Riding a bike is more than a mere childhood experience; it is a right of passage for many children. The surge of self-propulsion, coupled with the ability to set your own speed and course can give a child an incredible sense of freedom, joy and self-esteem. Children with special needs can be helped by connecting them with one of the great special needs bikes in the marketplace today.
That’s where AblePlay comes in. This website is a great resource for mainstream toys that work well for children of all abilities. AblePlay believes that “special needs bikes” is an important category to cover with their ratings and reviews. AblePlay also knows parents need more information. Here are some questions parents often ask:
What if a child craves a bike but doesn’t quite have the balance thing down yet? Well the folks at National Sporting Goods make some special needs bikes that fit the bill. Their injection-molded Ybike models looks almost like two-wheelers, but the bumper on the back actually houses two-wheels. It also has no pedals allowing a child to learn balance with the assistance and confidence of their feet. This creates a special needs bike that builds balance without the intimidation or lack of control negotiating pedals can often bring. Plus the cool, hip style looks super cruising down the sidewalks.
The Little Tikes¨ 3-in-1 Trike is a great start in the biking world for little ones that need a little assistance. It has a height-adjustable adult-assist handle, three-point harness seatbelt, safety bar and fold-out foot rests. All those options allow for the adult to help and the child to take the lead when ready.
What else is out there in the special needs bikes “3 wheel” category?
National Ambucs makes a great one called the Am-9S AmTryke. This model is really a special needs bike that accommodates a child who has limited leg mobility by allowing them to use their hands for impulsion. Three-point seat belt, parent assist handle and straps for the legs allow every boy or girl to keep up with their friends and peers.
What if your special needs child is not ready for a bike of their own?
One of our favorite special needs bikes is the Buddy Bike that offers a new twist on tandem by putting the child in front. This allows for a higher degree of monitoring for the adult. A shorter wheel base builds stability and the child seat is lower for easy visibility. Two Buddy Bikes are available, one for novices and non-riders and another with all the bells and whistles of 27 speeds.
Why is a special needs bike important?
Top five reasons to buy a special needs bike:
- Provides excellent exercise
- Creates sense of balance
- Connects to outdoors and nature
- Boosts morale and offers “street cred”
- Delivers self-empowerment, self-motivation and self-esteem
For more play products, including more information on these special needs bikes, go to www.ableplay.org