Choosing a bike for your child that is appropriate for his/her age doesn't have to be a difficult task if you follow some of these guidelines. Here are some tips on finding the right model for your child.
Springtime is the wonderful time of year when we start to think about outdoor play and bicycles. Children love playing outside and introducing them to their "first set of wheels" can be fun for both the parent and the child. There are so many varieties of bicycles and ride-on toys to choose from. How can you make sure you get something age appropriate for your child?
Here are some ideas of what type of bicycle would be best for what age group: 1-3 years old A bicycle with three or four wheels would be a good choice for toddlers. Depending on their balance and coordination a tricycle is one option for this age group. Kettler Trikes is a popular brand. They are made of heavy duty brightly colored plastic and some models come with a push bar for mom and dad to use when needed. They seem to be well made and easy to maneuver. Also Fisher Price makes a tricycle that has a handle attachment so you can assist your toddler if they are not strong enough to peddle on their own. Little Tykes makes a Go and Grow Rider that is perfect for a 1-year old because it is low to the ground and they can push it with their legs. It has an adjustable seat so as they get taller you can adjust it. A three-year-old may enjoy something like a big wheel. Huffy is a popular brand for big wheels. This type of ride-on will make your child feel ?grown-up? because they are larger and more bulky than a traditional three-wheeled bicycle.
4-6 years old
Preschool and kindergarten age children are probably ready for a two-wheeled bike. Four and five year olds may need training wheels to help them with their balance but this is a good age to start introducing them to a traditional two-wheeled bicycle. Children in this age group might also enjoy a scooter. Scooters are easy to control and they can help in balance development. You can also buy scooters with three wheels for younger children.
6-8 years old
Most kids in this age group know how to ride a two-wheeled bicycle. This is where size plays a role. There are medium size bicycles available for children in this age group. A six-year-old may not be ready for a full size bicycle. You can purchase bikes that are designed for each gender. For girls you can buy a pink sparkling Barbie bicycle with colorful streamers coming out of the handlebars. There are "dirt-bike" style bikes for boys with the bar that goes across the handlebars and a cool pad. A Spider-man theme or one with racing stripes is a popular choice for boys at this age. Some popular brands for bikes in this category are Huffy and Schwinn. Bikes like these can be purchased at any sporting goods store or large department stores.
9-12 years old
This age group will use a full size bicycle. Bikes that fit children in this category may be more expensive. Some models of bicycles like mountain bikes and ten speeds are an excellent choice for kids who are this age. Some brands that are well known for their adult or youth bicycles are Schwinn and Mongoose.
No matter what age category your child is in there are some accessories that will guarantee their safety when riding a bike of any size, shape, color or style. The most important accessory that every child should wear is a helmet. Helmets have been proven to protect from serious head injuries. In some states it is required that children on bicycles must have helmets. It is also a good idea to wear elbow and kneepads for protection from hard surfaces that can cause bumps and bruises.
Bicycles are meant to be an enjoyable recreational activity for children of all ages. You can follow some of the advice mentioned above when choosing a bicycle that is a right fit for your child. If you make sure your child is armed with the correct gear you can ensure a safe, pleasurable experience.
Construction Matters: Our Materials Glossary Tells You What You Need to Know
Woods & Synthetic Woods
The furniture we carry is made from many different materials, giving our pieces a wide range of quality, comfort, and affordability. It is very important for every customer to find the right balance that meets their own individual needs. That being said, it can be extremely useful for one to be familiar with the different materials commonly used in furniture construction. Whether you are shopping on a budget or you want the ultimate in luxury, this guide will point you in the right direction! Hardwood Solids
Solid wood furniture is considered the best quality furniture on the market, and if you are purchasing furniture that will be in your home for a long time, it is a very smart investment. Even with wear, solid wood gains character and charm and becomes a part of your family. Solid wood furniture is usually crafted with attention to detail that includes dovetailed joints, wood on wood drawer glides, and strong protective finishes.
Hardwood solids, in particular, are cut from the trunks of deciduous hardwood trees. Among the most popular of these are oak and maple, which are commonly used for constructing furniture and cabinetry. And don?t forget, no two pieces of solid wood furniture are the same, so your furniture will be completely unique. Look for hardwood solids in all types of furniture, including armoires, beds, and bar stools.
Asian Hardwoods, Parawood, & Rubberwood
Asian hardwood is also referred to as parawood, rubberwood, and tropical hardwood. Mainly from Southeast Asia, this wood is as strong as maple and is often referred to as Malaysian Oak because of its durability and strength.
The trees used for this wood are native to the Amazon region of South America. In the 19th Century their seeds were transported to England for germination and the resulting seedlings were brought to Malaysia and planted permanently (thus the name Asian hardwood).
Furthermore, the trees are used to produce latex for 25-30 years prior to being cut down for furniture construction. This ecologically friendly process has spawned the name rubberwood. Look for all three types of wood in a wide range of furniture pieces, including bar sets, ottomans, and dressers.
Engineered Wood / MDF
MDF is a common abbreviation for medium density fiberboard, or engineered wood. MDF is made out of multiple wood fibers glued together under heat and pressure, and is generally very affordable and often just as durable as solid wood. Furniture made with MDF can imitate the look of real wood while meeting the budget requirements of most families.
MDF offers several advantages over alternate materials, while not being too costly. It can be made with recycled materials, and possesses no grain so it can be drilled and/or cut without damaging the surface. Also, MDF is often sturdy enough to be nailed together, and yet it's light enough to be shipped cheaply and easily. Look for MDF in many children's furniture, decorative fireplaces, and table tops.
Wood veneers are constructed of thin slices of real wood which are adhered to the surface of a piece of furniture to give it the glowing appearance of real wood. Veneers can be laid over less costly and lighter materials to save production and shipping costs, or added to a very expensive piece to showcase a particularly beautiful grain pattern. Any smooth and flat material can have veneer laid over it, making this an extremely versatile and popular method of constructing furniture.
The slices used for veneering are generally trimmed from the most attractive parts of the wood source. A saw was originally used for this procedure, but is now commonly replaced by a stationary knife. This reduces the dust that is caused by sawing, and also allows more slices to be cut from each individual log. Look for wood veneers on a wide range of furniture, including table tops, fireplace mantels, and headboards.
Laminates consist of a layer of wood or other product, such as paper, which is applied over a wood frame and sealed with a protective layer of thermosetting resin. They are used in a wide variety of products (especially office furniture), as they can be extremely durable and stand up to heavy use. In addition you are virtually guaranteed that the finish on your products will match what you already have. Unlike real wood, laminates should not fade or have variations from piece to piece. They are also very easy to clean with just a soft cloth. Look for laminates on children?s furniture, office desks, and coffee tables.
Wrought iron means "worked iron" in Old English. Wrought iron refers to metal that is hammered or bent into shape as opposed to being cast or poured at a foundry. The result is a metal that has a roughed up surface as opposed to the smooth machine-made look of alternate metal products. Because of this coarse surface, wrought iron is able to retain a thicker layer of finish than smoother metal.
Working metal by hand has been done for over 5,000 years, to make functional items such as furniture, as well as art.
The wrought iron of today most commonly consists of mild steel, which was discovered in 1856 and is made by melting cast iron and removing the carbon and slag. Look for wrought iron on high quality pot racks, pub table sets, and fireplace accessories.
Stainless steel refers to shiny steel that contains chromium, making it resistant to corrosion. Not only is stainless steel 100% recyclable, there are no coatings applied to the surface. This is great for the environment, because coatings can pollute the atmosphere when broken down during recycling.
The look of stainless steel is great for a modern or retro d
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