The weather has been ridiculously nice lately, at least in the evenings, and Jude has had a lot of chances to practice riding on his Christmas present, a Skuut balance bike. It's a toddler size bike without pedals and a very small turning radius. The idea is that the real difficulty in learning how to ride a bicycle lies in balancing it not pedaling. So this bike is supposed to teach the kids how to balance first and balance well, before they try pedaling anything. It's wood body makes it really light and easy to maneuver for little humans. And the small turning radius keeps them from veering off too far in one direction and crashing. Like all balance bikes, this one doesn't have any brakes to confuse the rider, instead the child drags their feet to stop.
It took Jude several tries before he was comfortable on the bike, and then several more runs on it before he was confident enough to pick up speed. Now he rides ahead of us on walks and zooms around for his exercise. It really is a great little balance bike. Cost wise it wasn't that much more than a regular bicycle. I ordered it from Amazon for $75 (not including tax). The seat is adjustable so it grows with your kid. Also you can flip the frame upside down so it is lower to the ground and more friendly to the youngest of riders. Just make sure your kid has good braking shoes and don't go on any serious hills. If you haven't started your kid on a bike yet, I totally recommend buying this one as a beginner bike. Or if you know someone who has it, ask if your kid could try it out. It definitely brings a bit of happiness to Jude.
p.s. I now realize that I spelled Skuut wrong in the video.. :p