11 answers

Learning to Peddle

Anyone have any suggestions on how to teach a 2.5 year old how to peddle a bike or tricycle? I am not sure if its something that just happens but she so wants to ride a bike and becomes so frustrated when she cant peddle like the other kids at day care. We have tried teaching her at home and havent found anything that has worked. She always wants to peddle backwards and cant seem to get the forward thing down. She so wants to and it drives this big tantrum every time she tries - poor little thing.
Thanks - L.!

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

She got it - she can peddal forward - but she still peddals backwards...lol. My husband and I made it a game and one of us pushed her on her trike until she ran into the other one - the one that got ran into pretended that she 'got him.' Why do kids like that? lol. Anyway - it got her peddaling forward really quick. She still peddals backwards - but now she doesnt scream with frustration - she just peddals the other way. Thank you all!

More Answers

Well to me she has the consept....except backwards. Have you tried maybe pushing her from behind the bike so that her feet go forward rather than backwards. Then she would feel the peddles going a certain way. Do you have a bike yourself? Showing her how you do it may help or have one of the other kids at daycare help her out too. I don't know exactly how to teach them. I have yet to experience this one. I know I probably didn't help much. Good luck and I am sure she will learn how to. It just takes time. Good question.

2 moms found this helpful

Are her feet close enough to the peddles of a tricyle so that she doesn't have to reach to firmly place her feet on the peddles? Some peddling toys do not have adjustable seats and when my grandson first wanted to peddle he could just barely reach the peddles so he could not get enough force going forward.

If that's not the problem, try holding her feet and pushing forward for her.

Before she becomes upset distract her into doing something else. By not being able to do this to the point that she's to the point of a tantrum she most likely is convinced that she cannot do it. when we fail over and over we have a tendency to quit trying different ways of doing something. Our emotions are too strong to learn and we expect failure. It's a good sign she keeps trying but I think it's time for the adults to intervene and take the pressure to succeed off her.

Perhaps you or the day care staff could find something else for her to do in which she would be successful and that she would want to learn.

Children mature in different ways and it's possible that her body doesn't have the ability to ride a trike at this time. My grandson is 4 and he still doesn't ride a trike. At daycare he rides the toys which have no pedals. He can push with his feet.

1 mom found this helpful

My son learned to peddle a tricycle first because it has a direct wheel-to-peddle ratio (it forces you to peddle if the tricycle is being pushed forward). That way she can learn the sensation of peddling forward. My son figured this out by about 18 months though and was riding a bike by 2. However, I babysit a little girl that's 3 and she still has a hard time peddling, so it really depends on the child. She may just not be ready to ride a bike if she doesn't have the patience to keep trying. :)

1 mom found this helpful

Hi L... I have a 3 year old boy, and at pre-school they strapped his feet to the foot peddles, not sure with what - maybe velcro or something and that has helped him, as long as you keep close obviously in case they want to get off.. :)
Hope that helps!

1 mom found this helpful

L., first never give up! Like the others stated, she has the concept. My son is 3 now and we were worried he would have difficulties due to having a heart problem at birth. Fortunately he does not, but I began working with him early on to determine if he would, I'm also a nurse so it's more "work" than "mommy" concern! LOL! I started with putting his feet on the peddles and yes, getting down and dirty, would push his feet with my hands to show him how it works. Now he runs 90 mph as fast as he can pump! I think I started about 2 or 2.5 yr old. So don't let it get you down, and yes, some children develop a bit later than others, nothing to be concerned about. All three of mine have hit their learning curves at different stages. But they are all healthy, well, Dallas was difficult the first year, and but now healthy and doing things before I'm ready! lOL, best of luck

Hang in there! Keep encouraging your daughter. If she is willing to keep trying, go out with her and help. As she grows , her muscles develop, and her coordination improves, she'll get better at it. At first she may just be using her feet to push herself along. Try and be frustrated, and need you to help push. Or she will stop. Then one day, she will be doing on her own with little help from you at all. My son is three and hardly asks mommy's help even though our apartment driveway has small inclines. It's precious time, you'll slowly see her being transformed from a small baby to a little girl that can ride her bike, all by herself.



Hi L. This is Jen I have a 4 yr old son who just recently pick up the peddling thing. He just began to figure it out one day. We tried having him put his feet on the peddles as we pushed him but I think it's just something he learned on his own. He got a bike for his b-day and before that he had those big wheel things that he would just push with his feet on the ground for ever but started realizing he goes faster if he peddles. I don't know if that helps you out at all but I think she figure it out pretty soon!

I teach preschool, and was a lead teacher in a classroom of two-year-olds for years. My best results came from showing them how to put their feet upon the pedals, (I usually had to do it for them the first time,) then slowly pushing the trike along so that they got the picture of how the pedals move when the trike does. I showed them how, if they pushed the pedals with their feet, they could make the trike move all by themself! Not every child was able to do it at two-and-a half, but many of them can. Good luck!

Just keep trying, practice make perfect.

We tried to learn on the trike and it was too hard to pedal, so we went to a tiny bike. We did not have any pavement or sidewalks to learn on, so the gravel and dirt were it, thus the training wheels were out!
When my son was learning, he would put one foot on the pedal and one on the ground. He used the one pedal method to teach his other foot the way to go forward and eventually he was able to get the second foot off the ground! I think that he used the one pedal method for a couple of weeks, maybe longer, then one day he got it!
Get out the bandaids and the video camera and let her try to show you how good she can get with a little alone time to practice with no obvious audience. My son gained far more progress with no pressure from me watching (he thought!). Give her some time to feel it out on her own, sometimes they feel too rushed/pressured by us even just watching.
Good luck, enjoy this time, one day the bike goes to the car and they are gone! - S.

Give her time.. she is still a bit young.... and if she wants to do it bad enough.. she will figure it out... if you are anxious for her to learn.. try to hide it, it may only make her feel more pressured. Just encourage her to try and give her breaks if she looks like she is getting frustrated and tired.. let her know she can try "next time." there is lots of time and so many things to do.. I wouldn't be in a hurry. My 4.5 year old still can't peddle, and I don't think my 6 YO learned until she was 5, Hang in there!

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