Play on balance bikes. Play games.
Games to Play On Balance Bikes
Every once in a while we get an email from a concerned parent saying, “We bought our son a balance bike and they are just not interested” or “Our daughter will ride for a couple of minutes, but she doesn’t seem to be getting it”.
There may be many reasons these questions arise, but the leading cause may simply be boredom. Encouraging play on balance bikes with your Kidvelo rider; becomes more fun for you both and improves their balance skills. Whether they are just beginning or have mastered balance these suggestions should help motivate your rider to get in the saddle. Also, remember young children have a low patience threshold, so keep riding sessions short and interesting to start and always encourage and don’t show your frustrations.
- Ride over my foot!
This is a great way to get the youngest riders moving around and can be played anywhere. Keep moving your foot as they get close to running it over, but make sure you let them get you once in a while. Make it even more fun by rolling around on the floor in fake agony! The downside to this game is they may run over random feet when out for a ride.
- Follow the leader
If you have a playdate with other balance bike riding kids this is an easy way for everyone to have fun. Pick one rider as “the leader”. Encourage the leader to speed up, slow down, ride in circles, and weave around objects. Every couple of minutes yell out the name of the new leader. This was a favourite at my house when riding with my kids. As your Kidvelo rider progresses, add more advanced skills when you’re the leader: ride off a small curb, pop a wheelie, lead them in a figure of eight, stand up, or encourage them to lift their feet.
- Chalk Lines
This is especially good for kids hesitant to fully trust their balance skills. Use chalk to draw two lines. The goal is to have both feet off the ground from one line to the next. Start with the lines relatively close to each other. As their balance abilities increase draw the lines further apart. I’ve also used this game to work on more advanced skills eg Use the footpad on the Rookie 12” bike to learn to balance with feet up. Balance is truly being learned in an easy fun way.
- Red Light, Green Light
In this game, you are the “stoplight”. Stand about 15-20 feet away from your rider(s). When you face away yell, “Green Light”. The kids can ride towards you until you yell, “Red Light” and turn around. The goal is for them to stop before turning around. The first person to touch you wins. The added benefit is that your rider will have it drilled into them to stop when you yell “Red Light” when they get too far ahead of you or you need them to stop!
- Blast Off! 3..2..1
Let your child pretend they are an aeroplane when riding! You will encourage kids to pick up their feet and build balance and coordination by coasting. Say “3…2…1 Blast off” while riding while encouraging them to run quicker and work up some momentum. When you say “blast off” have your child pick up their feet and coast for as long as possible.
- Balance Challenge
Even when not riding bikes, balance can be improved. Try Simon Says and encourage them to freeze when standing on one leg, with feet together or arms out. Every position will improve coordination and skills
- Bubble wrap!
You would be surprised just how much fun popping bubble wrap is with your bikes! A great activity for the youngest riders.
- Gliding Competition
See how far you can glide with your feet off the ground. Start by gaining momentum and when they cross a line get them to lift their feet and then mark when they put them back down. If you can do this in the same place regularly your child will be surprised by just how much progress they can make.
- Scavenger Hunt!
Make up your list of things to find eg one big and one little pine cone. Find a stick in the shape of a Y, a stone, a twig, or a collection of different leaves. This is a great game in a park as it encourages your child to ride and explore.
- Family Rides with your child
The secret is riding with your child and Playing games on balance bikes. Get out on your bike with your kids…these games may rekindle your love of 2-wheeled adventure. Family adventures on bikes are free. Take a picnic. Look for wildlife. Plenty of drinks and snacks and you have the perfect day out