‘It’s been absolutely brilliant and she’s enjoyed every moment of riding it’
Toddlebike is a great ride-on toy bike, designed with a toddler’s size, strength and ability in mind. Toddlebike is much easier to transport and store as well as easier for toddler to ride and therefore enjoy more frequently – they get much more use from it than a standard ride-on toy due to easy transportation as well as ease of use, so we think Toddlebike is better value for money than any other ride-on we have seen. The Toddlebike is about the right price and is good value for money. Most ride-on toys are around £30+ and are all over priced for the light use a toddler can get from them as they are generally not well suited to the strength and ability of a toddler and are not easy for parents to store or transport either so toddlers don’t get as much use from them as they do from a Toddlebike.
We were very happy when we saw how small and light the Toddlebike is and we like the bright colours too. Our 21 month old daughter was immediately interested.
We haven’t seen anything very similar to a Toddlebike. A balance bike is definitely a bike with two wheels and quite a tricky thing for a toddler to use – balance and steering has to be learned and takes time, plus the aluminium balance bike we already had was too big for our daughter at 18 months, being aimed at kids aged 2+. All the ride-on toys we’ve seen (and we had two) are very clunky to use, large and extremely heavy, difficult to steer (steering very limited on some) and in fact really difficult for our daughter to move at all whilst sitting on them! Most ride-on toys seem totally unsuited to the physical strength and ability of a toddler, being far too heavy to move and too difficult to steer to be used very much, if at all. The nearest I have seen is a very lightweight plastic trike (no pedals) which looked well made and had good steering, but of course had three wheels.
We started indoors as soon as the Toddlebike arrived and tried it in garden on paving and on grass immediately afterwards. Our 21 month old daughter wanted us to put her on it to start with, so we showed her how to get on and off by herself. We noted that daughter basically walked or ran with Toddlebike between her legs initially, rather than sitting on saddle. We think she found it either uncomfortable or a bit unnatural and something that had to be learned to have to lean forward to reach the bars from sitting on the seat – she always sat down on the seat initially but then stood up as soon as her hands were on the handlebars and walked forwards with it between her legs rather than riding it. We tried telling her to “lean forward” whilst sitting on the seat but initially she always stood up as soon as her hands went onto the bars. After a week of using it for about 3-5 minutes a day she began sitting on the saddle and using her feet to move it forwards. After a few days she was getting pretty quick and would pull her feet right up to coast quickly down on gentle slopes, laughing whilst doing so and clearing enjoying herself.
Toddlers develop all the time and all at different rates in different areas, so I wouldn’t say we noticed any special physical, mental or emotional development as a result of using the Toddlebike, BUT we think it is a good first step towards riding a larger/older child’s balance/strider bike, as it helps practice steering and balance and awareness of direction and speed of travel at a much younger age than usually possible – unless your child is particularly big for their age and is able to fit a balance/run bike before 2 years old.
Toddlebike is a great ride-on toy bike, designed with a toddler’s size, strength and ability in mind, unlike so many other ride-on toys. It is very small and lightweight and therefore easy to transport, store and use. It is not a bike. It has four wheels, so no ability to balance on two wheels is required to use it, but it’s a nice step towards a two-wheeled bike, particularly where a bike may initially be too large or too difficult for a toddler to balance and steer. Interestingly, older children and adults at parks immediately identified it as a bike too, despite it actually having four wheels.
We buy toys we regard as generally useful for learning and the development of mental and physical skills and abilities. We try to choose items that are suited to our child’s ability, whilst being a small challenge to encourage her to develop – anything so difficult to use that it results in frustration will remain little used, or unused and this is what happened with the ride-on toys we had been given, despite obvious initial interest from our daughter. We choose the type and function of toys based on research-based and widely available child development and “milestones” literature, plus the type of toy we know our child already enjoys and it was immediately obvious to us that our child was ready to enjoy and use the Toddlebike – and did, as soon as it arrived. She rode it all over the house and in the park. We had one “off” where an overambitious parent thought a steep slope was good idea and toddlers don’t know how to stop gradually from a high speed, so she went over the handlebar! Luckily, this slight knock to the initial confidence (no physical injuries) didn’t put her off, and on flat ground or gentle slopes, it’s been absolutely brilliant and she’s enjoyed every moment of riding it!
Giorgia 21 months