Author Topic: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride  (Read 14561 times)

Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« on: June 15, 2009, 07:40:21 pm »
Any ideas?  Mrs Z insisted I put the stabilisers on because Emma would not go near the bike otherwise, and it was gathering dust in the shed.  She has since consented to a go without them again, but can't "scoot" at all.  She's now outgrown her first bike and still can't actually ride!

Does anyone teach kids to ride professionally, with guaranteed results?

My parents used the traditional terror method of running along holding the seat post and then letting go - I crashed a lot, but it was on grass.
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2009, 07:47:09 pm »
...I crashed a lot, but it was on grass.

I assume there's no grass in Swindon?

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2009, 07:55:48 pm »
I was taught in park with a (small) hill on grass. Parent running alongside then let go once up to speed. No need to pedal because of the hill. Once confidence in balance is gained pedalling is easy.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Panoramix

  • 50 61 6E 6F 72 61 6D 69 78
  • Suus cuique crepitus bene olet
    • Some routes
Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #3 on: June 15, 2009, 07:58:01 pm »
If there is anything that applies to teaching a 5 years old to ride, I will be interested.

She managed to fall off with the stabilisers on as she decided to move her weight the wrong way round in a turn!!!

We have done some zigzagging and it is better now. I am trying to persuade her that cool kids can cycle with the stabilisers off the ground with some (minor) success. All this running keeps me fit!

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #4 on: June 15, 2009, 08:02:09 pm »
Leaving stabilisers on too long is counter productive as they actually make the bike unstable when it leans ie when too much weight ends up on one of the little wheels when cornering or zig zagging which then destroys confidence.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #5 on: June 15, 2009, 08:14:46 pm »
I know.  I threw away the ones that came with the bike and refused to use them, but eventually had to buy some more as she wouldn't go near the bike (literally).
Never tell me the odds.

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #6 on: June 15, 2009, 08:57:30 pm »
Peer pressure is a wonderful thing.  A couple of years ago I gave my nephew Pcolbeck Junior's first bike complete with stabilisers. He rode it a bit then lost confidence before he got the hang of it. It seems at school (he is 5)  they have a few bikes in the playground and he came home last week and asked his dad to take off the stabilisers. He was off. Obviously he had watched the other kids at school do it and had been practising a but there.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #7 on: June 15, 2009, 10:05:52 pm »
Have you tried bribery? I told my nephew that when he could ride his bike down the road by himself, I'd get us all an ice cream from the van. It took us about half an hour of running up and down the street ;D.
Quote from: Kim
^ This woman knows what she's talking about.

clarion

  • Tyke
Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #8 on: June 15, 2009, 10:16:17 pm »
The first time Superstoker rode a bike was upstairs at a bike shop when he saw a bike he wanted.  I told him that if he could ride it, he could have it.  I kept the bargain, and he has the bike still.
Getting there...

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #9 on: June 15, 2009, 10:17:46 pm »
I thought the way to do it was to drop the saddle height and remove the pedals so that they can sit on the saddle and scoot it like  hobby horse. Then when they are happy using the bike as a hobby horse and used to balancing, re-fit the pedals and get them to pedal instead of scoot. Then raise the saddle to the right height, possibly in stages and not all in one go.

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #10 on: June 15, 2009, 10:25:46 pm »
+1 for what he ^^^^ said.

Jaded

  • The Codfather
  • Formerly known as Jaded
Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #11 on: June 15, 2009, 10:42:17 pm »
The key is to teach them how to put a foot down when they stop.
Then to teach them how to brake.

Then to teach them how to go. It is far easier to go when you know how to stop.

If you don't like your democracy, vote against it.

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #12 on: June 16, 2009, 06:41:02 am »
I thought the way to do it was to drop the saddle height and remove the pedals so that they can sit on the saddle and scoot it like  hobby horse. Then when they are happy using the bike as a hobby horse and used to balancing, re-fit the pedals and get them to pedal instead of scoot. Then raise the saddle to the right height, possibly in stages and not all in one go.
I know.  But it didn't work and she wouldn't go near the bike.
Never tell me the odds.

Rapples

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #13 on: June 16, 2009, 07:09:25 am »
Sometimes you can't make children do what they don't want to do ;)

The key is use you superior intelect to make them want to do it by clever reasoning.  As that's never worked for me, I would try depriving her of food and water for 2 days and then when she's weak enough cable tie her wrists to the handlebars :thumbsup:

ps: +1 to peer pressure, does she have a friend who can ride their bike?  Their parents may have more success persuading her than you.  Sometimes, these "battles" disappear when approached by someone else.  The scooting thing worked for Miss Rapples :thumbsup:

hellymedic

  • Just do it!
Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #14 on: June 16, 2009, 09:27:45 am »
Some kids just aren't ready to learn to ride a bicycle.
Some can ride at 3.
Some kids can read at 3, most can't. Most sensible people don't press toddlers to read.

Maybe it's best to leave the matter a year or so, till she's good and ready. Making an issue of things may put her off, possibly for life.

The summer holidays are coming and she may be more tempted to have a go when she sees others having fun.

I didn't learn to ride a bike until I was 7 but I never tried before.

LEE

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #15 on: June 16, 2009, 09:58:39 am »

My parents used the traditional terror method of running along holding the seat post and then letting go - I crashed a lot, but it was on grass.

That's the method I used with both my kids (around the same age).

I took them to local park (many acres of flat football pitches) and ran along side them.  I still remember my son's shaky voice "don't let go, don't let go, don't let go.."

He didn't realise that I'd let go a while back and was just running with him.  I stopped running and he carried on (still repeating his mantra), he did a long slow arc of about 100 metres until he was finally riding back towards me.  He looked up, saw that I wasn't holding him and promptly fell off.  He was smart enough to realise he could now ride a bike though.

I did the same with my daughter except that she didn't fall off at the point she realised she was riding unaided.

Here is that magical moment



Both of them must have covered 5 miles around the park on that first day, once it had clicked.

I think the key is to find a big expanse of hardish grass and not to let them know you've let go.

Panoramix

  • 50 61 6E 6F 72 61 6D 69 78
  • Suus cuique crepitus bene olet
    • Some routes
Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #16 on: June 16, 2009, 01:11:39 pm »
Thanks Lee for this. I think that I will try your approach. I have never thought of doing it on grass. I think that she may not be that far away from it.

JJ

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #17 on: June 16, 2009, 01:58:08 pm »
Lots of good advice up there ^^.

My first 3 have all done it a bit younger, so feel free to ignore this, but  I've used a long straight stretch of tarmac lane for the final step.  We ride out there with stabilisers, and then just at the point where the lane starts to slope gently downhill, I take them off and run along beside with a hand on a shoulder.  I wait until they are confident enough like that that I'm not doing any of the balancing and then take my hand off briefly, and then again for longer, and so on.  The downhill helps because they keep going.  If need be, I go back to it several days on the trot before I start letting go.  Lots of variation from child to child.

The first one went straight from stabilisers to that.  The other two had an intermediate stage of playing "the whooshing game".  No pedals, lowish seat, push them progressively further between mum and dad, with enthusiastic whooshing noises and loud cheering.  Again, this is on tarmac in the cul-de-sac because the local grassy areas are a bit too long and bog them down.

The sound effects are important because you have to convince them that "THIS IS FUN".  i would guess that different sound effects would work better for a 6YO.  "Wow, you look just like a ballerina" maybe.  "It's your magic pony"!

If they do fall over, I suggest not making much of it.  A nonchalant "upsy-daisy" says it's OK to fall off.

It's lurverly when they go solo though.  Tears to the eyes, literally!  But you do need to take your time and not rush them.

Good luck

J

noisycrank

  • twitter @noisycrank
Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #18 on: June 16, 2009, 10:16:56 pm »
Using the pedal-less method I had to reduce the saddle height quite a lot and was only able to raise it again v slowly once the pedals were back on.
If you don't like my haircut you can suck my socks!

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #19 on: June 17, 2009, 01:09:08 am »
Here is that magical moment




Yes, but isn't it true that you never saw her for 6 days. It took her 3 days to learn how to steer so that she could turn around again. :D

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #20 on: June 17, 2009, 04:27:00 am »
Here is that magical moment
Yes, but isn't it true that you never saw her for 6 days. It took her 3 days to learn how to steer so that she could turn around again. :D

And in that time she rode to Menai and back again.

Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2009, 12:09:31 pm »

Fidgetbuzz

  • L sp MOON. 1st R sp MARS . At X SO sp STARS
Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #22 on: September 21, 2009, 05:47:14 am »
I think that we have just cracked problem with senior UK granddaughter aged 4 3/4 ( we are currently in Oz - so not sure that progress has been followed thru by parents ) - we had tried "scooting" in summer - no particular enthusiasm for progress shown by Rom -but at beginning of Sept - we were told of a different method - using a bike with pedals on.
Have a long scarf - that is then put round the child under their arms - and held tightish to their body and then upwards at back by adult.
Now when they start to lean off vertical - the scarf stops them falling as adult is providing support.
After 2 days of about 30 minutes on a tarmac path in local park- Rom was now hardly relying on the scarf at all - and the final step was on grass with a gentle down hill - start and then after about 5 yards - just let go of one end of scarf and pull on the other end - scarf comes out from under childs arms - and they continue on their way.
We have a video much like Lee - of granddaughter disappearing into distance.
I was an accountant until I discovered Audax !!

Panoramix

  • 50 61 6E 6F 72 61 6D 69 78
  • Suus cuique crepitus bene olet
    • Some routes
Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #23 on: September 21, 2009, 01:28:52 pm »
How, and I forgot to say, my daughter (5 1/2) managed to ride on her own two weeks ago.

Thanks Lee for the advice, we went to a Park with a slightly slopping area, I held her for 5 meters and off she went without drama.

Most days she goes to school on her scooter and I think that she learnt to balance like this. Although she had never done it before she definitely knew how to balance!!!

She now manages to ride on the cyclepath staying on the left without being too much of a hazard!

We had this weird conversation:

me: try to ride in a straight line

her: it is not me it is the bike

me: go faster and the bike will stop zigzagging

her: Ok

5 minutes later, wild zigzagging more like a massive shimmy!

me (puzzled voice): what is going on?

her: this time it was not the bike, it was me!  ;D



Karla

  • car(e) free
    • Lost Byway - around the world by bike
Re: Teaching an (almost) 6 year old to ride
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2009, 05:33:36 pm »
How, and I forgot to say, my daughter (5 1/2) managed to ride on her own two weeks ago.
Well done her! 

Should we expect to see her on the Spa Trek next year?  :thumbsup: