Previous posts have been about my wee woman finding her feet, her frustration and her freedom. Nearly three offers challenges, for them its good , they have new found confidence , for us not so much as they take out their annoyances upon anything and any one listening ie us when it doesn't go as planned!
But I promised with time, practical advice ( snacks for blood sugar) communication this phase will fizzle out and you will both find a new norm. For our household its physical activity.... She just wants to run, swim, walk and now ride. Wheels seems to be the thing. She saw her friends riding away on their balance bikes and not one to be left behind has asked and bugged and practised and conquered her own two wheeler. And the difference I have noticed in her is huge.
She is so happy ( again after her hormonal threenager blip ) it lets her explore, go under her own steam, socialise with others and use her muscles and co ordination. She was always a good walker, I mean she liked to ramble along paths and beaches etc, but this freedom and independence the wheels give her has taken it to a new level. I cant keep up literally.
I have experience this with others in my past life as a nanny. When they are too big to carry now, but too small and get tired sometimes. Free wheeling is great. I got my kids on scooters, skateboards, roller skates and balance bikes. Especially as this is the stage that they're starting to go to kindy, day cares, preschools , etc. Most of us strive to have them near our house so wheel-ing there is great. Here is what I've found to introduce for both their entertainment level and skill level around this time.
Tricycles / sit and rides / skuttlebugs - best place to start to get around and get a feel of freedom. There are ones that they can drive themselves and ones with a bar that you can push them around. Wonderful to use as a cart horse and carry the snack and juice and coats and kids. Your hands are free.
Scooters - so many out there to choose from and even adult ones, and now motorised ones ! Not really the point if you ask me, but a scooter is wonderful to mess about for the kids in the parks. When they are starting off , I always have a helmet on them , as wobbles are part of the process. I also have a strap so that
1-I can pull them along so they get a feel for the movement.
2-the strap loops over the handle bars and wheels so you can carry it over your shoulder when no longer required
You can get scooters with a seat for really wee ones so you can pull them along with you. And interchangeable handle bars for growing heights.
Bikes - I love a balance bike as a first introduction. Over the years I have found it is so much easier to learn to ride for your kids than one with pedals and stabilisers. Once they have the balance bike mastered, then transitioning to pedals and riding off seems to be a natural process. Yes, you still have to run along side pretending to be holding the back when really you're not, but that only last a few moments till they are off and it is really like riding a bike. They don't forget the previous lessons in balance . You can get great wooden bike and mental framed ones and if you are anything like me, I look for preloved. They are only used for a few months before they go up so reuse is great. Again I'm a stickler for a helmet and I too use a strap on the handle bars to either pull them along to get the feel for it and to loop over the seat to make it easier to carry. No more hunching over required.
Skateboards and roller blades / skates. I have tending to use for slightly older kids , but same principal. Once they get the hang on it , its wonderful to see the achievement and freedom they now have. Again the helmet !!
I have to remember to be careful of what I wished for as my wee one is off, building up speed and getting her feet off the ground and the hang of it all too quickly and I find myself once more yelling verbal commands at a disappearing back of a preschoolers head, like stop at the corner, thats far enough, and wait for me !! But the pay back for both of us is enormous. All she wants to do is be outside, off riding , we have to take the bike everywhere and no terrain is daunting, she spends as much time off piste as on. She is exhilarated and exhausted in the evenings so bed time is no longer a fight as it was a month ago.
With this new found confidence in herself and her abilities , she has begun to see what else she can conquer. God help me