What makes cycling exciting for most youngsters is that it’s fast, fun and allows them the freedom to move around at great speeds, without even realising that they’re getting a cardio workout. Exercise is key to developing a positive attitude towards health in Queensland’s kids and what better activity to become involved in than cycling?
You can start your children off on a balance bike from around 18 months old and gradually progress up to a pedal bike when they’re ready. In just a few short years you’ll be ready to go out together as a family and enjoy the fresh air and all the benefits that the great outdoors can provide.
How to Make Cycling Safe
A recent survey has discovered that Australian parents are nervous of letting their children ride a bike, and this is a great shame as it is causing some to never learn. The key to making sure your child is safe on a bike is to teach them how to handle risky situations.
Here are a few ways to making cycling safer:
- Always Wear a Helmet – This is a “no-brainer.” It can mean the difference between a mild concussion and major damage.
- Never Ride at Night – The margin of error is much slimmer at night.
- Ride with Friends when Possible – If something should happen, a friend can seek help.
How to Get Kids Excited about Cycling
So, your child has a helmet, they know the rules of the road, and you can trust their cycling abilities. How do you get them to turn off their screens and go outside for a ride? You could appeal to their helpful side and ask them to pick up items at the market down the road for you. Or, you can try to make it fun.
Enthusiasm for biking begins at home. If kids see how much their parents love going cycling, then they’ll want to follow suit. You can easily turn going cycling into a family activity by taking regular weekend rides together along Queensland’s scenic bikeways. If you’re looking to take it up a notch you could try out bike-camping, or even organising a bike party in the park and inviting your friends and relatives along.
If your child has a smartphone or GPS device, you could get them into using their bike to get involved with geocaching. They simply use GPS to locate geocaches (containers) in the area. It’s similar to Pokémon Go, only kids get prizes.
You might also send your child on a scavenger hunt at a local park, in your neighbourhood, or in nature. Make sure the items are spread out far enough that they require your young one to ride a bicycle. Have them go with a friend for extra fun and safety.
There are plenty of ideas out there that will get your children cycling and help them avoid becoming part of Queensland’s obesity epidemic.