Finding a scooter for a 5-year is not as easy as finding one for yourself. You have to think about which option is safest for them while also considering size, usage, and how long it’ll take for them to grow out of it.
Let’s take a look at all of these questions and more to find the best scooter for a 5-year-old.
What Kind Of Scooter Is Best For A 5-Year-Old?
When finding the right kick scooter for your 5-year-old, there are a few questions that need to be answered:
1. Can A 5-Year-Old Use A 2-Wheel Scooter?
The first step to finding the best scooter for your 5-year-old is to check whether they are ready for a kick scooter or not.
Children develop at different rates, and if your child’s physical ability is very low, they may struggle with a kick scooter. Many children won’t have an issue and can comfortably ride kick scooters, bicycles, and even skates at 4+, but not all kids develop the necessary motor skills at such an early age.
2. Is A 2-Wheel Or 3-Wheel Scooter Better?
If you have determined that your 5-year-old is ready, consider whether they would be better suited to a two-wheeled scooter or a three-wheeled scooter.
A two-wheel scooter is much more versatile and if your kid doesn’t begin with two wheels, they’ll likely want to advance to them at some point in the future.
A three-wheeled scooter is more stable and thus safer for inexperienced riders.
See below for more information on both of these options:
A two-wheel scooter has one wheel at the back and one at the front. It can be difficult for younger kids to balance properly and so they are more prone to falling off.
To effectively balance on a two-wheeled scooter, children must maintain a certain amount of speed, just as they do on a bicycle. They must also lean to steer.
As the name suggests, a three-wheeled scooter uses three wheels, thus providing more stability. The additional wheel can be placed at the back or the front, depending on the type of scooter:
- Two Front Wheels, One Rear Wheel, Lean To Steer: The most common three-wheel scooter for kids, this kick scooter does most of the work and is easy to balance and steer. The rider simply leans where they want to go.
- Two Front Wheels, One Rear Wheel, Bicycle Steering: This 3-wheel scooter is usually targeted toward kids even younger than 5, as it turns just like a bicycle and is very stable.
- Two Rear Wheels, One Front Wheel, Bicycle Steering: The extra wheel on the back provides stability while still looking and feeling like a traditional two-wheel scooter.
- The Yvolution Three Wheel Scooter: The Yvolution is a scooter brand for kids. It produces scooters in a V-shape. They move not by kicking but with a hip-twisting motion. Unlike traditional scooters, where both feet stand on the same scooter deck, the Yvolution has a separate foot deck for each foot.
Are More Scooter Wheels Easier?
Not only are three wheels easier to ride than two, but they also make for a more stable ride and will reduce the risk of falls.
However, two-wheel kick scooters are not necessarily difficult to ride, nor is it uncommon to see young children riding them.
As noted above, it depends on whether your child has the motor skills or not.
What Age Is A 3-Wheel Scooter For?
A three-wheel scooter is often targeted toward children aged between 2 and 5, but it’s important to take these recommendations with a grain of salt.
If you have a 5, 6, or even 7-year-old with limited motor skills who always seems to be tripping and falling, you should still consider a three-wheel scooter to start.
3. What Size Scooter is Best?
The ideal scooter size will depend on your kid’s height.
You need to think about the wheel size, as well as the handlebar height, although the latter is adjustable.
Look for a scooter that can grow with them, including features such as an adjustable handlebar, but don’t get something that’s too big as it’ll be difficult for them to ride and they may give up long before they get big enough to properly ride it.
When looking for the right scooter wheels, remember that a small-wheeled scooter is not just for young kids, so it can still be used as they grow.
As long as the handlebar is the right height, there’s no reason why an older child can’t ride a scooter with very small wheels.
Large-wheeled scooters are much more stable and provide a smoother ride, but they are not as agile. They are also harder for young kids to ride as they can be difficult to push, steer, and stop.
4. Other Considerations
- Electric Scooters: Electric scooters are all the rage these days, but they’re not for young riders and are best left for much older kids and adults.
- Foldable Scooters: Foldable scooters are always a good idea, as it means they won’t take up too much space in your hallway or your child’s room. Try the folding mechanism for yourself, as some can be very clunky and awkward. Easy storage is important, but not if you have to wrestle with a dirty scooter every time you pack it away.
- Light-Up Wheels: Not only will kids find these cool, but they add an important safety element, making young riders easier to spot in poor visibility.
- Maximum Weight: If your kid is growing fast, make sure their scooter can still accommodate them.
- Weight: A light weight is important, as your kid needs to carry it around.
Summary: Should You Buy A Two-Wheeled Scooter or a Three-Wheeled Scooter?
The main consideration here is not the age of your child, but their motor skills and physical competence.
Do you trust that your 5-year-old will be safe on two-wheel kick scooters or can you envision them falling after every push and eventually coming to serious harm?
If your 5-year-old has some experience with skateboards and skates and is familiar with the skate park, get them a two-wheeled scooter. If they have no experience with scooters, skateboards, skates, or anything of the sort, three-wheeled scooters are definitely the way to go.