Trikes for Toddlers: How Trikes Assist Motor Skill Development
Updated September 12, 2023.
As parents, we naturally want to support our toddler's motor skill development. Trikes, or three-wheeled bicycles, offer a comfortable riding position by seating riders lower than conventional bicycles, and they can help in teaching essential skills such as steering and pedalling. But are trikes easy to ride?
Absolutely—they are perfect for kids who are just learning to ride because they are stable and easy to control. Children can start riding pedal bikes, including trikes, from age 2. Motor development, which encompasses the physical growth and strengthening of a child's bones, muscles, and ability to move, plays a vital role in a child's overall well-being.
What Are Gross Motor Skills in Child Development?
Gross motor skills begin developing in infancy and continue to improve throughout childhood. They involve large body movements and the ability to control them, requiring the use of the large muscles in the arms, legs, and torso.
The importance of gross motor skills cannot be overstated, as they serve as a foundation for fine motor skills such as writing. Difficulty with gross motor skills can impact a child's life in various ways, including their performance in school and overall quality of life.
Benefits of Trikes to Motor Skill Development
Motor development in early childhood is crucial to a child's overall growth, encompassing the physical strengthening of bones, muscles, and the ability to move. When do gross motor skills develop? Children begin developing gross motor skills as small babies, with these skills evolving from birth to 5 years, and gross motor skills developing before fine motor skills.
Some examples of gross motor skills include:
- Pushing and pulling
Trikes, three-wheeled bicycles that sit lower than standard bikes and offer a more comfortable riding position, may be extremely beneficial in acquiring these abilities. They're ideal for children who are just starting to ride since they are small and light and can help youngsters improve their balance, coordination, and leg strength, which are all necessary for other physical activities such as running and jumping.
Additionally, pushing and pulling a tricycle engages both arms, helping develop upper body strength and coordination. By encouraging your child to ride a tricycle, you can support the development of key gross motor skills that will benefit them for years to come.
Riding a trike improves balance, which is critical for gross motor skills development. As you watch your child ride their trike, you will notice their confidence build as they become more skilled at navigating their environment. They will not only improve their balance, but they will also build their muscles as they pedal, steer, and navigate past obstacles.
Your youngster will also enjoy riding their tricycle as they explore their environment and enjoy the freedom of mobility that it provides. There is no better way to improve gross motor skills than through play, and tricycling is a fun exercise that the entire family can enjoy.
Coordination, the ability to use multiple body parts for a particular action (like steering and pedalling), is another area where trikes help children develop. Trikes assist children in developing bilateral coordination—the ability to use both sides of the body together in a coordinated way.
Bilateral coordination is important because many movements and actions require the use of both sides of the body, such as walking, catching balls, and playing. Riding a tricycle helps develop hand-eye coordination and arm-leg coordination, as children need to pedal while holding onto the handlebars with both hands.
Children can enhance their general strength and stamina by riding a tricycle regularly. This is especially beneficial to kids who have low muscle tone or weak muscles. Riding a trike can also help toddlers improve their posture by strengthening the muscles in their trunk and back, allowing them to sit up straight and maintain good posture throughout the day.
Riding a trike is also an excellent way to encourage youngsters to be active and interested in physical play. It can help them gain confidence in their talents and feel more at ease when confronted with physical obstacles.
Empower Your Child's Motor Skills with Trikes
Supporting and helping your child improve their motor skills is one of the greatest gifts you can give them, and trikes can play a crucial role in this journey. Consider exploring Smartrike’s stroller trikes, like the 5-in-1 STR3 Folding Stroller Trike, which promote activity and exploration from an early age, supporting your child's motor skill development and independence.