Also known as a "trike," the tricycle is a child's first "big kid" toy. It provides much freedom of movement and is a good tool for encouraging children to exercise. A tricycle can also provide hours of fun.
The first thing to consider when choosing a tricycle is the size and age of the youngster. If your little one struggles to reach the pedals, it may result in frustration and cause him or her to avoid riding. More importantly, reaching can throw off balance and cause your child to turn the tricycle over or fall off. Make sure he or she can climb on and get off easily, and can reach the pedals comfortably while in a seated position.
Price is of course a determining factor, so consider the cost of accessories as well. By the time you add in the price of a helmet and perhaps knee pads, the cost may go up considerably. It is best not to try to save money by buying a tricycle that is too large to make it last longer, but do look for options that will allow the tricycle to grow with your child, such as a seat that can be adjusted to different heights.
Another good option to look for is a handle for parents to hold onto to help keep the tricycle under control until your little rider becomes more proficient. Look for a handle that can be removed once your youngster is able to handle the tricycle on his own.
Something else to keep in mind is the fact that many tricycles require assembly. Make sure you will be able to put it together properly so it will be safe. If you'd rather avoid assembling the tricycle yourself, look for one that is already put together or inquire whether the shop will assemble it for you for a small fee.
Buying a tricycle may seem like purchasing any other toy, but a tricycle is actually a child's first vehicle. Children need to realize that with the privilege of riding come certain responsibilities. Kids should wear a helmet and ride the tricycle the way it is intended to be ridden. Instilling good safety practices with a tricycle will give your child a good foundation to rely on when he or she begins riding a bicycle and even when she begins to drive, so it pays to start early.