Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Balance Bikes —The Innovative Way to Teach Kids How to Ride a Bicycle

If you've never heard of Balance Bikes, allow us to shed some light on these two-wheeled wonders. Balance bikes are the innovative way to teach kids how to ride a bicycle. Their aim is to put the focus on balance by providing toddlers as young as 18-months the confidence and independence to ride on two wheels without the use of training wheels. These bikes achieve this goal with their lightweight and low-to-the-ground design that allow children to easily sit, glide, coast, run or walk. Without the distraction or complications of pedals, learning to balance and steer is a breeze. Boys and girls will enjoy propelling themselves along with their feet as they gain a sense of balance that will prepare them for the switch to bicycles with pedals.

While training wheels are supposed to offer a sense of balance while also allowing a safe fallback if the child starts to tip, the truth is, these additional wheels only serve as a crutch that hinders the confidence little ones need to ride free. Training wheels tend to be misleading and foster a false sense of security. An inability to balance prevents a smooth transition from training wheels to two wheels, but balance bikes eliminate that challenge and allow children to feel comfortable and confident on two wheels right off the bat.

The following manufacturers feature award-winning balance bikes that will help your children develop the skills needed to ride a traditional bicycle in no time. 

FirstBIKE balance bikes are constructed of high-quality materials for durability that grows with your child until he or she is ready for a bike with pedals. Their great maneuverability is perfect for long distances without leaving kids feeling worn out. With a range of styles to choose from, FirstBIKE offers a design suitable for different terrains and needs. Kids can stop either with their feet or with the hand-brake that comes standard on most models. Ideal for kids 2-5 years of age, each bike comes in a fun and colorful design that is quick and easy to assemble.

Children will love to exercise their creative genius with this wooden pushbike. The reusable chalkboard finish allows kids to personalize their bike over and over again. Parents will love that the seat cover is removable and washer friendly. The foot pegs provide a place for kids to keep their feet while cruising. With an adjustable seat height, this bike is ready to grow with your child until he or she is ready for a pedal-powered bike. Handmade from birchwood, this eco-friendly bike features EVA airless and biodegradable tires. You can feel good about your purchase knowing Kinderfeets plants a tree for every bike they sell.

These balance bikes have a patented slow-speed geometry allowing children to feel very much at ease as they experiment with balance. Glide Bikes has several models to choose from, ranging for kids from the age of 18 months old all the way up to adulthood. The lightweight aluminum alloy frame comes in a wide array of metallic colors and each bike is equipped with a handbrake. What sets Glide Bikes apart from the rest is that the foot pegs are removable and the bikes have a kickstand, so the bike can be kept in an upright position rather than being thrown on the ground when not in use.

At A Kid Place you will find a large selection of balance bikes. Browse our inventory and discover the bike that is just right for your child. We have a range of styles and designs to meet your child's abilities and age. Our stock is hand selected for quality and safety, so you can shop with confidence that you are buying only the best for your family.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

The Benefits of Outdoor Play


You don't need to be a jock, run marathons, or have an athlete in the family to inspire little ones to get out and play. Kids are naturally drawn to the outdoors and all the wonders it has to offer. Natural environments foster increased activities and provide children the opportunity to use their "outside" voices, run, jump, dance, and explore. More than releasing some pent up energy, the benefits of recreational play are numerous.

Physical Importance
The act of running, leaping, and jumping marks the foundation of emerging physical skills in young children. It is during this time they learn to become steady on their feet, master handling skills, hand-eye coordination as well as develop manipulative skills such as pushing, pulling, lifting, and carrying.

Health Benefits
With the scary rise in our nation's childhood obesity crisis, the time to introduce children to athletic activities should be done as early as possible. Beyond maintaining a healthy weight, outdoor play improves healthy sleeping habits and makes children happy, which leads to a better immune system.

Intellectual Development
The neurological benefits of unstructured play strengthens intellectual stimulation, enhancing a readiness to learn. In exploring their surroundings, boys and girls will discover many new wonders and expand their knowledge of the world. This exploration encourages question-asking, which leads to enhanced intelligence. 

Another advantage is the discovery of the weather. Sunny days are not the only environments children can benefit from. With the proper attire, kids will enjoy splashing in puddles after the rain, watching the clouds move across the sky on an overcast day, and feeling the wind in their hair and against their skin during a windy afternoon. This experience also enables them to learn the different temperatures as well as what to wear during these different weather changes.

Cognitive Benefits
Playing outside improves memory, thinking skills, and the ability to soak up new information. As kids interact with and study the world around them, their powers of observation increase, their large and small motor skills develop and their endurance is boosted.

Social Advantage
As your child watches their skills grow with each new activity they learn or how the world works around them, their self-confidence blossoms, which in turn translates to a social confidence. Outdoor play allows for group play, which includes taking turns, whether sliding down a slide, using the swing, or tossing a ball. 

For many parents, the joys of outdoor play make up the bulk of their childhood memories. Sadly, the majority of our youth today will not enjoy that same beneficial experience. Much of this is due to the allure of mobile phones, video games, and television. While the pull of these devices can be strong, the appeal of outdoor toys will make children eager to frolic in the sunshine. Imagine your little one hauling toys in her wagon, or helping you garden with her wheelbarrow. Of course, ride-on toys such as bikes are always a winning choice. Add some drivetime signs to your driveway and let them "yield" and "stop" while they pedal along. Toddlers will love a stroller trike which allows them to see the sights of the neighborhood or park while also unleashing some energy. 

All the outdoor toys available at A Kid Place are carefully chosen. Our toys are made from durable steel, wood, and other sturdy materials that withstand the test of time. The toys found here will help your child discover the world around them and meet their individual needs.