Bikes, Trikes and other Wheeled Toys
I can do this! - 5-8 years old
Bikes, trikes, scooters and skateboards are not only a fun way to play but they double up as enjoyable ways to get around the local community. Bikes, trikes, scooters, skateboards and other wheeled forms of activity are excellent activities to develop your child’s balance, coordination, fitness, muscle tone, reflexes and stamina. However, until your child develops their peripheral vision and their understanding of traffic and road rules they need full supervision around roads.
Encourage safe and smart riding. Children must ride on the footpath or on designated bike tracks at parks and ovals and should always be accompanied by an adult. Until the age of 12, children and accompanying adults are legally entitled to ride on footpaths unless there are signs which specifically prohibit cycling. Encourage children to keep to the left and always give way to pedestrians.
Make sure that your child is protected with the appropriate safety gear. When riding bikes children should wear an Australian Standard approved multiuse safety helmet that is correctly fitted to the child. And in the case of scooters, skateboards and rollerblades children will also need protective knee and elbow pads.
Encourage your child’s school to become involved in the Ride2school Program. Ride2School is Bicycle NSW's initiative to get more students choosing to walk, ride, skate or scooter to and from school safely and responsibly . Children on farms often use a variety of transport options including motorcycles and horses.
Buying a Bike
The purchase of a first bicycle is a celebrated milestone in your child’s development. It is important that the size of the bicycle, the gear mechanisms and braking systems are appropriate for your child. Bicycles that are too big restrict a child’s ability to gain the skills and coordination required for bike riding. A bicycle that is suited to their size and ability will ensure that they will learn these skills quickly and be able to concentrate on the obstacles and activity around them. Ask questions at your store about suitable bike size and style for your child and consider a range of bicycles prior to purchase.
Remember that the bike is only part of the purchase. Always ensure that your child has a correctly fitted multiuse helmet. This means that buying a bike and helmet is just like buying clothes, they need to fit the child correctly. Take your child along to the bike shop and ‘try on’ the bike and helmet to ensure they are the correct fit for your child .
Maintaining a Bike
Just as you look after your car, maintaining bikes and trikes is also very important. Regularly check brakes, chains and steering. Children at this age relish learning how things work. Their involvement with maintaining their bikes can become a learning experience and a family activity.
For more information on bikes, maintenance, safety and helmets: