A lot of people like to say that kids these days don’t want to do anything but sit in front of screens all day. We don’t buy that!
Kids today may not be satisfied with skipping rocks across the river like their parents used to but give them a fun toy to play with and they will spend hours outdoors. We believe that kids are more than happy to spend time away from TVs, smartphones, and video games if they only have something fun and exciting to do.
Scooters are a perfect opportunity for your child to get outside for a little physical activity. They’re more fun than riding a bike and overall, they’re safer than riding a skateboard. Scooters come in a variety of sizes and styles, and there are options that work perfectly for children of virtually any age. Riding a scooter will help to develop the coordination and balance of younger children, and as they grow older, they can learn to do some tricks and more advanced riding techniques.
How do you choose the right scooter though? Here are some things to look for when deciding.
Key Scooter Features
The primary considerations when choosing a scooter are the size, maximum weight capacity, and wheel size.
When shopping for a scooter, you should always be able to find a weight capacity listed in the specifications, sometimes called a max load. This capacity is the largest weight that the scooter is rated to comfortably support without damage and increased risk of injury. Always check this limit before making a buying decision to ensure that your kid’s weight is below this limit. The last thing you want is for your son or daughter to be injured!
The height of the handlebars is another key factor to consider. Most scooters will have handlebars with adjustable height, but the adjustment is often only a few inches. The heights can span a wide range from one scooter to another. One option may extend 34”-37”, while another only goes to 31.5”-33.5.”
There is some variety when it comes to wheel size, and what you choose is all about the skill level of your child. Wheels come in a variety of diameters and widths. Some scooters have 12” diameter tires, while others have 16” diameter tires, plus a plethora of other sizes. Some scooters have the same size on front and back, while others have a front tire that is larger than the rear tire.
The main rule with tire wheel size is that the smaller the wheel is, the lower the deck sits to the ground which increases stability. Larger tires also tend to allow for higher speed.
Scooter wheels typically come in two different types. There are polyurethane wheels, which are solid and somewhat hard rubber wheels. These are strong and are long-lasting.
There are also scooters with tires that are more similar to a bicycle’s tires; made from a softer slip-resistant rubber and inflated. These tires offer superior grip on the road’s surface meaning decreased wipe-out odds. The rubber inflatable wheels tend to be larger in diameter than the polyurethane wheels.
How to Choose the Best Options
So now that we know the types of features to look for, how do we know which option is best for your child?
To determine the best option, we need to consider the age, height, weight, and skill level of your child.
For Younger Kids
If your child is very young, say between the ages of 3-5, then they would benefit most from something that is going to be highly stable for them while their balance and coordination isn’t quite up to its potential yet. This means choosing a scooter with smaller wheels, which will cause the scooter to sit lower and be more stable. The smallest wheels tend to be polyurethane, and you should look for a wheel somewhere in the 7-8” diameter range.
At this age the weight capacity isn’t particularly important, as even scooters with the lowest weight limits can typically handle at least 150 pounds. The more important factor here is the height of the handlebars. The ideal height for a scooter’s handlebars is around hip level. The easiest solution to figure this one out is to just use a handy-dandy tape measure, and measure from the floor to the top of your kid’s hip bones. This measurement is the handlebar height you should be looking at.
For Older Kids
As your child gets older, the idea scooter is a bit different. Once they’re around 9 years old and into their early teens they are likely become more skilled. Their balance and coordination should be far better than it was just a few years ago.
With these considerations in mind, you will want to look for a scooter with wheels that are a bit larger, in the 12”-16” range. This will bring the deck up off the ground which will allow for better ground clearance; this is important because this is around the age when they will start to try out some tricks.
Speaking of the daredevil nature that takes over as they get older, the more pliable rubber inflatable wheels are a good option here due to the superior grip. This will help prevent road rash when they’re trying to pull off a stunt.
Wrapping up, here are some tips in choosing the best scooter for your child.
- Measure your kid’s height up to their hip bones and use this to determine the handlebar height to go with.
- Check the weight capacity on the scooter’s you are looking at to be sure your chile isn’t over the limit.
- Consider your child’s level of coordination and experience to determine how large the wheels should be. Smaller wheels mean more stability.
- Think about whether your child is the type to attempt stunts. If so, you’ll want large, soft rubber inflatable wheels to help make this safer.