All you need to know about buying the right cycle toy for your child

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Cycles easily top the list of must-have toys for kids. Why? They’re a great way for them to develop motor skills, get some exercise and they’re fun. 

As a 3-year-old, I remember having a red tricycle which was then replaced by the big kid cycle with training wheels. But now, with ride-ons, balance bikes and EzyRollers, parents can actually design a cycling timeline for their kids right from the time they celebrate their first birthday. Here’s a handy guide that gives a lowdown on the types of cycles available in the market and what’s right for your child according to his age and skills.


 
Tricycle with parental control

Image source: snapdeal.com


Tricycles such as these come with plenty of fitments, and are ideal to introduce your little one to cycles. Most models come with a parent handle, a foot rest, a safety bar so your toddler can seat himself as an adult can wheel him around. Some models come with a canopy and a basket. 

Age group: 1 year plus

Where you can buy them: Most cycle shops and online stores

Pros: 

  • The extra fittings can be removed once a child becomes adept at using the pedals and it becomes a simple tricycle
  • The wheels are large and sturdy so the cycle is safe as there’s no fear of your child toppling over
  • It’s a good way to introduce a child to a cycle after the pram

Cons:

  • Cannot really be used much indoors with space-crunched city homes
  • Removing/adding the fixtures repeatedly may be cumbersome 


Mini Cycles

Mini cycles are wonderful indoor toys. They can keep your little munchkin busy and mobile on rainy days. They’re light and great to develop foot to floor paddling skills, which is an essential gross motor for gross motor development. Some cozy cars for little ones work on the same principle.


Image source: littletykes.co.uk


Age group: 18 months plus

Where you can buy them: Specialty toy shops and online stores

Pros:

  • They are sturdy and safe so child can play independently
  • They develop gross motor skills required later for pedaling


Cons:

  • The mini cycle has limited use outdoors if the riding surface is not smooth
  • The speed is slow so the child may outgrow it easily and move onto a cycle with pedals
  • Good quality models are expensive


Ride-Ons and Swing Cars


 
Imagesource:ebay.co.uk


Ride-Ons are a hit with kids as they’re smooth and zoom across with minimum effort. Ride-on toys (four-wheeled mini cars) and swing cars (pictured) works on the twist –and-go principle, wherein the child can glide around the place easily whilst resting his feet on.

Age group: 2 years plus

Where you can buy them: Specialty toy shops, online stores, cycle shops

Pros:

  • Ride-ons are fun indoors and are the best toys to buy if you have a large indoor area
  • Children learn steering, which helps them get a hang of steering on the big cycle later
  • They can double up as paddling toys
  • Ride-ons cannot be used much outdoors
  • The easily maneuverable wheels give speed and hence some supervision is required specially for very young children

Kids scooter

 

Image source: kidselectriccars.co.uk


Scooters are a great alternative to conventional cycles. They can come in two or three wheel options and can be used by a child over a long period. Scooting is a high-energy activity, so it allows good exercise. A good range of scooters are available in the markets today.

  • The kick start method of riding develops the required motor skills
  • It improves balance and co-ordination
  • They’re light and easy to store
  • They’re inexpensive

Cons:

  • The speed can lead to plenty of falls. Protective wear such as helmets are advisable to wear

Age group: 3 years plus

Where you can buy them: Specialty toy shops, online stores, cycle shops


Balance Bikes


 Image source: amazon.in

Balance bikes are pretty new to the market but have become the rage. These resemble normal bicycles but have sturdier wheels and no pedals. This helps the child push and move around an area while improving on balance skills. Balance bikes are considered as an ideal transition phase between toddler tricycles and bicycles.

Pros:

  • Children who use balance bikes learn to concentrate on balance instead of pedaling hence they tend  to use the big bicycle sooner than their peers
  • You do not need to invest in bicycle with training wheels after using balance bikes
  • Kids as young as 18 months can begin using the balance bike thereby eliminating the need of tricycle 
  • Children learn to adjudge speeds better as they brake using their feet
  • Can be used both indoors and outdoors

Cons:

  • If your child uses ride-ons before using the balance bike, he may outgrow the balance bike rather quickly before moving on to the big bicycle
  • It’s not as fast as a cycle with pedals so there’s a chance some kids may express boredom
  • They’re still not as widely available

Age group: 18 months plus

Where you can buy them: Few specialty toy shops, Online stores


EzyRollers


 Image source: mumzworld.com

The hottest new toy in the block is the Ezyroller. It is a low-lying seat mounted on three wheels with adjustable foot -powdered steering that helps the user curve around smoothly. It comes without chains, pedals or other conventional cycle parts and is super fun even for adults.

  • Ezyrollers are portable; hence you can store or carry them wherever with you
  • They’re low and safe, hence minimum chances of injury
  • You can increase the length as per the child’s height so it can be used for years together
  • It’s smooth and fun to use indoors

Cons:

  • They’re expensive
  • You cannot use them on rough roads, grass or sand
  • Since it is imported, replacing damaged parts becomes difficult

Age group: 3 years plus

Where you can buy them: Few specialty toy shops, Online stores


Bicycles with training wheels

 Image source: Kmart.com

They have been around for years and are the toy of choice for most parents and kids. They can be adjusted in height and once balance is mastered, training wheels can be removed, making this a long-lasting choice. There are plenty of models and varieties to choose from. 

Pros:

  • It’s the most trusted way to transition kids into the bicycle 
  • It’s the most widely used outdoor toy
  • It requires effort to ride, hence and ideal exercise

Cons:

  • Time may have to be spent teaching the child to balance after the training wheels are removed
  • They cannot be used indoors in most cases
  • Chains can pose a safety issue for young children

Age: 3 years plus

Where you can buy them: Widely available in sports shops, toy shops, online stores

 

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Priya Iyer

Samuel Rosy Mary Niharika Bisoyi Anubhuti Mehn (criesnlaughter) Susmitha Ch Maitreyee Chauhan Kriti Singh Neha Misra Mutluru Manu Malhotra Taranpreet Trehan

Manu Malhotra

Thanks for share

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