Tuesday, July 30, 2013

ARE BALANCE BIKES EFFECTIVE FOR TODDLERS?


video

This video was recently taken of my 3-year-old son, Henry, riding his 2-wheel bike without training wheels. Henry received a Strider Balance Bike for Christmas when he was 2 and 1/2. At that time, he began working out his cerebellum, not only improving his balance but understanding a different way of balancing. This summer, with a little practice, trust and 'letting go', Henry took off and is now riding his bike, amazingly, like a 5-year-old. I do believe that this is due to all of the practice Henry had on his balance bike! 


What's helping Henry from a neurological standpoint? Our balance system is located in the Cerebellum, which also controls movement and coordination (how your muscles work together). Our vestibular system, located in the inner ear and responsible for our sense of movement, balance or equilibrium and spacial orientation (discussed in greater detail in earlier posts), also helps Henry move and pedal through space. Without these neurological functions working effectively, balancing and coordinating movements would be a challenge.

Whether your child is typically developing, or having challenges with balance, motor coordination, motor planning, and/or understanding where their body is in space, I highly recommend the Strider Balance Bike. It is also important to contact your physician or Naturopathic Doctor if your child is having difficulties in any of the areas mentioned above to determine a need for pediatric physical or occupational therapy. 

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