Children like to play outside from a very young age, and parents often encourage it by buying several items that make the kids interested in spending time outdoors. One of those items is a tricycle. Since children learn to ride a bike usually after the age of 6 or 7, the kids in the age group below are somewhat limited to a tricycle. It is either that or no bike or trike at all. Even so, it seems that children like to ride a tricycle even before they learn how to pedal.
There are a lot of models out there, and some of them have a handle so that kids who do not reach the pedals can also enjoy its benefits. It means that they can ride a trike, but their parents will push it. After a while, the child will get the hang of it and will start pedaling.
The benefits of riding a tricycle
Many people regard tricycles as toys, and while they are not wrong, they are not entirely accurate either. Apart from being an excellent means of entertainment, riding a tricycle has some real benefits for the development of your child. Here are a few of them:
- Your child can learn about coordination and balance – during the preschool years, a child will learn how to balance himself/herself more and more every day. After they start walking, kids are more familiar with what balance is, but coordination is an entirely different skill. While learning how to steer a tricycle, the toddler will learn about hand coordination, and the same goes with pedaling where foot coordination kicks in. A tricycle encourages the development of both gross and motor skills. As you can imagine, it will not happen very fast, but with time and practice, our kid will get the hang of it.
- It will teach your child a little bit about independence – if you have a child that is 1 or 2, you can probably confirm that children at that age are eager to do things on their own. As soon as they can walk, kids tend to go everywhere and manifest their pure curiosity about the world. A tricycle can help with that. While it teaches the kid that it takes some effort to ‘move forward,’ a tricycle will give your kid some sense of freedom of exploring more territory in less time. Supervised, of course, but I bet that he or she does not know that.
- It encourages playing outside – spending some time outside has impressive effects on anyone, let alone children. Instead of allowing your toddler to sit in front of a screen all day long, buy him/her a tricycle and teach him/her that playing outside is so much better. Not only that it has health benefits, but children who play outside and interact with other children and adults learn to be more self-confident, and curious and have better social skills. As parents, we all know where that stands on our list of priorities.
- It teaches children about physical activity – physical fitness is a significant issue in some countries such as the USA. If you teach your child from a young age to exercise, he or she will live with the idea that exercise is just another part of life. Better yet, you can take your bike as well and teach by example that exercising is an essential aspect of your life. Plus, the effort will strengthen your child’s bones and muscles. Soon enough, your child will no longer ask to be carried because ‘my legs hurt.’ That in itself is a good enough reason to invest in the best tricycle you can afford.
How to choose the best tricycle for your child
As you can imagine, there are tons of models on the market. However, that does not mean they are all the best for your child. Some manufacturers do not use the best materials, and some are just unsuitable. That is why your selection process should include some criteria that can guide your purchase. Here is what you need to consider when you are looking for the best tricycle.
- Size – since not all children are the same size, tricycles come in several available dimensions. Lucky for you, the tricycles you find on the market are labeled per age group. For example, if your child is 2 years old, you will find a model that is designed to fit the average size of a 2-year-old. That should not be difficult for you to discover. Just make sure that you check the specifications before you buy the product.
- Adjustability – if you find an adjustable tricycle that fits your needs, it is even better. That is because the same model can accommodate your child for years. Adjustability usually refers to the seat. That is because your child needs to reach the pedals. The more the kid grows, the further away from the pedals the seat goes. That is pretty much it as far as adjustability goes. Of course, as you can imagine, this feature will reflect on the price, but if you think about it, you save some money in the long run. Instead of buying a tricycle every two years until your child is 8, you buy a single one and you are done.
- Handle vs. no handle – this pertains to your child’s age. You see, not all children learn to pedal at the same age. Children develop in different stages of their life. While some can pedal from the age of 2, others cannot get the hang of it until they are four. That does not mean there is something wrong. It just means that your child has not reached his or her developmental boom, so to speak. For that reason, manufacturers have created tricycles that also have a handle so that parents can push them from behind. Just because a child cannot pedal yet, it means that he or she should not be able to enjoy a tricycle.
- Construction – since a tricycle is meant to be safe for your child, make sure that you buy a well-constructed product. Even those that are made of plastic need to ensure balance and stability. Otherwise, they are not worth buying. A child needs to feel stable and learn to trust the tricycle. At the same time, the best tricycle needs to be comfortable. The construction needs to be performed in such a way that your child can enjoy stability and comfort.
Since there are so many models out there, finding the best one for your child may seem a bit tricky. You may feel confused. However, as long as you follow the criteria above, you should be able to filter through all of them successfully. At the same time, reading some tricycle reviews online could not hurt either. Parents who have already bought a particular product (that you may have put your eyes on) are the most qualified to tell you whether or not that product is worth your investment. Until then, just take a look at the three products below. Maybe you will like one of them.
smarTrike Breeze 3 in 1 Baby Tricycle
The tricycle from smarTrike is a model destined for children whose age start from 10 months until 3 years. It is a very comfortable model, and I am sure you and your child will enjoy it very much. It has a handle that you can use until your kid learns how to pedal. The built-in suspension, along with the fact that the wheels are made of rubber and not plastic, will make your child’s ride as comfortable as possible.
One of the best things about this model is that you can turn it from parent-touch steering to child-ride control in just a second. While your child is too young to pedal, you can push and control the direction of the tricycle yourself. The footrests below the seat will keep your child in a comfortable position and away from the pedals to avoid injury. When the child learns to pedal, you push the button that is located on the mudguard, and your child will be able to fully control the tricycle himself/herself.
Overall, this is an excellent product. It is well-constructed, fashionable, and versatile. The tricycle is equipped with a removable belt-like piece of plastic that surrounds the child when he is too small to balance himself on the seat. The bike features a storage box in the back so your kid can carry his stuff while on the tricycle.
Radio Flyer All-Terrain Stroll ‘N Trike Ride On
The tricycle from Radio Flyer is yet another product that I think your child will enjoy. It is meant for children from 9 months to 5 years, and the best thing about it is that it grows as your child does. The tricycle has 4 levels of adjustability. You can set it as an infant trike, push trike, learn-to-ride trike, and of course, classic trike.
The Radio Flyer tricycle is equipped with rugged air tires. That means your child can use it both on smooth surfaces, as well as on rough terrain. The seat has a 3-point harness and a high backrest so that your child can sit comfortably and safely. There is also a removable safety tray with a cup holder for your kid’s sippy cup.
The pedals of the Radio Flyer tricycle become footrests when the child is too small to pedal. There is also a canopy that you can use for UV protection. The canopy is removable so that you can take it out when your child learns to ride the trike on his own.
Schwinn Roadster 12-Inch Trike
Last but not least, the tricycle from Schwinn must be the most elegant model I have ever seen. It has a vintage look, so if you are looking to spoil your child, this is the best tricycle to do it. It can be found in multiple colors, and the overall design will leave you in awe.
As opposed to the other two models found above, this tricycle is designed to accommodate children ages between 3 and 5 years. It does not come with a handle, so your child must already know how to pedal. The product has a low center of gravity that is meant to prevent tip-overs. I am sure that your kid will love the stability, and you will feel more assured that he does not get hurt.
The handlebars are made of chrome, and they have long tassels, as well as a bell. The seat is sculpted for the best possible comfort and support. At the same time, you can adjust the seat as your child grows. It moves along the trike’s structure with the help of a plastic-covered knob underneath. I am sure you will have an easy time operating it. The manufacturer used heavy-duty steel for the manufacture of this model, and the deck is made of real wood with a burned-in logo.
You must make a choice depending on your child’s age, but if I had to choose one of the three models above, I would go with the Schwinn Roadster 12-Inch Trike. It is a beautifully constructed tricycle, safe, and very comfortable. The rubber wheels make it easy to operate, and that is one of the reasons I think it is one of the best tricycles you can find in this price range.
I have yet to meet a child who does not like to ride a tricycle. Tricycles are fun, and children of all ages should be able to enjoy them. I am sure that you agree, which is why you should pick one of the models above. No matter which one you choose, I am confident you will be satisfied with your purchase.