handlebars and seat were adjustable so that it was suitable for children between 18 months and five years of age.
It took my youngest son a bit of time to figure out how to push himself along with his feet and then lift them into the air; initially he wanted to just walk along while sitting on the bike. But once he figured out how to coast for a few steps, he didn’t want to stop! Watching his distance increase and his balance improve was incredibly gratifying and had me convinced he’d be pedalling his two-wheel bicycle in no time.
The Runners Speeders “A” Series balance bike has a few special features that helped it earn the Today’s Parent Approved title and they were ones that my son and I quickly learned to appreciate. The side of the bike features foot rests so that when children master the ability to coast, they can put their feet up as they do. Benjamin hasn’t reached this point yet; he likes being able to quickly put his feet down as he’s riding. But his young cousin tried the bike and loved using the foot rests!
The other great feature of this bike is that fact that it has pneumatic tires instead of solid rubber ones for a smoother, more comfortable ride. And the lightweight frame makes it easy to take the balance bike anywhere, which is something that’s always a plus for our on-the-go family!
I’m going to attempt to take the training wheels off my son’s two-wheel bicycle and, as long as he spends plenty of time on his balance bike, I’m confident he’ll be riding on his own before the summer ends. Any toddler or preschooler that’s longing to ride a bicycle on their own is sure to benefit from time on the Runners Speeders “A” Series balance bike.
Kathryn Lavallee of mommykatandkids.com, mom of two, Saskatchewan. Owner of the award-winning Canadian mom blog Mommy Kat and Kids, Kathryn loves organic chocolate, hot coffee and sleeping in late whenever possible. Follow her on Twitter @MommyKatandKids, and like her page on Facebook.