How to Teach a Toddler to Pedal a Tricycle

Written by kathryn hatter
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How to Teach a Toddler to Pedal a Tricycle
Help your child learn the first lessons of pedalling. (Jupiterimages/ Images)

Although a tricycle is easier to pedal than a bicycle because of the additional wheel, pedalling a tricycle can be challenging for many toddlers. Once a youngster learns the skills required to move the pedals around and around to make the tricycle move, independence on the trike soon will follow. Teach a toddler to pedal a tricycle and share the excitement with your child when she succeeds in pedalling.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Helmet

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  1. 1

    Place a helmet on your child's head so your child develops the habit of always wearing a helmet while riding a tricycle or bicycle.

  2. 2

    Adjust the tricycle's saddle so the child's feet easily reach the pedals. When the pedals reach the furthest distance down on the tricycle crank arms, make sure the child's feet maintain complete contact with the tops of the pedals.

  3. 3

    Teach the pedalling skill on a smooth and flat surface, without incline or decline. A concrete surface without bumps or holes would be ideal.

  4. 4

    Place your child onto the tricycle with her hands holding the handlebars. Help your child place her feet on the pedals, if necessary.

  5. 5

    Push the child on the tricycle gently with your hands to move it forward. Usually tricycle pedals will rotate when the front wheel rotates; the pedals will move once you move the trike.

  6. 6

    Encourage your child to keep his feet on the pedals and push the pedals around with his feet and legs. If your child cannot propel the tricycle with his own leg power, continue to push him with his feet on the pedals to help him learn the feeling of pedalling.

  7. 7

    Continue to practice pedalling by pushing your child until your child can push the pedals around independently.

Tips and warnings

  • Use a tricycle with a push handle so you can more easily help your child learn the process of pedalling. The push handle enables you to walk behind the tricycle while pushing it via the handle.
  • A pedal tricycle makes a suitable riding toy for toddlers and young children between 2 and 4 years old.
  • If a toddler has trouble pedalling, the child may lack the leg strength necessary to propel the tricycle. Allow several months to pass and then try again.

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