10 Tips To Teach Your Toddler To Ride a Scooter

Ten Top Tips To Help Your Toddler Ride A Scooter

Many toddlers take a while to learn how to scoot. There are many skills they need to learn to begin to scoot from a to b so it can be a while from first standing on a scooter to confidently scooting from a to be.

This is normal. Yes, there are some kids who step onto a mini micro and intuitively know how to do it, but most children take their time.

The most important factor is to make it fun!

1.) Start Indoors

When the scooter is nice and shiny clean, let your little one get used to the scooter indoors. They can hop on and off. Move it around by pushing it with their hands and really get used to the scooter without having the danger of falling off  outside. This will gradually increase their confidence.

2.) Let Them Start Slowly

They will probably explore the scooter first and see what they can do with it, without even scooting. Let them sit on it, stand on it, push it and use it how they would like (within reason). It won't be long before they will be whizzing around, there's no rush!

3.) Show Them How To Do it

If you or an older sibling has a scooter you can show them how to scoot. Kids learn by copying, so let them watch you first. If nobody you know has a scooter, you could even show them a few videos on youtube. There's lots of little kids having a scoot around to show them what to do.


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4.) Consider a Strap To Pull The Scooter Along While They’re Learning

Before my youngest son had really got the hang of his scooter, I used to pull him around. He would stand on it and I would pull him around by the handlebars (slowly of course!). Little did I know at the time, you can buy straps which attach to the scooter and then you use to pull them along. It saves a bit of backache!

These straps are also useful when they are going a bit slow and you need to get somewhere quickly. You can use it to pull them along at the speed you want to go.

Additionally they can be used as a shoulder strap to carry the scooter leaving your hands free to hold a little one's hand.

5.) Work on Balance

Small children will need to learn to balance a little in order to ride the scooter. You can encourage them to do this by doing little exercises. Get them to stand on the deck with two feet at first while holding onto the handlebars. Can they put one foot on the deck, and one foot on the ground while holding onto the handlbars? Can they lift one foot off the ground? Stand next to them to reassure them and be there if they loose their balance.

6.) Choose The Right Place To Learn Outdoors

When you are learning outdoors, make sure you choose somewhere that is flat. If possible the surface should be smooth and not too hard in case they fall. Parks and playgrounds often have some great spongy, flat surfaces which will absorb any shocks if they fall. If you can, choose a time when there aren't lots of other people around.

7.) Little and Often

Kids get tired if they are made to learn something for a long time. I found the best way with my kids is to do 10 minutes every day rather than an hour on one day. Unless they are really enjoying it, then of course stay out longer.

8.) Make it Fun

Learning to scoot should be fun. Make sure that you don't forget that in your effort to get your little one scooting . It's easier to get carried away especially if they are making progress. But it can be easy to turn a fun session into one where there is lots of pressure and then their desire to learn can be affected,

9.) Notice The Progress

It can be frustrating when your toddler doesn't get on the scooter and start to go within an hour. After all, lots of toddlers on youtube are doing it. Why not your little one? The great thing is that if you look closely you will see lots of small improvements they are making. There will be the first time when they lift their foot of the floor and balance just for a second. Blink and you may miss it. But those seconds pass. It's likely they will scoot frustratingly slowly at first, but it won't be long and you will be shouting at them to slow down. Notice and praise the progress when you see it!

10.) Pick The Right Scooter

A toddler will be more likely to succeed in riding a scooter easily if they have the right scooter to use. The handlebars should be about waist height, the wheels should be a little bigger than standard and give a nice, smooth ride. Read the best scooters for toddlers and the buying guide on scooters for kids to get some tips and ideas of what to look for.

More Considerations

The Steering!

Scooters have one of two types of steering. There is the traditional type of steering, where kids use the handlebar to turn left or right (this is the type of steering you will get on a bicycle). Then there is the "lean to steer" type of steering which is most famously used by mini micro scooters, but is now commonly found on many 3 wheel scooters for toddlers. This type of steering is where the scooter rider leans right to steer right and left to steer left. Lean to steer steering is meant to be more intuitive for toddlers and young children. And for most toddlers this seems to be the case.

However my youngest son just did not pick up the lean to steer steering like other kids which put him off using his mini micro at first. I think there were a couple of reasons for this. Firstly he was already very confident at using a balance bike before using a scooter, which has the traditional handlebar steering. So I think transitioning to a lean to steer steering confused him.

Secondly, a few years down the line he was diagnosed with dyspraxia and as part of this condition his body awareness is not as strong as other children's. This may have affected his ability to lean to steer on a scooter

However, we persevered with the scooter and it might have taken him a bit longer than other kids, but he got it.

So, if your child has problem with the steering on the scooter there may be underlying reasons. But overall my advice would be to persevere with it. Eventually it will just click.


The Process Of Learning To Ride a Scooter

The other thing to be aware of is the process most kids learn to ride a scooter.

Toddlers learn at different rates and don't always take steps in the same order as their peers. But they will do many of the same things.

For example, toddlers will walk very slowing with their scooters at first. They will tend to go in a straight line and may stop and start a lot rather than pick up speed.

They will need to learn how to balance on their scooter in a straight line before progressing onto turning on their scooter.

They won't always turn while standing on their scooter at first. Instead when they want to change direction, some little ones will get off the scooter, turn it around and then get back on. This is why it's makes a good idea for toddlers to have a lightweight scooter to learn how to scoot on.

As their confidence grows they will then start to steer the scooter.

If you are aware of the steps they might take you can praise them and notice that they are progressing in the process of learning to scoot.


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