KidletNation

Unique toys, books, music, and clothing for babies, children and their parents.

Toddlers and Balance Bikes. Here We Go.

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Various balance bikes we considered.
Red Strider ST-2 Balance Bike
Various Strider Balance Bikes
Wooden Balance Bikes

Earlier this year Grandma bought our little one a shiny red balance bike, specifically a Strider ST-2. Note that they’ve since released the Strider ST-3 (don’t ask me how they differ) which appears to be very similar.

Strider balance bikes come in pieces but are very easy to assemble, so don’t let that put you off.

Anyway, this past weekend was the first time taking the bike out to the park and allowing our little guy to give it a shot (he’d tried his new balance bike a couple times in the living room wiht limited success). I was a bit concerned that since he’s not yet 2 years old the bike might be a bit much, but after seeing kids in the neighbourhood who are if not younger, are at least smaller manage them pretty well I figured, why not. Interestingly I’ve seen these referenced as for 5 years and older which strikes me as a bit too conservative.

Initially there were some issues with actually balancing the balance bike. It took a few attempts to successfully catch himself when he leaned to far to one side or the other, but once he got the hang of that it was off to the (slow) races.

I will note that we started with the seat almost as low as is possible (almost touching the back wheel). As such he was walking while straddling the seat rather than sitting and pushing himself so he glides on the Strider. I figure that’s ok as he can first learn how to steer and generally work the bike and then we can raise the seat so he can focus on gliding rather than walking. Time will tell if this works.

There are numerous balance bike brands out there and we opted for the Strider in part for the bright colors as well as the solid metal construction. The various wooden balance bikes certainly have an edge in the style department, but come at a much dearer cost for the solid ones and in some cases looked a bit too fragile.

Finally, helmets. We picked up helmet from day 1 and have established that he won’t be riding the bike unless the helmet is on. The one we chose is the Bell Tater Kids Bike Helmet, specifically the blue dragon version. It’s pretty funny, but he loves the helmet almost more than the bike itself. In fact, he’s taken to asking to wear the helmet when he’s hanging around the house. Last night almost as soon as we started our Skype call with his grandparents he ran to his room, grabbed his new helmet and insisted he be allowed to wear it until the call was over. For those interested we opted against the round ‘bucket-style’ helmets which, while they look cooler lack the ‘overhang’ front and back that I’ve convinced myself will provide more face and head protection should he fall directly forward or back. Does this make sense? Who knows.

Various balance bikes we considered.
Red Strider ST-2 Balance Bike
Various Strider Balance Bikes
Wooden Balance Bikes

Bicycle Built For …. 15? The Busycle

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Now I think I understand what John and Kate plus 8 are up too… they still need 5 more bodies to maximize efficiency on their busycle!

Child Pushbike For The Pre X-Games Set

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One up the neighbours with this high performance pushbike. Bmx for your young child.

I love those wooden push bikes that have been showing up all over the neighbourhood this summer. In fact, I was almost run down by one this afternoon while walking along the path at Kits Beach… kid was not impressed that I didn’t respect his space.

Anyway, check out this Kiddimoto Suzuki GSX-R push bike posted at Automotoportal that will allow your little daredevil to put his competitors in the neighbourhood to shame (not that I condone that kind of child on child competition).

Kids Won’t Leave The Couch And Exercise? They Don’t Need To.

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Bikeforest.com where the couchbike hits the road and kids learn that they don't have to leave the couch to have fun.

Worried your beautiful little baby will get hooked on Wii or PS3 before she even learns to walk? I`m willing to bet your concern is not misplaced. Kids are getting fatter and video games are getting more addictive. Couches? Well couches are just as comfy as they’ve always been.

The kids over at Bikeforest.com have an interesting solution with a custom project they’ve designed and proven – their couch bike. This is no temperamental prototype folks.. this is the real deal as far as chain-driven couches are concerned.

If you find yourself in south western Ontario look them up and spring for a few of the strangest rentals you and your kids are likely to encounter during this lifetime.