Pre-School and Daycare

Riding tricycle and scooter as gross motor milestones?

DS's preschool report card listed that he has not met certain gross motor milestones, such as pedaling a tricycle and riding a scooter.  Do those skills emerge even if the child does not own either those items?  DS only has a balance bike (which he just got a few months ago).  He's never ridden any bike with pedals or a scooter other than last Fall at school.  And when he does, it's only a couple minutes at a time because the kids get one lap and then they have to give the bike to the next person.  The teacher says he is okay on the straightaway, but when he has to turn, he loses momentum and slowly pushes the tricycle with his feet through the turn.  (meanwhile the other kids waiting in line are yelling at him to hurry up!)  Do I need to even worry about this?

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Re: Riding tricycle and scooter as gross motor milestones?

  • It is usually sometthing they need to work on. It might help to get a cheap one for home--you can get them a second-hand stores.
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  • I would not worry for one second.  My oldest has super short legs and really, really wanted to peddle a trike so the second his legs were long enough he was off and peddling (maybe 2 3/4).  My 2nd son will be 3 in a few weeks and while we have a variety of peddle related things he has only been able to pedal at all in the last couple weeks and he still can't make it very far or very fast, he certainly can't do curves.  My sons other development is all totally normal so I'm not concerned that he's unable to pedal at this point.
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  • This is why I hate those preschool report cards, and probably one of the primary reasons I didn't work out at my job teaching a 3's class this fall.  When it came time to start working on the report cards for my class of 3 year olds I was like "Are you kidding about this stuff?"  I might've been a little more vocal about it than I should have been to the director and we both decided it wasn't a good fit. I think grading kids on whether they can pedal a trike, or alternate feet going up and down stairs, etc is idiotic and not why you're paying good money for them to go to preschool.  It's an indication of the problem with public education in this country- this need to standardize everyone and everything.  Not only is it all arbitrary, it's also pretty irrelevant.  And now you're worried because his teacher says he can't pedal around turn on a tricycle.  He's not going to be 10 and unable to pedal, nor is his "difficulty" with the skill right now an indication that he's lacking some gross motor skills or anything else.  Keep in mind why you have him in preschool- (I'm assuming) to learn to function in a class setting, get along with other kids, and maybe learn some basic academic skills.  I also have my kid in school because I don't have the time or the patience to do things like play outside with her for a full hour every day like she gets at school.  If the report card indicated that your kid can't play without hitting, or his eating glue every day I'd worry.  Sorry if I sound grouchy- this is what bugged me so much about the last job I had that I don't have it anymore :)

    (Also- 1 lap and they have to give up the trike?  Maybe they should spend $40 and get a couple more) 

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  • Nope nothing to worry about at all.  I started to notice that DS couldn't pedal this summer (he also has a balance bike which he is great at), so we bought him a big-wheel.  Its only been 2 months (and freezing cold, so he hasn't used it much) and he is already tooling around on it like he's had it for years :)

    I was borderline-worried about him not pedaling, but in retrospect it was silly.  Each kid will do things in their own time.  And I agree with pp, if you want him to learn quickly, just buy him a cheap trike or big wheel

    good luck! 



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  • Thanks everyone.  I wasn't extremely worried about it or anything.  I was just curious if other kids who didn't have tricycles at home could just hop on and ride one instantly.  We don't have room in the house for another bike, so he is just going to have to figure it out at school!

     The school is in the city, so they have a very small yard.  There are about 4 bikes...they really can't fit any more than that in the yard.  With 12 boys in the class this year, they all want to ride those bikes, so the lines form pretty quickly.  There are plenty of other things that DS can do in the outdoor play area.

    And he also can't walk down the stairs with alternating feet ;)

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  • One of my 3 y/o's is in PT and the walking down stairs with alternating feet is something they're supposed to be able to do by 3.5, so I wouldn't worry about that quite yet! (Not sure about the tricycle; that is on the milestone checklists that have been used in his evals but we do have one at home. We only have a tiny fenced back patio, not a real yard, but we fit a lot in. ;))
    fraternal twin boys born january 2009
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