Parents are constantly faced with the challenge of choosing proper toys and similar items that not only entertain their children but also benefit their development and contribute to their safety.  

, Two Wheels vs. Three: Choosing the Best Scooter for Kids, Days of a Domestic Dad

Scooters are a hit among children, but with so many different models available, how do you know which one to choose—a two- or three-wheel scooter? Beyond physical ability, this is the most important factor in determining whether your youngster can ride the scooter safely and successfully. Here’s what you should know about the two types: 

Three Wheel Scooter

When shopping for kids’ scooters, you’ll find out that there are different types of three-wheeled scooters. The most common are: 

Two Front Wheels, One Rear Wheel with Lean-To-Turn Type Steering 

Because the scooter takes care of half of the balancing work for the user—such as toddlers—riding this type of scooter is easier. The scooter can balance itself when it is travelling ahead. The scooter may be turned by just leaning in the desired direction by the rider.    

With this riding technique, young children can understand the connection between the rider’s centre of mass and turn speed quickly and intuitively. Additionally, it encourages the rider to veer off course because they know they will catch up. Later on, while they are learning to ride a bicycle or scooter with two wheels, this confidence aids them.

This is the most common type of three-wheeled scooter available on the market. If your child is between 2 and 5 and isn’t ready for a two-wheel scooter, consider this option. 

Two Front Wheel, and One Rear Wheel with Bicycle Type Steering 

For a youngster who is, say, two years old, this kind of kick scooter is perfect as their first since it does not require them to learn how to balance. The drawback of these children’s scooters is that they do not aid in the development of better motor skills or balance. Nevertheless, moving it around engages the calf and leg muscles.   

They do not help with balance, but they give the kid something fun to push around. Select this style if your child struggles with the lean-to-steer style or if all you want is for them to get started quickly.

One Front Wheel, Two Rear Wheels

This style can be thought of as a tricycle on a scooter. Because the larger wheelbase is at the back of the scooter instead of the front, where most of the body weight is concentrated, they are less ergonomic than the former. Additionally, the back wheels protrude laterally from the deck and are vulnerable to contact with the child’s heel when pushing.

This design also doesn’t contribute much to improving balance but could be a good option for a young child who has difficulty learning to steer.

Two-Wheel Kids Scooter 

The two-wheel scooter requires the child to have more balancing skills. Similar to bikes for kids, they also require a specific minimum speed to stay balanced. Plus, when turning, the rider needs to lean towards the middle of the turn to create centripetal force and stay on the curve.

To effectively ride a two-wheeled scooter, young children must overcome two challenges, similar to those encountered while learning to ride a bicycle. The first one is to achieve a minimum speed. The child must be strong enough to propel the scooter at the minimal speed required to remain balanced upright, as well as have the energy to maintain that speed. The second challenge is continual steering. To maintain control, the child must be able to steer the handlebar actively.  

Which One to Choose?

It is preferable to get your child a 2-wheel scooter rather than a 3-wheel scooter if they can balance well. Scooters with three wheels are a wonderful option for kids who are still learning how to balance. While having fun, they assist kids in learning how to balance on a scooter and gaining confidence when riding.

Your child’s age can also help you decide between a two-wheeled and a three-wheeled scooter. It is recommended that younger children begin riding on 3-wheel scooters to acquire riding confidence and solid balancing skills; 3-wheel scooters also provide more stable rides. As the child grows and becomes more secure about riding their three-wheel scooters, they may switch to a two-wheel scooter. The child will then be able to easily adjust and ride without any difficulty balancing themselves.

Size Considerations 

The size and physical capabilities of your children will determine this choice. Knowing the distinction between different kids’ scooter sizes is also beneficial.

The size of a scooter is usually proportional to its wheel size. There are popular scooter wheel sizes on the market, which are typically referred to as either small or large. Contrary to common belief, not every small-wheeled scooter is designed for children. You’ll find aluminium scooter models featuring small wheels that can hold up riders weighing up to 100 kg, independent of size. 

Plus, small-wheeled scooters are significantly lighter than larger-wheeled scooters, making them easier to ride, control, steer, and accelerate for kids. This implies that kids can ride these scooters in a riskier, faster, and harder-to-brake manner.

Larger-wheeled scooters take more work to push and steer, and their braking distances are higher. This makes riding more challenging for extremely young children. On the other hand, the extended wheelbase of large-wheeled scooters gives them greater stability. Additionally, they work better on uneven surfaces. Children ride more conservatively because of their larger size and greater handling effort.

The handlebar should be lower than the child’s neck, according to experts. In the case of an accident, the handlebar is more likely to injure a child if it is in front of their face or neck. For this reason, you should go for an adjustable handlebar, allowing you to stoop it down to a level that is less than your child’s neck height. The height of the elbow to the stomach serves as a general guideline for handlebar height. This is true for both young and older kids.