Choosing a scooter for a child is more complicated than choosing an adult vehicle. No doubt, because there are many more criteria to consider.
Most parents and many experts agree that there are many good reasons to buy a scooter for a toddler. Here are some of the benefits of this riding device can bring to kids:
Strengthens the kid’s self-confidence, physique, and motor skills
- This is a good extra way to encourage physical activity and go outside
- To better prepare for cycling
- To have a family activity outdoors
Things to consider
Since the kids are all different, the device you choose must match the physical characteristics and abilities of the child. The appearance (color and designs) of the machine is also very important to make the little ones want to use it.
We advise you to take into account:
- the toddler’s physical size (this is a more practical criterion than the child’s age)
- the kid’s overall motor skills (or physical abilities)
- If the kid already knows how to ride a bike or any two-wheel vehicle
Steps to choosing well
As a parent, it is normal for you to ask yourself questions before buying a ride for your kid. These questions are legitimate and we try to answer them in the following 3 points.
1. Is my child ready to ride? At what age should my child be before I buy him/her a scooter?
Each kid has different motor skills that are not always related to their age. It is not uncommon to see kids ahead of certain skills such as balance or orientation while others will need more time. Physical ability is therefore a better indicator than age or height and weight to determine if a toddler is ready. As a general rule, any kid who can move forward with a stable gait will be able to ride any moving two-wheel vehicle. This means that in principle most children can easily start riding between 2 and 3 years old.
As any sports coach will tell you, it is usually more advantageous to start a sport as quickly as possible.
If your kid is in primary school and still can’t ride a scooter (or bike), he or she is probably slightly behind in developing motor skills. Remember that many kids are able to go ice skating or roller skating from the age of 5 and even before. Riding requires much less motor skills.
In short, any kid over 2 or 3 years old can usually start riding. Of course, a younger and therefore smaller kid will probably have to start with a model that is easier to handle than a larger/older child.
2. Is it better to choose a 2- or 3-wheeled children’s scooter?
Beyond the physical capabilities of the small one, it is the choice of the number of wheels that can have the most impact on its ability to ride well and safely on a moving vehicle.
First, let’s define what a 3-wheel is. This type of ride is easier for very young users to handle, as they have less effort to maintain balance. As you move forward, the device stays balanced effortlessly. During a turn, the kid only has to lean in the direction of the turn to steer the machine. If you’re still having trouble visualizing how the two front wheels slide works – read more about scooters for toddlers on Go2scooter.com.
To quickly determine if a three-wheeled device uses this type in a support-by-support type, try turning the handles the same way as on a bike. You’ll notice that the handlebars don’t turn. But tilt the handlebars sideways (keeping the wheels in contact with the ground) and you will see the two front wheels turn and tilt around the steering column.
This driving style helps toddlers quickly and intuitively understand how their position on the deck can influence the direction it is going. This also builds the child’s confidence when the device tilts, understanding that he can recover easily. This confidence makes it easier for them to learn how to use a 2-wheel ride or a bicycle afterward.
Choose this type if your child is between 3 and 7 years old and has trouble riding a normal scooter. Most of the three-wheeled children’s models sold on the market belong to this type.
3. What about two-wheeled scooters for children?
Two-leg models require more balance skills than three-leg models. Like bicycles, they require a minimum speed to keep them in balance. In addition, when turning, all two-wheel models require the pilot to lean toward the center of the turn to counterbalance the centrifugal force.
Just as learning to ride a bike, very young kids have to overcome two challenges to successfully ride a two-leg vehicle
- Aptitude number one: be able to ride at the minimum speed: they must be strong enough to successfully push the device at the minimum speed to stay in balance. They must also have enough stamina to maintain this speed.
- Aptitude two: Continuous piloting: they need to know how to actively and continuously steer the handlebars to maintain control.
It’s easier for a toddler to start with a 3-wheel scooter if one or more of the following are true:
- If it’s his first scooter
- If the toddler has not yet learned to ride a bike
- The toddler is not yet physically active
- Your son/daughter is very young (2 to 5 years old)
A kid has a good chance of succeeding in riding with a 2-wheel scooter if one or more of these statements are correct:
- The toddler is physically active
- If he already knows how to ride a bike
- If the kid is already riding a 3-wheel scooter without difficulty.
If a test is possible, observe your child as he tests scooters of different sizes to see which ones he can control more effectively. Be sure to ask him for his opinion. After all this, your final decision will be between allowing your child to take controlled risks and the desire for them to fully develop their motor skills.
If in doubt, choose the smallest scooter, as it will certainly be easier to handle, and be prepared to buy a larger one later. Whatever you’re going to make your choice, remember that a scooter is supposed to be fun, so don’t worry too much.