Developing Your Toddler's Motor Skills

Pedal Pushing

If you've ever watched a beginning triker, you may have noticed that she's not adept at getting where she wants to go. Intending to move forward, she often comes to a halt -- or goes backward! What's the problem? Making the pedal go straight down to stop is easy -- toddlers are used to walking, stomping, and jumping, which all involve a downward movement. "It's much harder for them to push their foot forward at the top of the pedal," says Jensen. (Imagine the face of a clock: Going from 11 to 1 is the hard part; from 2 to 6 is a breeze.) Typically a child gets started by wiggling her foot wherever the pedal happens to be -- the luck of the draw determines whether she goes forward or backward. Try pre-positioning the pedal so that it's set in the right direction.

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