Like with any toy we buy for our kids, finding the specific scooter model that’s best for your child can be difficult. There are different brands in the market, so it’s tempting to just get the next flashy scooter that is trending. For five-year-olds, you also have to consider other things to make sure your child’s scooter riding experience is safe and fun.
For starters, you should know the difference between the types of scooters available. Yes, you may look at them and think why knowing their difference matters. Why can’t you just get any scooter with a tag that it’s for kids who are five years old, right? Regardless of your child’s age, each scooter type has its advantages and disadvantages for different kid’s physical attributes and abilities.
Three-Wheel vs Two-Wheel Scooters
You can first classify scooters by the orientation of their wheels. The more traditional type that comes to mind when you think of scooters is the two-wheel type. However, there are also models with three wheels that can either have two wheels at the front or the rear.
According to CuteLittleDarling, five-year-old kids can use either of the two. But the final deciding factor is your child’s physical capabilities. For example, a three-wheel scooter offers a more steady design and slower speed compared to its two-wheel counterpart. So if your child is just starting to ride or if he/she is not so confident in balancing yet, it’s best to start with a three-wheel scooter.
This scooter type also usually offers lean-to-steer instead of handlebar steering. The scooter will turn without the need to use the handlebar, so your child can memorize the directions faster. At the same time, lean-to-steer prevents sharp turns, so it’s safer for newbies.
Opt for a three-wheel scooter where there are two wheels at the front instead of those with two rear wheels. Both designs are easier to balance with compared to the usual two-wheel model, but the former is more ideal for beginners. This is because your child might have difficulty in kicking the scooter due to the two wheels at the back.
On the contrary, having two front wheels widens the front part of the deck for stability, and having a narrower rear helps with speed. Therefore, you want to start with a three-wheel scooter with two front wheels, transition to a three-wheel scooter with two rear wheels, and then to a two-wheel scooter.
You can also consider three-wheel scooters with a removable seat if your child is still hesitant in riding while standing. Having a seat makes it easier to maintain balance, and he/she can keep both feet in the deck much more comfortably.
Some two-wheels scooter models are also designed to be easier to use. For example, they use a lightweight yet sturdy frame to prevent it from getting off balance regardless of the speed. Handling them feels natural as well because of their heavy-duty wheels and suspension system.
Making the transition slow and easy will allow your child to build confidence in balance and coordination. He/she is less likely to get frustrated and give up learning early on. And because you’re minimizing the chances of him/her falling off and potentially injuring himself/herself, the experience would be more pleasant.
Electric vs Kick Scooters
Once your five-year-old is ready for a two-wheel scooter, the next consideration is whether you should get a typical kick scooter or an electric scooter. From the name itself, the kick scooter moves by kicking, and your child is also the one controlling its speed. On the contrary, an electric scooter uses a motor that moves the scooter, and some models even allow speed control. Therefore, what’s left for the rider to do is just balance while riding it.
According to CutelittleDarling.com, an electric scooter is useful if your child wants to use the scooter as transportation. And depending on the motor power, the scooter might also be capable of going through hilly terrain. However, because it’s electric, the additional components make it heavy to carry around and store.
Your child should also make sure to charge it so that it wouldn’t drain on him/her while using it outside. And if you’re thinking of the emission, some electric scooters are quiet and simple enough to maintain, so maintenance and noise are no longer significant drawbacks with modern electric units.
On the other hand, a kick scooter is advantageous because it is lightweight and requires no charging to use. Your child can use it as long as he/she wants, and its size is not a problem in terms of storage and transport. In fact, some brands even offer foldability. Instead of removing the T-bar from the deck, some units have a hinge that folds these parts together to save space. Instead of removing the T-bar from the deck, some units have a hinge that folds these parts together to save space.
Which of these scooter types should your five-year-old get? Because an electric scooter does the movement itself, it’s best for kids who already mastered balancing. So in order to practice, they should start first with a kick scooter since it requires manual intervention. And once your child develops muscle memory from riding, he/she can take advantage of the electric scooter’s effortless ride.
A three-wheel kick scooter where it has two wheels at the front makes an excellent starter scooter for five-year-olds. Once your child has built his/her confidence in riding, then he/she can also try out a two-wheel kick scooter and then an electric scooter later on. This transition won’t overwhelm the child because you’re starting him/her with an easy scooter to ride, so it’s less frustrating with minimal chances of injuries.
You’ll be the one who can assess if your child is ready to transition to another type of scooter. But of course, you still have to check if the model’s height and weight capacity is suitable for your child. You can get a scooter that offers a wide range in these areas, so your child can use it for longer. And some models even have adjustable handlebars, so that you can always make sure it’s on the same level as your child’s weight.
Lastly, don’t forget to remind your child of the various rules and regulations about safety while using the scooter. More than building confidence and honing balance and coordination, obedience and compliance are also important traits with outdoor activities like scootering. Get your child to enjoy putting on safety gear, and don’t leave him/her unsupervised even if he/she is riding at an open and smooth surface.