Last Christmas we got both kids balance bikes. Best money we've probably ever spent on something for the kids. They absolutely loved them! Hayden was 3.5 when she got hers and learned quickly how to ride it. At first she was upset because it didn't have pedals like her tricycle did, but thanks to the wonders of the Internet, I was able to show her some YouTube videos of kids riding on balance bikes, and she figured it out pretty easily. She was riding within the day, and after a couple of months she had learned how to go really fast and could lift her feet up and coast for long distances.
The whole point of a balance bike is that it teaches kids the hard skill, balancing, first in an easy and safe way. Once a kid can balance on a bike, it's easy for them to learn how to pedal, and thus be able to ride a regular bike. (There are many, many other benefits to balance bikes, but I'll leave it at that for now.)
So this weekend on the way home from ballet class, I stopped by a couple of garage sales, and picked up a little pedal bike for just $10. Hayden was sooooo excited. We took it home and tried it out right away. I couldn't believe how quickly she picked it up! I held onto her back to help her balance and get started, but then she pedaled away from me and rode all on her own! It only took a couple of tries for her to be able to get started on her own too, and then she was riding an actual pedal bike(with no training wheels!) completely independently!
We had only made it halfway down our street when she said, "Mom, we can go ahead and find someone else that needs my other bike(meaning her tricycle)". Needless to say, she's pretty thrilled about her new bike- and I'm so proud! I couldn't believe how quickly she picked it up, or that a four year old could ride a pedal bike with no training wheels! As if I wasn't already a big believer in balance bikes, this totally sealed the deal for me. (I keep telling Thad that I won't be surprised at all if tricycles are obsolete in 20 or 30 years- balance bikes are just that much more awesome!)
I as going to add a video, but apparently I either can't or don't know how, so you're going to have to use your imagination.
I know I'm not the only one with a super proud mommy moment- what have your kids been doing lately that makes you burst with pride?