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Monday, June 20, 2011

Happy father’s day!

Hope everyone had a wonderful day honoring the dads in your life. We had a little BBQ over here, with grilled steaks and loaded baked potatoes for TubaDad, BobBob, and the crew.DSC_6825LRs

TubaDad was pretty proud of the grill marks he made on the meat, and I have to say they look pretty enough to photograph. Heh:DSC_6874LRsDSC_6878_comboLRs

My folks tried to teach the girls to ride without training wheels before lunch, but it was kind of a bust. So the training wheels are back on, but raised up a little higher now so they can’t rely on them as much.
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Does anyone have any great suggestions for teaching kiddos to ride without training wheels? Our girls don’t seem to have the balance thing down yet (although they have incredible balance on balance beams, tree limbs, the tops of monkey bars, etc.).

Anyhow, it was a fun day, and the little peeps are just looking so grown up now. (The little choppy area on Ro’s hair wasn’t a styling choice, by the way, there was a scissor incident and it is now being grown out...) I like how they accessorized their outfits with little contrasting belts. Can’t expect them to dress like everyone else. Heavens no:
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Happy Father’s Day!

43 comments:

  1. I have a tip! (I'm so glad - I love your suggestions and I'm so happy to have one for you!) I've taught 3 kids to ride bikes. Here's the key: tie a sweatshirt around their waist, with the tied arms in the back. Then, just hold the arms while you jog along just behind them. If they lean (ie are about to fall), you are supporting them around the waist so they don't fall, but when they are DOING IT ALONE (!!!!) they will not feel anything around their waist. This has worked great for all my kids. I hope it helps your amazing girls!
    Hugs!

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  2. Anonymous6/20/2011

    The sultry expression on Ro's face is priceless!

    That's a great tip from Ellen.

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  3. What helped our son the most was learning on a slightly inclined street. Having to push a little harder on the pedals seemed to help with his balance. I've also heard of a similar suggestion by riding on the grass. Hope that helps.
    :o)

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  4. Anonymous6/20/2011

    We took our kids to the park and let them ride on the soft grass (with no training wheels). It doesn't hurt as much if they fall, also helps them learn to balance. Worked for us!

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  5. we pick a low grass park- the key is that they need to pedal FAST at first in order to maintain the balance- we also may have involved an ice cream treat for a successful ride:)

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  6. Going downhill in a straight line was what finally helped Lydia to learn. She could work on balance without also having to worry about steering and pedaling. Those came immediately afterward.

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  7. Our little guys broke his training wheels (with a little help)and really wanted to ride his bike...so I held his seat from behind and off he went....he thought I was behind him and rode for about 10 minutes before he realized I was taking pictures instead.

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  8. The best way to learn to ride a bike involves a small hill and two adults. Put one adult at the top of the hill with the child on the bike. Put another adult at the bottom of the hill ready to catch/stop them. Have the child go down the hill with her feet off the pedals. No pedaling the first few times down! They know how to pedal, they need to learn how to balance. Usually by the 3rd or 4th trip down the hill, they automatically put their feet on the pedals and take off from there. Kids can learn to ride a bike in about 2 20-minute sessions usually.

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  9. We swear by balance bikes--basically they are bikes without pedals or training wheels. The kids use their feet to scoot along until they are at a nice speed and can practice putting their feet up and balancing. You can achieve this in two ways: 1. Buy balance bikes. We like Strider bikes (check out the video on the Amazon site to see them demonstrated http://www.amazon.com/Strider-PREbike-Balance-Running-Bike/dp/B0018N77TK/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1308604278&sr=8-1). or 2. take the pedals off their current bikes and the training wheels too and let them use their own bikes to get the feel of things. When they are ready, add the pedaling back in and you would be amazed at how quick they take to it.

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  10. Anonymous6/20/2011

    Instead of holding the back of the bike, take off the baskets (temporarily) and hold the center of the handle bars. It makes it easier to run alongside and also it helps the kids to balance, most of the balancing problems happen with steering. If you hold the handlebars it feels more stable. I have helped two kids ride bikes (not mine yet) that way.
    christina

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  11. I took the pedals and training wheels off so that my kids learned to balance. After a few days I put the pedals back on and it was instant smooth sailing. One daughter learned at age 4 and the other at age 7, but they both were taught the same way. Good luck.

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  12. Anonymous6/20/2011

    Teach them on a very small hill or the slopping part of the driveway. That way they get up enough momentum to keep them going forward but don't get going so fast it scares them.

    Kat

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  13. Anonymous6/20/2011

    We took the training wheels and pedals off the bike and had our daughter get used to the feeling of having to balance by taking her feet off the ground. Within a day we put the pedals back on (but not the training wheels) and off she went. I do recall running behind her for a little bit, holding the back of the bike, but like others have said, once she's going fast enough she'll have no problem! :)

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  14. tara neal6/20/2011

    I was going to comment on balance bikes, but it seems everyone else had the same idea! I think the key here is to never use training wheels, but I think it may be still beneficial to you guys as well! There is a blog that I read, and she has 4 kids and 3 of them are riding bikes with out a problem! Read these blog posts and she even has video up of her two year old riding a bike because she used a balance bike! I think she talks about how much they help, and where to get them and what not!
    http://www.goodhappenings.com/?s=balance+bike

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  15. I have to second (third?) the balance bike suggestion. We bought a special balance bike for our kiddos but my sister had great success with just taking the peddles and training wheels off the kids' bikes and lowering the seats down so the kids can be flat footed while seated. The kids just push themselves along with their feet. As they get more comfortable they start lifting their feet up and gliding for longer and longer distances. Once they are at that stage you can put the pedals back on and they just go...

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  16. That was the "appetizer" steak right? I mean, it was the prep-steak right?

    Heh.

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  17. Anonymous6/20/2011

    Another lurker coming out to recommend a balance bike. My older son just turned 6 at the beginning of June and had no concept of balancing. We tried to take the training wheels off and it was a big bust. I finally just decided to buy a balance bike (the strider one, with the extra long seat post which was additional $). He learned to balance in one day, and was back on his two wheeler without training wheels the next day. Obviously you can try to just remove the petals but the other big difference is the bike weight. The Strider is about 7 pounds so it is much easier to handle when they are learning!

    Hope that helps!
    Jen

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  18. Just after my girls turned 5, we removed the training wheels and 30 mins later they were whizzing in circles around the garage. We lowered the seats so they knew they could easily put their feet down, deflated the tires slightly (I don't know why but it helped), had one person push them down an incline to the other person, after a few times the second person should move to the side so the kids steers toward them, then the second person should run around in circles yelling, "Catch me! Catch me!" while the kid chases them on the bike. Viola, steering, pedalling, riding without training wheels. After 20 more minutes they could push start themselves without any help.

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  19. Mine learned balance on a scooter first and then it was easier to get the balance on the bike. A scooter is lower to the ground so they don't fear falling as far.

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  20. We did the hill trick too and Sara learned in about 20 minutes. That child has severe dyspraxia, so if we got her on pavement in 20 minutes, I figure your girls will have it in 5! Good luck!

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  21. keary naughton6/20/2011

    My tip has worked for about 2 dozen kids that I know. Take the pedals off the bike lower the seat all the way so there feet touch the ground. Let them ride the bike with there feet touching the ground to get there balance. The balance is the key. Usually they are too busy trying to pedal to get there balance. Try it, but make sure they have balance before you put the pedals back on. I swear it works.

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  22. My kids learned by riding on grass in our bumpy yard. Grass hurts a lot less than asphalt. ;) A small bike helps as they can put their feet on the ground if they are afraid of falling.

    Don't worry too much about it, in 10 years, who will care when they got their training wheels off. ;)

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  23. Haven't read the other responses yet so you may have already heard these but I'll try anyway.

    1. My dad would do what you did and raise the training wheels a bit so that for them to hit the ground the bike would be on a bit of an angle. I didn't like the angle feeling so would straighten it up and without realizing it was riding without the training wheels touching the ground.

    I've also heard of people really liking the Glide Rider. The girls may be past this point but thought I'd mention anyway. http://www.gliderrider.com/

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  24. Last year we enrolled our daughter in a 1 week bike camp called Pedalheads. They took the training wheels off right away and by the second day she was off and riding her bike. I live in Canada so I don't know what you have down south but it is well worth the money to send them off to camp and let those young, healthy adults run after the kids

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  25. I just did this with our son yesterday and he is riding like a champ! We got on a hill and he rode his scooter down what seemed like a million times balancing on the way down, i.e. one foot on the scooter, one hanging off, sticking out, whatever "trick" he thought he was doing! After awhile I had him get on the bike without training wheels, and he did pretty well. Made him try it about 10 times, then went back to the scooter (he was having more fun at the time with that!) for what seemed like a million times and then back to the bike. By the second time on the bike, he was doing it himself. Now we have to work on his starting the bike on his own without my help pushing!

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  26. Anonymous6/21/2011

    Balance bikes! Many kids here in Denmark start with balance bikes and go directly over to bikes with no training wheels. My son has just done this and he needed lots of work on his balance! I've seen 4 year olds on real bikes with no training wheels because they have had a balance bike all their short lives. Good luck!
    -violet

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  27. Anonymous6/21/2011

    I agree with the people who said remove the pedals (and training wheels)! I watched my little neighbor learn to ride that way. He would scoot up and down the driveway and try to keep his feet off the ground. When he could glide easily (i.e., maintain balance), the pedals were back and he was riding like he'd done it his entire life!

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  28. We had great success with a balance bike and the transition to a regular, no-training wheels bike was seamless (no kidding!). You may try lowering the seats on their regular bikes and having them push themselves along with their feet (sans training wheels) to learn to balance themselves... Good luck!

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  29. My girls all learned how to rid their bikes by using a beach towel! I also taught some of the neighborhood kids as well. Put the beach towel around them to help with the balance and it is long enough to hold up and run along side. It also helped that we sang a song- (Child's name)chanted 2x's followed by riding his/her bike riding his/her bike and sang it over and over! Works like a charm! Good luck!

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  30. I'm enjoying reading all of these tips! We are at a loss also, but have not tried to turn her bike into a balance bike. Maybe we'll do that too. We've also had the same scissor incident...no idea where she got the scissors. They were already banned from her room after the Mulan hair/dress scissor incident.

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  31. Also keep reminding them to look ahead to where they want to go and not down at the handlebars or their feet! That helps tremendously with balance.

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  32. I learned on the grass as a little girl and my parents tried everything else before that. Go somewhere with lots of grass and let them go. They will do great!

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  33. Anonymous6/21/2011

    Balancing is the key. Like other people have mentioned, we used a glider bike. I read about it on another blog. Apparently the pros recommend teaching children to ride using a glider. Our daughter loved it and was riding on her own at 5.5 years.

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  34. k1polzin6/21/2011

    I have not read all your posts. Both my girls learned by taking off the pedals on their bikes & using them as scooty bikes. I swear within just a short time both were off riding like little pros. No need to spend extra money on this specific bike to learn.

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  35. k1polzin6/21/2011

    oops post sent before I was ready. My youngest was 4 when she learned to ride (thanks to removing pedals & training wheels)Both my girls have been riding for about 2 yrs and they are doing so awesome at riding that the 8yr is now racing mountain bikes on adult courses and she is able to ride 20 miles.....I know crazy! The 5yr old is up to 10-12 miles on her bike.

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  36. Try a "balance bike" one without pedals. I bought one for my daughter and it is really helping!

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  37. We used a scooter first (about 2 years old) it really helps with balance and not to much falling off. Both my younger boys were riding without training wheels by the time they were 3.

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  38. Lurker here with a completely off topic question. We adopted our son and daughter from Russia 4 years ago. I've follow you since before you got your referral. I love the way you parent your darling daughters.

    That said, do you like the school the girls attend? We're moving back to the Bay Area, probably more south bay, and are really struggling with the school question. I'd love any input you can give. You can reach me at rthomas at exordiumgroup dot com. I'm on FB too if that helps.

    Thanks for the input.

    Ronda

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  39. Gyro Wheels.
    http://www.thegyrobike.com/

    We *meant* to use them with our kids but never got around to it. Or son was not ready to ride without training wheels until 7.5, but our daughter is up and running this summer (she is Ro and Ree's age). Not sure how my husband did that with an 18 mo in his arms, but he managed.

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  40. Anonymous6/23/2011

    I love how Ro and Ree are looking at each other in the photo where you're sitting around the table - your blog always brightens my day when I'm loosing concentration in the office in Liverpool !
    Katie

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  41. Take their pedals and training wheels off. Lower their seats all the way down and let them play like they are scooter bikes. They'll get the balance quickly.

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  42. Both of my boys learned using the same method. During the summer the dorms at the nearby university are empty so we load up the bikes & they can ride crazy in the vacant parking lot. Eventually they knocked their training wheels out from under them on the parking blocks & voila! they were riding their bikes with 2 wheels instead of 4 & never noticed the difference.

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  43. I know I am a bit late on this post! We have been told that this is the WAY TO GO, but we taught our 2 oldest blessings without the help of this website... I hear that they will learn in a day....www.pedalmagic.com. It has wonderful reviews, but of course, I can't speak from experience!
    Good luck!

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