Skills That Are Developed By Bike Riding For Special Needs Kids
Today we’re going to talk about bike riding.
We get a lot of questions about bike riding which is great because bike riding is a fantastic skill for many reasons.
For one thing, riding a bike requires kids to be able to balance. A lot of kids have to learn how to keep their body at the midline and to adjust themselves so that they don’t lose their balance. Riding a bike helps them develop good posture as well.
On top of all that, pedaling a bicycle has a lot of good reciprocal with helps with reflex integration, which in turn helps with a lot of motor patterns. Pedaling can also help with coordinating upper and lower extremities overall.
How We Ease Our Kiddos Into Bike Riding
Bike riding is one of our favorite things for kids to do! But it can be intimidating, and kids are sometimes scared to try. One of the things we like to start with is to take all the pedals off of the bicycle and turn it into a balance bike. The kids have to use this to learn how to keep their balance at the midline, and if they lose their balance they learn how to adjust it accordingly. Then they use their feet to propel themselves. Once they get confident with that you’ll see that they will actually start to pick up their feet and keep the bike nicely at the midline. They feel a little more confident riding the bike like this because they can put their feet down any time they want to.
Once They Get The Hang of it
Once they master that we re-introduce the pedals but we’ll put them just on the back so that we can help stabilize the bike. Then we’ll teach them pedaling, but by then they should be really good at keeping their balance so we just give them a little help with the momentum to pedal themselves. Once they get successful we’ll turn it from a balance bike back into a regular bike, and then they can take it home and ride a real bike at home for their parents!
If you have any questions about bike riding for your kids, we’d love to talk with you!