Thursday, 14 March 2013

Wheels


Can you balance on one wheel?

Big kids' wheelbarrow race.

One wheel,

 
All grown up.
Boys' outing








Like-a-bike racing.










Two wheels,


Triking with my cousin.
Birthday scooter















Three wheels,


Taking Danny for a ride
New Bike









Go go go-kart.










Four!
We love wheels, can we have some more?

Danny "walking" aged 9 months.
In a break with my own blogging code I can't resist doing a post on things with wheels, even tho they are generally not free! (Having said that, almost every bike we've owned has been a hand-me-down from bigger cousins, and most of our baby ride-ons came from jumble sales so it is possible to have lots of fun on wheels without breaking the bank.) I can't miss wheels out, as they have definitely been one of our major sources of entertainment, and they certainly helped me with my mission to have the boys outside and active as much as possible. So here are a few little thoughts on ways to enjoy wheels.

Before they learned to ride on wheels, our wheeled walker got both boys up on their feet and mobile. It was pretty stable, and on grass it didn't run away with them, although we used to put a really heavy recipe book in it to slow it down on smoother surfaces. They both enjoyed pushing each other about in it too! We also had a couple of toy mowers which served a similar purpose.
Check me out!

Once they were reasonably good at balancing we had some little ride-ons. Going forward took a lot of concentration and a fair amount of co-ordination, tho shunting backwards was a bit easier!
Beep beep! It's a tractor mower!











 
They also liked the challenge of rolling down our little mound on them without toppling off!

Watch me zoom!



I can ride a big bike, but how do I stop?"
When it came time to think about bikes, we inherited a wooden like-a-bike from their cousins. It's just like a normal bike only without pedals! I'm not sure if anything like them existed when we were kids but I'm a total convert. It did take Zac a while to master the skill of balancing himself so that he could put all his weight on the seat and just use his legs to propel himself along, but once he got the hang of it he was off. He zoomed everywhere and was soon happy to cruise down hills without putting his feet down. This meant that when it came to transferring to a bike with pedals (also inherited!) he was so confident about balancing and steering that the only new thing to master was the pedalling. He never had the need for stabilizers and went from one to the other with very little difficulty at all when he was about 4 and a half. I regret that we got Danny his big bike before he'd really mastered his like-a-bike. He's gone down the stabilizer route and I don't think it's nearly as easy, because you learn to rely on the stabilizers to keep you upright and it's harder to build up your ability to balance well.

Bike slalom.
Being able to ride bikes confidently meant they set up obstacle courses and jumps in the garden for added entertainment. Zac liked making a slalom out of flower pots and then gradually moving them closer and closer together to see if he could still get through the gaps without touching one, and they both liked going over a jump made from a couple of bricks and a bit of board.

Bye bye my baby boy!
There is something really lovely about being able to go for a bike ride in the country. We've found a few traffic free places to go and it's nice to be able to go quite a long distance much more quickly than if you were on foot. One favourite is an old railway line that has been converted to a cycle track. It passes through farm land and woodland and you have to go over a big bridge over a main road so there is lots of variety along the way. Going on a bike ride to the river was the first time I had a real pang of knowing that Zac was growing up and away from me when I watched him heading off down the track on his big bike all by himself.

We have other wheeled toys too. Danny loves his scooter- mostly because it makes him feel like one of the lads! There's a large group of boys in our village who use a bit of wide tarmac-ed pavement at the end of our drive to practise all their scooter tricks and Dan loves to stand and watch them. He's been allowed out to join them a bit, but since they're all at least four years older and hopefully have a lot more road sense, this is not as often as he'd like! We also have the go-kart, which I accidentally won in a school auction when I was teaching, long before I had kids of my own. They love it but it's big and heavy which makes it hard to transport, and there aren't many good hills around us with safe places to ride it.

Hey ho! Enough for now,
...don't get me started on small toys with wheels!

Stunt Pooh takes a leap!



4 comments:

  1. Now that is a lot of pedal power. Lovely to see those sunny outdoor garden shots and even teddy bear too! Lovely motivational post. Popping over from Motivational Monday and would love you to join me on Country Kids too.

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  2. Wow what amazing an amazing post on wheels.
    My youngest had a balance bicycle first and am sure he's been the easiest one to pick it all up.
    Absolutely loving the wheel barrow race picture for adults!

    Thank you for joining in with Motivational Monday

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    Replies
    1. Thank you! Yes, the men in our village thoroughly enjoyed competing against each other in the wheelbarrow race- and it was pretty competitive. Funnily enough I met my husband when he was participating in a "wheelbeero" race, but that's another story!! x

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