Because of the many benefits of riding a bike, talking about bikes in early childhood can help children become excited about bikes. We have found 20 books about bikes for preschool children that can be incorporated into your early childhood program.
Many say that riding a bike is a rite of passage for young children. Children as young as 2 start out on tricycles before moving on to a bike with training wheels and then a two-wheeler.
Biking is a healthy pastime that kids will never outgrow. Here are some of the benefits of cycling:
- Developing strength, balance, and overall fitness
- Burning up calories
- Strengthening the heart, lungs, and lower-body muscles and bones
- Developing and strengthening the muscles surrounding the knees without impact
Biking boasts other benefits as well. Children of all shapes, sizes, and abilities can ride a bike.
20 Books about Bikes for Preschool:
Stages of Bicycling
(excerpt from All About Bicycle Riding)
Just as babies must learn to crawl before they can walk, your tyke will first pedal a tricycle before graduating to the world of two-wheeling. Here’s what experts at the National Center for Bicycling and Walking say to expect along the way:
Tricycles (ages 2 to 5): Plastic three-wheelers, such as Big Wheels, and traditional trikes are perfect for preschoolers who are testing their newfound motor skills. Tricycles should be ridden only on a playground or within a fenced yard, not in a driveway or street. Toddlers can also get a feel for biking by riding with parents on a bicycle-mounted seat or by being towed behind an adult bicycle in a cushioned bike trailer. The important thing to remember is that toddlers, like all riders, should always wear a size-appropriate helmet when biking.
Training wheels (ages 5 to 6): The training-wheels phase may last a couple of months or a couple of years, depending on the rate at which a child’s coordination and strength develop. Parents can gradually elevate training wheels to help build their child’s confidence. Eventually, when a child shows a mastery of balance on the bike, the training wheels can be removed.
Single-speed bikes (ages 6 to 9): A child’s first two-wheeler should be a one-speed with foot brakes. He won’t be ready for hand brakes and gears until age 9 or 10, when his hands are larger and stronger. Also, kids aren’t ready for street riding until sometime between ages 8 and 10. Until then, they should ride in a driveway or along park paths with an adult.
Multispeed bikes (ages 9 and up): Once your child is ready for a larger bike with gears and hand brakes, he can start riding on quiet streets, where you can teach him safe-riding skills. If your child wants to ride to school, and you feel that he’s ready, help him plot a route that avoids busy streets and crowded intersections.