How to teach children to ride a scooter| Vendula Kosíková
Most children will manage to ride a scooter quite intuitively, but some need more time and their parents' support. How to proceed in order to make the learning process smooth and joyful for everyone involved?
The right timing
It is important to realize that every child is different. For this reason, the age, when children will have matured and become strong enough to safely handle a scooter, will also differ.
In general, we recommend starting with a scooter at the age of four years or later. Until then, most kids will make do with a balance bike, on which they will learn to keep balance, estimate distances and they will master the basic principles of steering such as turning and braking.
Corresponding size of the scooter
With a scooter that is too large and heavy for the child, you will do more harm than good. Children will find it hard to handle and the frustrating experience may deter them from any further attempts for good. An incorrectly set handlebar height, carelessly adjusted brakes etc. may also make learning more difficult.
You can find useful advice in the article on How to choose a scooter for children.
A quiet place and smooth surface
Selection of the location will also greatly contribute to successful training. We recommend a quiet flat area with smooth, preferably asphalt surface, which is peaceful and there is enough space for experimenting.
Avoid roads, where cars pass, as well as frequented cycle tracks, so the child can focus fully on coordination of movements and will not have to pay attention to what is going on around. A quiet flat area behind the house, parks, relaxation and sports zones or traffic playgrounds are ideal.
Motivation and friends
Present the learning of scootering to children as an experience they will be able to look forward to. Plan beforehand, where you will go on scooters together, and what you will experience while being there. The time spent together is often the greatest motivation for children.
The presence of a more experienced friend, who can ride a scooter already, may often help overcome the fear of a new activity. The child will want to equal this friend and will overcome the feeling of uncertainty, which connects to learning new things, more easily.
Good mood but no expectations
During the event, be in a positive mood and calm, encourage the child and appreciate every partial success. Do not pressure the child, though, and do not expect him or her to learn to ride perfectly in one afternoon.
Be prepared to end after a short while and have a spare shared activity prepared. Do not return to learning until later, or even the next day.
Go about it slowly
When instructing your child, proceed slowly, give them time to first try out and get a feel for the scooter themselves. Then add some tips. For example that turning will be easier, if they make a nice circle with the scooter, rather than sharply turning the handlebar in the opposite direction.
Only when your child feels safe on the scooter, start to teach leg switching. Explain to the children that switching legs is really important for healthy back, straight spine and for even burdening of the legs.
Let them know that you understand how unusual and demanding it may be at the beginning and tell them everyone needs a while to get fully used to switching legs. It is important for them to feel for themselves that riding is easier when they switch legs. It is ideal to switch legs after five to six push-offs on flat ground and more frequently when riding uphill.
It might also motivate them to hear that motor development supports development of the mind, so their thinking will become quicker and they will be able to handle school tasks better.
Celebrate your child has successfully mastered scootering, preferably by a trip on scooters to a good confectioner's shop or restaurant nearby. Allow the children to choose according to their taste.
We wish you a lot of success and patience. We are sure you endeavours will pay off, because scootering belongs among activities that the entire family can do together, whether its members are 4 or 90 years old.