17 answers

Teaching a 2 1/2 Yr Old to Ride a Bike

My husband and I are trying to teach my son how to ride a bike. he does not understand forward and backward I believe. When he gets around once he pushes him feet backward and puts the break on---any suggestions???

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Thanks for all the advice. My son does have a tricycle--in fact he has 2 thanks to grandma and grandpa. He seems to have the same issues on the tricycle but grandma and grandpa bought him a bike. His tricycle that we have at our house is a Harley davidson tricycle--it has a large plastic thing between the legs to mimic the actual motorcycle so he was having trouble getting his legs around it when he was trying to pedal. But I think I will will start with that one again. Thanks for all the suggestions!!! In fact he pedaled a few rounds this weeking on the tricycle.

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He might just be still too young. Are you using a tricycle or Big Wheel?
I'd start there first and/ or give it another year. : )

Try a bike whose peddals that are more in front of the child than directly under his knees. Most of the tricycles, the pedals are at an angle that make it too difficult at first. Most of the plastic ride on toys with wheels are at a better angle for kids that age. I've learned from expeirence with 15 years in daycare and my own two little rugrats! ONce they get it, it's soooooo cool!

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Don't worry! Most kids this age have a hard time with forward and backward. If he hasn't had much already, you might want to give him more practice on those little vehicles that don't have peddles but just allow the child to "push" himself with his feet. The most important thing is to not make him feel like he's "not getting it". This happened to my niece and she didn't learn to ride a 2 wheeler until she was 8. (No joke). Just have fun with him. You're setting the tone for learning new things. If you're stressed/frustrated, he will be too.

I don't think he is ready. Put him back on the tricycle or big wheel until next spring when he can try the big boy bike. It is amazing what will change in 6 months.

Generally, we have waited until age 3 before attempting a bike. others have suggested the big wheel or a tricycle. these are great places to start. Our 2.5 year old loves her big wheel. sometimes she will pedal but it allows her the option to just walk it out too. For the most part all we want her to do is get a sense of perpetual motion. actual "bike riding" will come with time.
That said, one of the things tat helped our kids understand the pedaling concept was to tell them to "march" on the bike. Then when they are off the bike, working on marching as knees up and big step forward.

Try a bike whose peddals that are more in front of the child than directly under his knees. Most of the tricycles, the pedals are at an angle that make it too difficult at first. Most of the plastic ride on toys with wheels are at a better angle for kids that age. I've learned from expeirence with 15 years in daycare and my own two little rugrats! ONce they get it, it's soooooo cool!

all four of my children did the same thing. i just kept showing them the forward movement and they eventually learned. just keep encouraging him when he does go forward and have him watch you. do it slow so that he understands. with my daughter i would actually do the pedaling motion with her as she laid on the floor or on the couch. don't worry he will catch on - you just have to be very patient.
good luck

At two and a half he's way too young for a bike. Try one of those big wheel type of trikes. They are set lower to the ground with the pedals level with his hips when he sits. Most of them are plastic and are cheap to buy.

Bikes are for older kids. My son didn't learn to ride a bike till he was 8 years old.

Don't worry, he'll get it. It's perfectly normal for a 2 1/2 old to have this problem. Both of my boys did too...they're now 6 and almost 10. Just don't give up and don't force him to do it. My 10 year old had the same problem with the tricycle but didn't have a problem with balance when it came to riding a bike without training wheels. My youngest son had no problem with riding the tricycle and a bike with training wheels but was terrified to ride a two wheeler. We waited it out. We rewarded him with jumping up and down and high-fives for just going a few feet. Then, right before first grade he got on his bike and took off.

My son's first bike had no brakes on the pedals. It was very small and he wasn't able to get it up to much speed, so if we were right there it wasn't an issue. If you don't have that option, just give it time. He'll figure it out.

Good luck!
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