What Age Can a Child Ride a Tricycle?

Pedaling a tricycle at an early age is a physical activity that brings a lot of fun and helps in physical and cognitive development. However, riding a three-wheeler at an early age is not free of risk and therefore it is critical to determine the age at which a child can ride a tricycle.

Determining a specific age at which a child can ride a tricycle is quite difficult as there are many other factors that are involved. To help you figure out if your child is ready to pedal a tricycle, I have composed this comprehensive guide discussing everything you need to know about early years-tricycle riding.

At What Age Can a Child Ride a Tricycle?

What Age Can a Child Ride a Tricycle?

The gross motor skills start to develop after 6 months and mostly children have fully developed motor functions at the age of 2 to 3 years. Motor skill development is the growth of large body muscles that allow a child to walk, lift objects, grab things and run.

Depending upon the physical health and diet, every kid has a different pace of growing riding skills. The ideal age at which a child can ride a tricycle is around 2.5 to 3 years. However, kids with well-grown bodies and motor skills may be able to pedal a tricycle at 2 years or 2.5 years.

Why it’s important to ride a tricycle at the early age?

A tricycle is a well-balanced vehicle that allows the kids to pedal even when their leg and arm muscles are not fully developed. According to child healthcare experts at American Academy of Pediatrics, pedaling trikes at early age build confidence as a little balance is needed to ride a tricycle. In addition to cognitive development, it is a physical activity that speeds up the growth of leg and arm muscles.

Reference: American Academy of Pediatrics about Tricycle for Children

To help your child to learn a riding balance in start, you may get confused to choose between tricycle and balance bike.

Factors to consider before deciding to give your child a tricycle

There are certain factors that you need to consider before buying the first tricycle for your kid:

Factors to consider before deciding to give your child a tricycle

1. Physical Strength

Riding any vehicle at any age needs a certain level of physical strength. Muscular and tendon strength are the most crucial factors that a child needs to pedal a tricycle. A child should be strong enough to pedal and steer on a tricycle independently.

2. Child Height

Height is a key factor that decides whether your child is ready to pedal a tricycle or not. The child should be tall enough to access the pedals without stretching the legs. Since riding a tricycle at early age bring a lot of hazards you must focus on this factor to ensure that your child is safe.

3. Hand-Leg-Eye-Coordination

Balance and coordination between different body parts are critical for a safe riding experience. Leg, eyes, and hands are directly involved in tricycle riding. Good coordination between these body parts enables a child to respond to the hurdles, apply brakes and take turns. Hence, body coordination is critical for a safe experience.

You may also want to read an answer to a most common question: are tricycles easy to ride

How Do You Know If Your Child Is Ready To Pedal A Tricycle?

If your kid is outgrowing the babyhood in the best of health it is quite easy to judge if he’s ready to ride a three wheel tricycle or not. If your kid’s height and health are the same as the other healthy kids in this age group, you can think of buying a tricycle.

You need to be very careful while buying a tricycle for kids between 12 to 30 months as 52% of the tricycle injuries reported in 2017 belonged to this age group. It is critical to ensure that the kid is strong enough to have a strict hold of handlebars.

Every kid has a different pace of mastering motor skills and therefore the parent’s observation plays a key role. Kids with good physical health, decent body coordination, and active response can ride a tricycle at the age of 15 months.

However, kids with slow-growth issues (genetic or hormonal) may not be able to pedal a tricycle even at the age of 24 months. If you don’t want your kid to grow too big for a tricycle it is recommended to encourage toddlers to ride tricycles.

How to Choose Tricycle for a Child?

It is recommended to choose a push handle tricycle that has big wheels and is low to the ground. This geometry ensures the kid’s safety on independent rides. Height is the main factor that determines the size of the tricycle you need to buy.

If the child can place the feet on the ground without stretching their legs while sitting on the tricycle, this is the perfect size to go. The height of the kids between 2-3 years varies between 2’10” to 3’4”. Tricycles for this age group have a 12-inch seam and their wheels are 12-inches in diameter.

You may not be able to find a perfect size, therefore you should look for adjustable ergonomics. Tricycles with height adjustable footrests and seats are highly recommended as they grow with your child. It is advised to look for bright colors to make the tricycles easily spottable and minimize the risk of accidents.

You may also be interested to read about tricycle vs training wheels for kids.

FAQs about Tricycle Age

Can a 2-year-old ride a tricycle?

A 2-year old may or may not be able to ride a tricycle. If a 2-yers child is healthy and taller than 2’5” he can ride a low to ground well-balanced tricycle.

Should a 3-year-old be able to ride a tricycle?

Most of the kids are ready to pedal a tricycle at the age of 3. This is the age when children have fully grown motor skills and are tall enough to comfortably peddle a three-wheeler.

How do I teach my 2-year-old to pedal a tricycle?

The first thing you need to do is to find a safe area. Initially, hold the tricycle with one hand at the back and the other on the handlebar and then push it. Encourage your child to pedal independently to help him learn quickly.

Final Thoughts on Age for Tricycle

I’m hopeful that this post will help you determine the right time to buy a tricycle for your child. For a safe riding experience, it is advised to helmet up your kid and look for a safe play zone. Also, you should look for three-wheelers that are built low to the ground as they are easy to handle.

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