Think Bikes – Great for Developing Motor Skills

bike week

Think Bikes - Great for Developing Motor Skills

bike week
Think Bikes – Great for Developing Motor Skills

Some children need ongoing support to develop their motor skills. Physiotherapists recognise that finding everyday ways to practice skills achieves this best results. Bikes are not only a fun activity but also have many benefits for your child and their development. Children of all ages and levels of ability can get involved with bikes. EarlyEd’s Come and Try Days on September 24th & 26th can help you find a way to get your child on a bike.

Benefits of Riding

Bike riding benefits include building muscle strength, an increase in cardiorespiratory fitness, coordination and balance development, and social opportunities. Sensory inputs, including vestibular and proprioceptive stimulation (which are the systems which are required to maintain balance and an upright sitting position) are improved. This input helps children be aware of their body’s position and orientation in space.

Bike riding also helps develop bilateral coordination skills through pedaling, maintaining control of the handlebars, and turning. Children’s motor planning skills are challenged by the number of activities required when pedaling, steering, and stopping.

Riding Together or on Their Own

You can ride a bike on your own or as part of a group. This gives a child a chance to go out with family and friends and be independent. Bike riding includes lots of opportunities to problem solve and be self-aware as children manage safety rules and make decisions about what is around them. The independence and confidence your child gains from mastering this new skill will transfer over to the next new and challenging task they attempt.

Bikes: How We Can Help Get You Started

The physiotherapists at EarlyEd can help if you are not sure how to help you child get riding. Through the resources of EarlyEd’s Cubby House Toy Library they can help you explore what bike, trike, or scooter best suits your child and what can support their development. They can take into account each child’s abilities and the level of support they need. Many bikes are adjustable with optional or removable features so that equipment can grow with your child and change as they master new skills. For children with higher support needs, specialist bikes with trunk support are available. The physiotherapists can also equip you with strategies to give your child every opportunity to master cycling.

By using the Toy Library you can borrow trikes, balance bikes, and scooters to see what suits your child best before investing in a piece of equipment. By borrowing a bike your child can start off with more support and then move onto something different when ready.

Come and Try Day for NSW Bike Week

EarlyEd invites you to a Come and Try Bike Day to celebrate NSW Bike Week at Pendle Hill and Forestville. Come and see our range of equipment available for loan, as well as specialist equipment options, and meet with experts to determine what it best for your family. Feel free to bring along your own bike if you want to ask specific questions.

Freedom Wheels has offered to come along on the day and will be available to fit children for specialist bikes. Please note the minimum height for children to be fitted by Freedom Wheels is a 400mm inseam length.

Now is time to get on your bike!

Hannah Stone
EarlyEd Physiotherapist

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