WHY BALANCE BIKES?
Balance is crucial to our development and ability to learn
Mastery of balance, posture and coordination is crucial to learning success. Children are learning and refining balance up until their teenage years. A child's ability to improve in their coordination and balance skills has been shown to dramatically improve attention and learning skills. The vestibular system is like our internal GPS system for the body. It provides information about all the sensory input from the body's senses and is crucial in assisting a child to not only guide their body step-by-step around their surroundings but to grasp their world and their ability to learn. A developed vestibular system efficiently connects children's brains and body.
Eventually, development in this area helps children to remain focused and keep calm in class allowing them to concentrate on the teacher and learning. "When kids stabilize themselves from an unstable pose, they learn how to focus faster and more efficiently," says Catherine Jackson, Ph.D., chair of the department of kinesiology at California State University at Fresno.
Children need to be given opportunities to learn and improve their balance. As parents we are very conscious of supporting our young ones with early balance skills such as crawling and walking, however we can fall away with continually supporting development in this area. Riding a balance bike is an effective way to practise the next stages of balance and coordination development. It will also help children grow in their confidence and build independence as they ride next to you on your stroll up to the shops or around the block.
Learning how to ride safely and effectively
Children can start riding on a balance bike much earlier than a pedal bike. Learning how to balance is the essential component of riding. With the children feeling confident and safe with their feet on the ground, they quickly pick up the skill of striding on the bike and soon raise their feet to roll. Children are able to take up riding a pedal bike earlier and easier coming from a balance bike as all they have to do is introduce the motion of pedalling. No years of training wheels required. Also, they are more competent with riding and road rules if they ride next to you from a young age.
They're fun, easy and healthy
Balance bikes are fun and an easy way to get children moving. Children would much prefer riding their balance bike than riding in a pram or walking. Even if little legs do get tired, the super light aluminium frames mean they are very easy to carry. With 0-5 year olds recommended to be involved in at least 3 hours of physical activity per day, zooming around on a balance bike in the backyard or on your walk can be an effective way to ensure your child is fit and healthy. Encouraging your child to exercise is also a powerful way of forming a healthy habit for life.