Balance Bikes – Review

We lived in Germany for three years, raising three young children there. While we had the most fantastic time, it was clear that German parenting was quite different than what we had gotten used to in the US. Even though my husband and I were born and raised in Germany and France, respectively, we evolved as parents every day, watching and learning a new way of raising children. We fell in love with many aspects of it, one of which being the freedom that German parents give to their children. Children, as young as 6 years old, are expected to walk/ride to school, un-accompagnied! You will see young kids riding the subway to school. Our village at 7.30AM seemed like a giant scooter matrix, with kids rolling themselves to school. Imaginable in many other western countries… Playgrounds are, for the most part, unsecured per American standards – yet, no Mom looks concerned and no-one falls… Children are allowed to try, fail, try harder, take risks, live their lives, be children!

One thing that you will notice in a German city, are tiny little children on bicycles. Many Germans will tell you that their kids never had to learn to ride a bicycle. They get on their Laufrad (balance bike) before they can walk. By the time they’re 3 to 4 years old, parents upgrade them to pedal bikes without training wheels, and children don’t have to think twice – they naturally know how to ride bikes. They have spent years and countless kilometers practicing their balance and cycling has become second nature to them.

So we went ahead and got our first child a balance bike. Germans swear by the Puky brand. They come in various sizes and the smallest one was a perfect fit for our 10-month old. She was not yet walking at the time and it took her 2 to 3 tries to understand that she could roll herself. We raised the sit as she got older, eventually upgrading her to the taller model. Quickly, she started taking longer leaps. Downhill, she’d raise her legs and free-roll for 6 or 7 seconds. Until one day, my husband took an actual pedal bike out of the car. While he was unpacking the stroller for her little brother, she’d taken the new bike and as we turned around, we saw her pedaling herself away. She never had to learn to ride a bike, she knew how to!

It is so much fun to go for walks with your 1-year old biking next to you. They gain confidence in their bodies, learn to balance, get competitive, and can independently keep up with your speed!

Think of balance bikes as a great gift for baby showers or your own little one!

While we have loved our Puky bikes and can vouch for their high quality, other respected brands offer the same great benefits at a lower price point:

We have loved our balance bikes and we hope you do too! Please share with us your little one’s successes in the Comments section!

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I am the founder of I'm passionate about child care solutions that are a win for the families and the caregivers. With three kids and a full-time career, we are looking for a Granny to join our family and help us with day-to-day activities!

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