Before letting your child loose in road traffic, where they can cover distances, negotiate junctions and make turns to their heart's content, we recommend that you spend time together in preparation. Rather than getting straight onto the saddle, you should go back to the classroom with your child. What shape and colours does a stop sign have, and what does this square fried egg mean? Your child should be able to answer questions like these at once. Only give the thumbs-up once they have thoroughly learned the rules.
2. Practice, practice, practice
The learning phase is not over yet. At least in our view. Make sure that your child has adequate motor skills on a bicycle. Are they able to brake safely when a traffic light suddenly turns red? Your child can practice on a circuit drawn on a quiet street with chalk. You can find inspiration and instructions for this in our School Material Module 3.
3. Check this out
The following tip is also part of the preparation. But you'll be on your bike soon, we promise. Before that we have another tip for you. As a final step, check that the bicycle is in good working order. Check whether parts such as the lights, brakes and reflectors are ok. And remember the helmet. Especially at the start, it's easy to miss something important. Here is our useful checklist.
The following tip is as simple as it is ingenious. Whether braking, waiting at traffic lights or turning right or left, your child should be aware of this: remind them to always think about what might happen next. Only then can they recognise dangers in time, respond promptly to other road users and get to the destination without incident.
5. Go out together
As we all know, practice makes perfect. And your child will learn best from good examples. Take a cycle tour together, and show your child how to behave correctly in possibly unforeseeable traffic situations. Perhaps you will even learn something yourself, as even adults never stop learning.
So there you have them, our five tips. If you wish to know more on all aspects of cycling, please have a look at our School Material Module 3. This will give you interesting facts, worksheets and ideas for games - all free of charge for downloading, of course.