My mother bought this for our son recently using Site to Store. She was able to purchase it online and then we picked it up at our local Walmart.
First, let's discuss the trike:
The trike itself is very sturdy and overbuilt, which is great considering it is being used by a two year old. It features lots of metal parts (All of which are smooth and rounded, not sharp) and the plastic parts are very high quality. It fits our son very well, and he is currently twenty seven months old (2 years, 3 months).
He absolutely LOVES the "trunk" that comes with it! This is a great feature for a child his age. He will usually collect rocks on his rides outside and store them in the trunk. Even when he can't take the trike outside, he will pack the trunk up with his play food. I guess he is always planning to go on a picnic!
Now, let's discuss our experience teaching our son to ride it:
Several people told me he was too young to have a trike and would not be able to pedal it. This may be true if you simply hand the child the trike and walk away, expecting them to figure it out. I simply did not believe that he would be unable to pedal it though, after seeing that two year old children can ride dirtbikes with training wheels, and that at around age 3, children are often able to ride a dirtbike without training wheels! I felt that if they have the coordination to do that, then pedaling should at least be possible. Given the reasonable price of the trike and the fact that he would surely be able to ride it eventually, I felt that it was worth a try.
I was able to coach him on how properly pedal himself around by completing full pedaling cycles in the forward direction, within just a few 10-20 minute riding sessions. At first he would just move forward a little and then move backward a little. He could not work out the timing of when to switch from pushing with one foot to pushing with the other. Your child will probably have this issue as well if they have never tried to pedal before, but a little bit of effort on my part had him pedaling in no time and now he loves it! The speed at which he learned how to operate the trike was astonishing. The people who said he wouldn't be able to ride it were shocked when they saw him zipping around the house on the trike just days after getting it. Teaching your child how to do something new is such a gift. It does so much for their self esteem when they see the pride in your eyes.
Just stick with it without being too overbearing and they should figure it out. Be sure to account for the fact that they probably wont be able to pedal up inclines at first, even mild inclines. They just don't have the strength yet. Try to find a very flat area for them to ride on. In fact, a VERY slight downgrade is even better when they're first learning to pedal, since it sort of helps them transition from pushing with one foot to pushing with the other.
Now, of course he did also have to learn about steering, but that came quickly with just a little coaching on my part. Luckily, I had already been working with him on steering with another Radio Flyer product (The "Scoot About"). So, he progressed rapidly in his ability to control the trike. He is now able to ride around a parking lot, avoiding objects, riding circles around things, etc.
Anyway, this is a great learning tool to teach your child how to pedal, steer, and avoid collisions, so that they are well prepared for a bicycle when the time comes. When we ride in the parking lot, I make sure to teach him about cars and the fact that he needs to avoid them. This is something which will carry over into everyday life. The transformation you will see if you take the time to teach your child how to ride this trike safely and effectively is amazing. Now, once you've trained them in its proper use, they will really enjoy riding it. I take him outside every day to get time on it and he absolutely loves it. Now that he is safe on it, I will sometimes ride my bicycle and he will ride his trike. He will try to imitate whatever I'm doing on the bike and I believe this has helped him learn even more about riding. He will also ride it inside some, although there isn't a ton of room for him.
I would not hesitate to recommend this to anyone who has a child between the ages of 2 and 3 whose body size fits this trike. It isn't really adjustable, so you need to make sure they fit it well. If they do fit the trike, they're going to love it!
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