Vroom Vroom!

8 08 2007

Urban Core International BlogFrom guest blogger, Stefani Newman, Founder of teensygreen.com.

I was talking with my friends over at Urban Core International recently, when they mentioned they would be writing a “transportation” themed week for their blog. With all the talk about hybrid vehicles and low-emission gas/electric cars, I thought it was important to take a look at another form of transportation and how it’s been evolving – for kids. As a mom of two children under five years old, I believe that their exposure to goods and products early on to will set the stage for the decisions they make as adults. This includes what they eat, watch, read, and play with. Regarding ride-ons and bikes, you used to only be able to buy plastic, unattractive things with scary faces, loud noises, or other .Fortunately, now there are a lot more choices to provide children with more natural, innovative, and modern ways to lean how to ride a bicycle…

My favorite ‘non-bike’ bike for kids is LIKEaBIKE. It’s exactly what the name implies – it’s “not a tricycle, not a toy car, not a bike withLIKEaBIKE stabilizers, not a scooter…it’s LIKEaBIKE!” This ‘bike’ without pedals still somehow manages to be a ‘bike’, made out of a sturdy, laminated beech wood frame, and steel rimmed pneumatic tires. The company likes to call it a ‘walking bike,’ but after your kids get used to it, they do anything but walk with it. Kids have to rely on themselves for balance and control, a huge skill that they can start to master around two years old. Once they get the hang of it, watch out! LIKEaBIKE is a great design, with various colors and textures for the seats so you customize the bike for your unique kiddie. You can adjust the seat to fit kids age two through five, and their new models include a ‘racing bike’ and an aluminum bike that weighs only 8 lbs!

SvanThis scooter made by Svan, another innovative children’s company known for their high chairs, has a great indoor scooter for kids starting at 18 months. It’s main purpose is to also to help kids learn balance and coordination while having fun. There are no handlebars, but kids instinctively hold the scooter in front of them, naturally keeping their backs straight. My older daughter, who is shy about trying new things, literally jumped on this scooter at a store, and was riding it like a champ in five minutes. Then I couldn’t get her off! The scooter is beautifully streamlined, and made of lightweight yet solid birchwood, with caster wheels that won’t leave marks on your floor!

I also love the Plasma Car, a great investment for both younger and older kids. This funky-looking car also has no pedals, but uses “thePlasma Car natural forces of inertia, gravity, centrifugal force, and friction” to power the car and move. Your child just sits on the car and starts to move the cool steering wheel. They gain momentum from their own movement, and they are totally amazed when the car starts to move, just from them! This car goes fast, and is super-quiet – not to mention looks like it came from outer space.

These pre-bike and bike alternatives are a great starting point for kids to learn how to rely on themselves for movement and play. It also helps them forge a love for bikes that can take them into adulthood. And the best part? They don’t know that they’re exercising!