From biking gloves to lights and DIY ramps, check out these 10 balance bike “must-haves”
So you got your child a balance bike… now what? Accessorize! Balance bikes are, of course, fun on their own. But why not create a little more magic? Here are 10 super fun ideas to help you and your little one have a memorable balance bike experience.
FULL REVIEW: 5 Best Biking Gloves for Kids
Biking gloves are an adorable accessory, but can also be the first line of defense for young balance bike riders. Because balance bike riders usually fall hands first, a protective layer and a bit of padding on those little palms can help prevent minor injuries and a lot of tears.
FULL REVIEW: 5 Best Knee and Elbow Pads for Kids
Knee and elbow pads are a pretty essential accessory for aggressive and adventurous kids. But they’re also ideal for timid or average riders who gain a bit of confidence when they put on their balance bike “armor”! Strider pads are the best for young balance bike riders ages 1 – 3, while the Bern pads generally fit kids 4+.
Kids love puppies, and they also love bells. Who knows why? Bells on balance bikes can be tricky though. Because balance bike handlebars are often smaller than a regular kid’s bike, a standard bell will be too big. If you have a balance bike under $100 (including the Classic Strider), the handlebars are usually as big as a normal kid’s bike and any bell will fit just fine. If you have a higher-end balance bike like woom or even the Strider Sport, you’ll be safer getting the woom bell because it comes with an adapter to accommodate smaller handlebars.
One interesting thing we’ve found in all our years of balance bike testing is that hesitant riders are often incentivized to move forward by the sound of a card in the spokes! So whether you’ve got a timid kid that needs a little extra encouragement, or you have a speed demon that wants to ride like the wind, the click click click of a simple card in the spokes is some pretty cheap magic!
Products like “Spokester” are great for pedal bikes, but generally do not fit balance bikes.
They don’t sell any bike lights specifically for balance bikes, so this option is a bit of a DIY. And… you’ll score major cool-parent points! These lights are battery operated (you’ll have to tape the battery pack to the frame), and wrap around the frame. Not high-end, but your kid will love you.
Baskets can be a challenge with balance bikes because the bikes themselves are so small that the baskets are just too big! There are a few balance bike brands though, that make balance bike-specific bags!
MSRP: $15 – $20
FULL REVIEW: woom Cones
One a child masters the basics of a balance bike, they’re ready to take their balance bike game to the next level. While little cones may seem simple, you’d be surprised how much our young testers loved the “challenge courses” we set up for them to swerve and race and run!
MSRP: DIY or $170
If you’ve got an adventurous spirit on your hand, a bike ramp can add an extra element of fun and challenge to their sidewalk rides. Really nice ramps can cost over a hundred dollars, but they’re also pretty much indestructible! Ramps that are wider and have more flat space at the top are necessary for young riders who are walking up the ramp and need more width to place their feet. The flat space at the top of the ramp is a common place for balance bike riders to stop and rest.
The Landwave Skateboard Starter Kit that we have have is modular and can be made longer, wider, etc. We’ve also stored it outside in the sun and snow for 5 years and it’s still going strong! If you’re not into the $100+ price tag, this is one area that DIYers can shine.
FULL REVIEW: 10 Best Helmets for Babies and Toddlers
No matter how young your balance bike rider or how slow they’re moving, get in the helmet habit from day ONE!
Okay, this one really is for YOU. Kids don’t care if you have to carry their bike all over Timbuktu, but as parents we can testify that it can get pretty annoying! So for your own sake, consider a balance bike strap. Or if you want to carry along snacks, water bottles, etc., a balance bike bag is even better!