Teaching your son or daughter how to ride a bike
is passed down from generation to generation and is even a rite of passage for most children. But what happens if you're child jumps on the scooter bandwagon before (or even after) learning to ride a bike? Do you know how to teach them to ride it? Have you ever even been on one yourself? The simple design - two wheels, a riding deck and handlebars - makes this a lightweight and fun alternative to walking ... but it also seems to give parents the impression that kids can just teach themselves.
With a lot time and energy, this is true ... but why not help them get the riding basics down first, so that they can start enjoying their new toy.
- Stand the scooter up right and hold onto the handlebars, face forward and place one foot on the deck of the scooter, leaving your other foot on the ground until you are comfortable and balanced.
- Pay attention to your stance on the scooter and watch that your feet and body aren't too close to the handlebars, push forward with the foot on the ground. Steer. As you get better, you will be able to lean slightly into the direction of the turn; giving you enhanced cornering.
- While riding make sure one foot is slightly ahead of the other giving enough room to rest your back foot as well. Most kids won't put both feet on until they are comfortable with their balance. When comfortable enough for both feet, they should be pointed forward, with your body weight kept back slightly.
- Ride on smooth surfaces only ... if a scooter hits a crack or sharp bump it often suddenly stops in it's tracks, which can result in a loss of confidence or worse, a serious injury.
- Stopping can be done a couple different ways. You can stop kicking with your back foot and slow to a halt by dragging your foot along the ground to act as a brake at slower speeds, or step directly on the rear friction brake over the back wheel of the scooter (most parents don't know this is there ... their kids usually find it first.) Note: Some (very few) scooters come with a brake on the handle bars (much like a bike) ... in this case you would squeeze the hand brake to come to a stop.
Once your son or daughter has the basics down, they seem to quickly move on to trying stunt-type maneuvers. In this case, I would recommend proper safety attire such as a helmet and protective gear.