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Is it time to teach your toddler how to use ride-on toys?
The market is littered with world-class ride-on toys and children want to get their hands on one as soon as they can. However, this is only a good idea, if you’re willing to put in the time to teach them the basics. In some cases, adults may buy the ride-on toy and let their toddler learn on their own but that’s incredibly dangerous for a number of reasons.
Toddler Tips On Riding Ride-On Toys
1) Begin with the Safety Gear
Safety gear is of utmost importance at that age.
You want to teach them to put on a helmet and pads (elbow + knee) before getting on the ride-on toy. This is the only way to make sure they are safe and don’t get injured while fooling around. This happens more than you would expect and it often has to do with a lack of safety equipment. Be smart and make sure it is second-nature to them before they start freely pedaling around.
In most cases, you will drill it into them and they won’t forget.
2) Focus on the Pedals
One of the more challenging components of a ride-on toy would be moving from one end to the other. This can include a ride-on toy that has pedals. If there are pedals, you want to teach them how to push forward and move.
It takes a bit of coordination and it’s best to hold onto the toy as they look to move it.
This will ensure they get the idea before you move forward with letting them ride on their own. Some toddlers will pick up on the intricacies quickly while others will take their time. Make sure to stay patient and continue to work with them on this detail.
3) Stopping is Important
It’s one thing to learn how to move and another to know how to stop!
This is a major issue because toddlers can understand the idea of generating speed but don’t know how to stop in a safe manner. This leads to bumps, bruises, and injuries you don’t want to deal with as an adult.
Instead, teach them how to stop in a safe manner and at a safe distance. They should know how to do this in a safe environment before you let them ride around in open spaces.
4) Space Matters
Yes, this is something you will have to teach them as soon as you get the opportunity.
The idea is to teach them about safe distances. For example, if there’s a wall ahead, do they know when to start stopping or will they keep going until they crash into the brick wall?
To do this, you want to create a soft barrier (i.e. a pile of pillows) and teach them to stop in front of it. See how long it takes before they’re able to learn to slow down on time. Continue to do this until it becomes second-nature for them.
5) Focus on Turning in Both Directions
Some toddlers know how to turn in a particular direction (often their stronger side) and don’t know how to go in the opposite direction. This can lead to situations where they get stuck and don’t know what to do.
As one can imagine, this is dangerous out in open spaces!
This is why you want to teach them how to go straight, back, and side to side. Otherwise, they won’t have the ability to manage the ride-on toy and are going to get hurt or stuck at one point or another. Take your time with this step and teach them how to turn properly.
6) Let Them Practice in a Safe Environment
The final tip is to teach them in a safe environment.
This is similar to teaching a young driver in an empty parking lot. You want to make sure the toddler is able to use the ride-on toy properly before you send them out into the open.
In most cases, they are going to have fun with the new ride-on toy and won’t mind the idea of practicing with you. This is why you want to do this early on and go through the different steps before letting them go do their own thing.
These are tips all adults should focus on while teaching a toddler how to use ride-on toys. Yes, this is one of those experiences that can be challenging but it’s all about understanding what needs to be done and how to maximize the time spend with them. Otherwise, you are going to face an issue where they do the bare minimum and refuse to learn the basics. This is when they can get hurt!
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