A speaker at my daughter’s preschool orientation mentioned that riding a tricycle helps children learn to read. Curious, I decided to look into it as we just purchased a tricycle.

Direction Is Important for Learning to Read

Steering a tricycle teaches kids their rights and lefts, and that different outcomes result from choosing a specific direction.

Direction also helps them grasp the idea that their body has sides (left, right, front, back) and aids their brain in distinguishing between these sides, like right hand versus left hand. This comes into play when trying to differentiate b from d, for example, or “on” and “no” when learning to read.

Ironically, my husband has a teeny bit of trouble with letter reversal (perhaps he should get his own tricycle?) and has been worried about passing this on to our daughter.

Young toddlers probably won’t yet be immediately able to steer right or left if you bark out these directions, but their brains are learning while pedaling, nonetheless.

Tricycles Build Gross Motor Skills

Riding a tricycle also helps develop gross motor skills that are needed for almost everything. Gross motor skills refer to the large muscles groups of the body that enable running, walking, balance, coordination and more. Children develop these skills during early childhood and they improve as children get older.

Gross motor skills are important because they allow children to build fine motor skills, such as writing. If a child does not have proper upper body strength or posture, they may have trouble learning writing.

So, go outside now and play. Ride that tricycle!

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Katie Dillon is the managing editor of La Jolla Mom. She helps readers plan San Diego vacations through her hotel expertise (that stems from living in a Four Seasons hotel) and local connections. Readers have access to exclusive discounts on theme park tickets (like Disneyland and San Diego Zoo) and perks at luxury hotels worldwide through her. She also shares insider tips for visiting major cities worldwide, like Hong Kong, London, Paris, and Shanghai, that her family has either lived in or visits regularly (or both).

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