Earlier this year we bought our soon-to-be middle child his very first balance bike. To be honest it's one of about 4 things we've ever bought solely for him because he's so close in age to his older brother they've just shared everything. His brother can speed about on the balance bike and, having just turned 4 is starting to ride a pedal bike too (with stabilisers!). This little guy can slowly (walking speed) plod along on his new balance bike and is doing brilliantly but he's just that little bit too slow and unsteady to keep up on a 'bike ride'. I was getting mightily fed up of having to carry the balance bike after he got frustrated and gave up, so for now he just pootles about in the garden on it.
When Little Tikes got in touch and asked if we wanted to review their new 5-in-1 Ride and Relax (Recliner) Trike I initially thought it would be too young for our (admittedly enormous) 2 1/2 year old but I was wrong! The trike is a great investment for parents of younger children as it works in its different forms for babies as young as 9 months and up to 5 year olds.
For us it's the perfect solution to our younger son wanting to ride his bike to the park but not having the stamina or speed just yet to keep up with his brother. His little legs can't quite pedal solo yet but with a little push I can help him go full speed and (handily) help his, sometimes wayward, steering using the handle. Brilliantly, the handle has a little tray with drinks holder and space for mid-bike-ride snacks and there's a tray on the back for whichever superhero figure or cuddly toy needs to come to the park with us that day!
For littler riders there's a handy sun shade, which despite his head nearly touching it, my (giant) little boy insisted on having on for his first trip. Many happy games of peek-a-boo were played before we even set off!
As well as the sun shade, the trike comes with a foot plate for tinier passengers to rest their feet on, a 3 point harness, a solid, secure bar to keep them safely in place and even a padded seat cover, making it a truly deluxe ride. The seat even reclines so they can get their chill on on a long summer's walk!
For older ones like my two, we alternate between these 3 set-ups. The sun shade for playing peek-a-boo (and for if we're ever lucky enough for the sun to shine again!) and then "grown up trike" with or without handle. Our 4 year old enjoyed riding it without the handle, especially the tray, which it turns out is great for filling with sand and pretending you're driving a dump truck!!
As our boys legs are different lengths, I was pleased to see how easily and quickly you can adjust the seat to be closer to or further away from the pedals. There is a clip under the seat that is easy enough to operate one handed but secure enough that the kids can't unclip it themselves!
This trike suits our needs so well at the moment and happily it feels like just as they might grow out of it around next summer we will be able to start using it with the new baby. I can see myself pushing him or her around in style while we chase after the older two, who by then will be whizzing away on their bikes by themselves!