Winter is not just a season; it is a harbinger of huge changes in lifestyle. Every little habit of yours needs to be adjusted, like cycling. Cycling is fun, but cycling in winter season is vastly different from doing that in the summer. This problem worsens when you have kids along too. So, to help you out, here is your guide to winter biking with kids.
Sure, we have established that cycling is tough in winters. That is why we have written this guide to winter biking with kids for you. Well, for starters, cycling is an excellent excuse to bring you out of your home. Kids are especially bored while sitting in the home all day long, what with the winter vacations and the parks being laden with snow, so a bit of cycling will help them get some fresh air. Also, cycling is an excellent exercise and increases your body temperature, which is quite beneficial in winters. And not to mention, the fun your kids would have while riding on roads decorated with alluring snow.
Cycling is fun, but in such conditions, it could also be dangerous. Hence, it is quite important that you do the following in order to have an enjoyable experience:
While there are things that you must do, there are also things you must definitely avoid. Some of them are:
Winters might be troublesome, but they can be truly beautiful too. We wrote this guide to winter biking with kids in hopes that you will find it useful in enjoying with your kids. Just a few precautions, few gadgets and you and the kids are ready to have some awesome time together.
Your kid’s bike is perhaps a special part of your life. For your kid, it may be just fun, but for you, it is a moment of seeing your child doing something on his/her own, the first step of the proverbial “standing on their legs”. So, special caution is needed in choosing the right bikes for your child. One question that comes in the minds of most parents is which brakes should they prefer- coaster or hand?
Coaster brakes are fitted in the rear part of the bike and are activated by pedaling the bike backward. As soon as the pedals start moving backward, the brake pressure starts to get applied on rear wheels, increasing as you keep pedaling backward.
For a long time, parents had the perception that coaster brakes are best for kids in the age group of 2-5. The reason is that coaster brakes are quite easy to implement: you just have to pedal backward. The notion was so popular that even the US Law specifies that any bike of size 20″ or less must have coaster brakes installed in them.
Hand brakes are situated on the handles of the bike that must be pressed with the hand in case the rider wants to halt or decelerate.
Hand brakes are the most commonly used brakes in bicycles. However, kid’s bikes remained an exception in this because of the general perception that hand brakes require a significant level of coordination- something that cannot be expected from small children. However, with the passage of time, more and more parents are realizing that perhaps the higher expectation of hand brakes is a misconception. In fact, children as young as 3 years are now comfortable using hand brakes.
Overall, we can sum up that while coaster brakes value, comfort, hand brakes aim at learning. As a parent, you are the best to judge what is best for your child. As a personal advice, I would suggest you to go for bikes that are hybrid, i.e., employ both coaster and hand brakes. Such models extract the best of both brake systems, while limiting their individual drawbacks. Although on a bit costlier side, they prove worthy in the long run.
One thing I can assure you that there are no losers as far as bicycle brakes go. Both coaster brakes and hand brakes have their own pros and cons, but none of them are so serious that you might lament choosing the wrong brake systems. Hope your child’s riding experience give you memories for a lifetime.
Riding a bicycle is considered to be one of the best joyful moments in life as it can be a lot of accomplishment and confidence to your little one. During school-age, bike accidents is the second leading cause of serious injury among children.
To avoid such dangerous instances, it is necessary to undertake the concerned precautions. Wearing a bicycle helmet can reduce the risk of an accident by 85%. Most of the regions such as Seattle, Tacoma, and many more cities have made it mandatory to wear a helmet while cycling. But there are countries which do not follow such rules, creating a higher risk for accidents among kids. This needs to be changed.
While cycling, an unpredicted fall can happen at any time and at any place. Severe bicycle accidents can cause brain injuries and can also prove to be fatal. When a child wears a perfectly fit helmet, it can reduce such deadly risks. According to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “Children belonging to the age group of 5-14 frequently visit hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with bicycles”.
Parents should ensure that they buy new helmets as the child grows up. It is not a difficult or impossible task to wear a helmet while riding. It is essential that a helmet should fit in properly in order to offer the highest level of head protection.
At the end, comes a final check wherein you have to look after several other aspects.
You should be careful and avoid a situation where the helmet interferes with the riders view and hearing ability. These sensors are critical for safety and control. Let’s take a look at the basic things to remember while fitting the helmet.
You should replace the child’s helmet from time to time. You might wonder why one should do so?
While cycling, the other safety considerations which need to be observed by the parents are in the following areas – extra safety gear, clothing, and adult supervision, biking at night and obeying the traffic signals.
As per a report published on a popular website, “unfortunately, poor biking lands more than a quarter-million kids a year in US Emergency departments with severe injuries”. At times parents do know the importance of wearing a helmet, but they do not understand the importance of how properly a helmet should be fit. Ensure that your kid wears the helmet before they go out for a bicycle ride. Leave the hair loose or tie in the back at the base of the neck. Bike helmets are good only for one crash. Replace the helmet immediately after the first crash and do not wait for a second one to happen.
You spread these safety instructions and save the life of a kid.
Riding a bike is definitely one of the fondest memories of our childhood. As a parent, we all remember that and hence try to ensure that our child gets the same, without those cuts and bruises. A number of options are available today in the market, but Balance bikes perhaps trump them all. And this is not because of its cool looks. There are significant reasons behind it.
The popular alternatives like tricycle and training wheels hamper the learning ability of a child. It’s like learning how to drive by playing GTA. The entire focus goes on pedaling while balancing shifts to the background; which is wrong, as balancing is perhaps the most important part of riding a bike. Lack of proper balancing skills may lead to potential accidents.
A Balance bike, as the name suggests, focuses only on balancing. It is pedal-less and much safer than the aforementioned alternatives. It is custom-made to enhance the learning curve of a child of almost every age group while being safe at the same time.
So now that we know how important balance bikes could be for you kid, let’s give you some tips to buy the best Balance bike for your kids on black Friday.
Bolts from the most protruding parts of a bike, and hence always pose a danger of bruising your young ones. Not to mention the worn-out bolts, that could lead to infecting wounds. The solution to this is opting for recessed, rounded or covered bolts, which are always safe.
Grips help one to hold onto the bike. While a sufficiently ridged grip will help to have a better hold on the handle, too many ridges can harm the soft hands of your kids. So, it is important to find the grip that is just right for your kid’s hands. Also, the knobby end of the grip comes handy in case of sudden halts.
Frames for balanced bikes come in 3 categories: wood, aluminum and steel. Each has its own advantage, like the aluminum frame offers a light-weight bike, while a steel frame can endure heavy weight, and wood frames are more environment-friendly and aesthetic to look at. So you should see which frame caters to your needs properly.
No, seriously, this is what most parents ask. A footrest serves no real purpose in a balance bike, albeit in some particular instances, like on a hilly terrain where it is not always advisable to leave the bike laying around. On the other hand, it may interfere with your child’s leg movements, increasing the risk to hit the footrest while riding. So, think carefully about whether you really want a footrest or not.
The task of Turning Limiter is to prevent the bike from going in a full revolution. This could happen if the rider loses control of the handle, and it turns around freely -resulting in a disaster if the speed is high. Definitely dangerous, right? But Balance bikes are for training, and hence are unlikely to go beyond a slow speed. Some might argue that a kid must have full access to the handle to learn its intricacies, and so that they are more familiar with bike-riding. So, it is up to you to decide.
Balance bikes, by design, are meant to be stopped by the legs. This was the reason behind no pedals so that the legs could be free to maintain balance. However, a set of brakes will still be useful and safer. If you are extra-concerned about safety, you can opt for brakes. Since Balance bikes employ hand-brakes, do remember to check out if your kid can press the brakes properly while riding or not.
If you have driven a lot of motorbikes, you would know that weight plays an important role. The same bike may be too easy for a 5 years old, but can bring your 2-year old out of breath. So, always focus on whether the weight of the bike is suitable for your child. As a general rule, bikes must not weigh more than 30% of your child’s weight.
Tires have two most important functionalities: cushion and traction. It is important to have a look at both, before buying a bike. Tires are mainly: Big Apple, Air, rubber Honeycomb, EVA foam and hard plastic. You can select the one for you, depending upon a lot of factors – like the vulnerability to sharp objects, smoothness of roads, indoors or outdoors, desired level of cushion etc.
To have an optimum control over the bike, it is required that your kid must have a bike whose size is suitable for his/her own size. Too big a bike will be very difficult to maneuver, leading to accidents. Too small bikes would be very clumsy and uncomfortable to ride.
This is not a major concern, but will save you some hassle in the future. There is a limit of adjustment to the seat heights, so if you grossly miscalculated what height would suit your child, you may need to replace the entire seat. Better safe than sorry.
Kids may not always be the best of judges, but it is they who will be riding the bike after all. You may look at all the best possible configurations, but if your kid isn’t comfortable with it, the bike would be worthless. So, always ask for your child’s opinion before finalizing a deal.
Balance bikes are a great way to kick-start your child’s journey onto one of the best things about childhood. The things they would learn from it today are not just for now, but will help them in the future too, whether they ride a motorbike or drive a car. So, make sure they get their first ride as something made especially for them. Happy shopping!!
With so many sorts of toys for toddlers, the shopping process might be quite overwhelming. As parents, we have to consider the price, safety, longevity, and age appropriateness. The best toys are the ones that are not just fun but can benefit our kids’ progress, too. Of course, we want to get our money’s worth.
One type of toy that is progressive and beneficial are ride-on toys. These are toys that children can hop onto and ride on, like a rocking horse, a trike, bike, scooters, bikes, and so on. Ride-on toys for kids have more than just physical benefits. Here’s some of them
Many ride-on toys require the child to use legs for movement. For older children, they can strengthen their legs even more with pedaling. Steering strengthens their upper limbs.These toys encourage the child to be active without them even knowing it.
Some of these sorts of toys allow children to grip, grasp, and steer. Some even have small knobs or “keys” they can turn, a joystick to maneuver, and components to open and close.
There are so many activities you can do to reinforce rules in general, as well as familiarize them with traffic rules. This develops their sense of responsibility, as well as cooperation. You can get creative, and make a traffic route to emphasize traffic signs, and encourage “responsible driving.” Eventually, as they grow older, following rules will not be so hard, especially when they learn why they exist in the first place.
Ride-on toys have a lot of room for a child to be creative. The child can pretend to be a policeman, or a fireman, or even pretend to be a “daddy” driving the car. He or she can also pretend to drive to the beach or a friend’s house, or through a drive through. The list goes on! Creative children are critical thinkers and problem solvers because they aren’t placed in a “box.”
Teach words like lever, pedals, break, emergency, etc. You can teach more words according to how your child is pretending. For instance, if he says he’s riding a race car, you can teach words like speed, safety, etc. You can also talk about the concept of fast and slow.
Though children, especially the younger ones, should be supervised, ride-on-toys foster independent play. Children learn to move on their own. A sense of independence is good for self-esteem and intrinsic motivation. A strong sense of independence can also build confidence within the child. Through independent play, a child a can explore and recognize their own thoughts and emotions.
This refers to a child’s understanding of space between the objects in their surroundings. You can further hone this by giving an obstacle course. This skill also helps them to pay attention to details.
Operating or playing with ride-on-toys can significantly improve a child’s sense of balance. They can learn to distribute their weight in such a way that keeps them upright. Some of the ride-on toys that promote balance are scooters, trikes, bike, and practice bikes (the ones with no pedals).
When they do fall, you can always encourage them to get back up. This fosters resilience in a child.
While many ride-on toys can be played indoors. But they’re also a great excuse to be outdoors (provided it’s safe, of course!). Being outdoors instills a love for exploration and nature. It can teach them to appreciate their surroundings, nature, and the world.
Exploring encourages a child to think. The outdoors can promote for a child to ask questions, find answers, makes solutions, and decisions.
Ride-on toys aren’t limited to independent play. Together, children can explore, pretend, and play. They can also learn things together, and learn from each other.
A ride-on toy is a great way for children to make friends and develop socio-emotional skills. If there’s only one toy, they can learn to share, take turns, and wait. They also learn to be sensitive to each other’s feelings.
Children can learn so much from each other. Empathizing, emotions, leadership, teamwork, among others, are just some of the many things they can learn. Of course, you might need to supervise them, especially if they are younger.
There are a lot of ride-on toys in the market, but what should a parent look for? Here are some things to consider before buying a ride-on toy:
Most toys have age recommendations provided by the manufacturer. However, your gauge should be based on your observations of your child. For instance, can he or she sit up? Fortunately, many ride-on toys have back support to prevent younger children from falling backward.
Safety is on top of the priority list when buying a ride-on toy. Are the screws tight? Are there parts that are choke hazards? Most toys have age and weight suggestions or limits.
How much weight can the toy carry? As we mentioned earlier, the younger the child is, the more supervision you should give. Another way you can provide safety is having an enclosed space for them to “drive” around.
Good toys should be easy to handle and easy to maintain as well. This might seem trivial, but consider the types of screws that put the toys together. Is it compatible with the screwdriver or other tools you have? You want a toy that’s durable but also something you can try to maintain on your own.
For electronic ones for older kids, what are the safety features? Does it heat up after some time? How fast can it go? Consider these things to help you decide about electronic ride-on toys.
Ride-on toys are great toys for a well-rounded development in your kid. It has benefits for most of the aspects of development: intellectual, physical, social, and emotional. You can see it in the way a child plays. It sparks a lot of creativity too! It’s also very progressive – rocking chairs for the younger kids all the way to bikes and even some driving for the older ones.
Thomas Roberge is a founder of RepairDaily.com.This website was created and is supported by a person who has been in the business of working with power tools, dedicated to home improvement projects both professionally and for the do it yourself type of person.