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How do we teach our daughter to ride her bicycle (with training wheels)?

Our daughter has begged and pleaded for a bicycle so of course this year for her 3rd birthday she got one. After about 15 minutes of trying to pedal she gave up and said 'no more mom, I can't do it'. Cue the heartbreak. Well now what do we do? My husband got on his bike to show her how to peddle, no go. I used my hands to pedal her feet, no go. She just sits there and and tries to peddle back and forth which of course doesn't work because going backwards is the brakes! She is frustrated and I don't know how to help. We will be headed out again this afternoon to give it another try but any suggestions are welcome!

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Asked by NavyMama6894 at 9:06 AM on Jul. 20, 2009 in Preschoolers (3-4)

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Answers (5)
  • Did she start out on one of those little plastic bikes before you put her on the real bike? We have 5 children, and that's how we taught all of ours. Since they could already pedal the plastic bike, the real bike didn't seem all that hard for them. If she absolutely refuses, I wouldn't stress about. I would just let her sit on it and let her teach herself. She'll do it when she's ready.


    Answer by Reaching100K at 9:17 AM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • at 3 she is a ilttle young to ride with no training wheels, most bikes for that age come with training wheels but if it didnt you can get her some from walmart to add on...i would wait until 5 ish to try with the training wheels off unless she pushes for it earlyer

    Answer by mommymeg03 at 9:22 AM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • This is a bike WITH training wheels. As for the smaller plastic big wheel type bikes yes we do have two but oddly enough she can't reach the peddles! Maddie is in the 90th percentile for her height yet can't reach the peddles on a big wheel, but she is capable of reaching the peddles on the bicycle!

    Answer by NavyMama6894 at 9:56 AM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • I agree - the leg length needed for the trikes is huge! A set of pedal blocks may help. Most bike stores carry them.
    Or simply tell her that you are going to have "pedal practice" for 5 minutes each day. If the wheels are still clean, you could even let her practice in the house. If either of you is handy, you could also rig up a wooden stand that the training wheels and sit on (and be bolted to) but that lets the back tire sit above the floor. Then she could pratice peddling while watching a favorite TV show as a treat.

    Answer by kaycee14 at 12:00 PM on Jul. 20, 2009

  • Take the pedals off and let her coast around for awhile. Then she can kind of get the feel for how a bicycle moves and the power it requires (this is also excellent for learning how to ride w/out training wheels). Also, find a spot with a slight incline so she's going down hill without knowing it. If all else fails, just put it away for a little while and try again another time. There's no point in rushing it. My daughter did the same thing when she was 4, we put it away for about 3 months and now she's six and riding without training wheels. Good luck!!

    Answer by Cariccino at 11:30 PM on Jul. 25, 2009

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