Balance Bike vs Scooter – Which is better for toddlers?

As children grow up into toddlers, parents love to keep them entertained with activities. Cycling or riding is one of them and you can choose between a balance bike and a scooter for your first buy. Which of the two is better for a toddler?

Growing up I remember I had a balance bike at the age of four and this weaned me into the super-fast cycler I am today. Now, I am a three-time cyclocross champion in our towns cycling team and this is an achievement I am very proud of.

Outdoor riding opens up the beauty of the world with a rush of adrenaline to toddlers. It’s exciting to feel the wind against your cheeks as you ride around the park or block.

Parents concerned about making the best choice for a first motor skill training equipment may be daunting because the market flooded with options. This little review will help you settle on one.

What are the differences between Balance Bike and Scooter?

Balance Bike
Comfort and Balance
Moderate Speed
12 pounds
30 pounds
10 inches
13 inches

Balance Bike vs Scooter – How they differ


Balance bikes for your toddler are best kept to a minimum in terms of complexity of use and design. Most bikes feature a fat tire with no brakes or pedals on them. However, there are some that are uniquely decked with pedals that are built in to the front tires of the bike.

Your toddler can sit down on the comfortable plush seats or open rack provided and push themselves forward on a flat or slightly declined surface to enjoy the rush of the momentum gained.

Most balance bikes are made of metal material with two wheels but more recently there has been an invention of wooden balance bikes that are inevitably a better choice for your child’s first ride.

Scooters, on the other hand, primarily function like the balance bikes with the rider pushing themselves along with one foot. For better stability for your tot, the scooter should have a wide base and two tires at the front.

Some scooters are fitted with a seat for comfort and versatility in use.

Handlebars on the balance bikes do not differ much from the scooter as they are straight and narrow allowing for small hands to hold on to them securely. These bars are made of anti-grip material and the deck of these scooters is textured for better traction.

In construction, both the balance bike and the scooter are well built with movable anti-grip handlebars and seats for some.

Benefits in Use

Both options give your toddler healthy outdoor exercise activities on mostly flat surfaces like the grass at the park or concrete pavement. While balance bikes have fat tires that can traverse wider spaces for exploration, a scooter is limited to level grounds.

Balance bikes engage your toddler’s limbs on both sides compared to the scooters one-legged propelled movement. Though this does not pose any health factors like one leg getting more worked up than the other, it would still be better to play on both sides.

Standing on the scooter will engage your child’s core strength and the same is true when they ride seated on the balance bike which also builds up the thigh muscles.

Motor coordination is encouraged when using either equipment coupled with the awareness of speed, direction, hazard detection and the skills needed to safely hop on and off the equipment.

Some modern balance bikes have been fitted with brakes small enough for easy manipulation by tiny hands. This added feature will develop the fine motor skills in your child’s hands as they learn to squeeze lightly on the brakes to stop.

The balance bike will provide your toddler with an all rounded exercise involving hands, legs and core. While on a scooter, the target areas are legs and core only.

Balance Bike vs Scooter – A Comparison Overview

Balance Bike – Overview

[amazon box=”B07H7VKVGX” template=”horizontal” ]

They are built to break the art of cycling into manageable parts with balancing skills while taking pedaling out of the mix. By leaning one way or another to steer, a toddler as young as two years old can hop onto this bike and practice riding on it.

This bike will allow your child to develop and perfect their balancing skills on a riding equipment and get them steering in the right direction before they grow into a fully featured bike.

Your balance bike should be adjustable in some of its parts like the saddle placement which will give your toddler about 2-3 years of use before they outgrow it in size.

Depending on the riding surface you intend your toddler to ride on, the tires available for balance bikes are such like the EVA foam tires featuring an inner tube. This guarantees that your toddler will be capably riding on both paved and grass surfaces.

Some modern balance bikes have been fitted with brakes small enough for easy manipulation by tiny hands. This added feature will develop the fine motor skills in your child’s hands as they learn to squeeze lightly on the brakes to stop.

They measure roughly between 3 to 5 kgs.


  • Develops fine motor skills and confidence
  • Safe for use without the pedals
  • Used by 18-months to 6 year old
  • Adjustable seats and handlebars
  • Variety of colors and designs
  • Eco-friendly wood designs


  • Easy to outgrow
  • New innovation or trend

View Price on Amazon

Scooter – Overview

[amazon box=”B01A0EMX6O” template=”horizontal” ]

Scooters are simple in design and even more so for the toddlers. They commonly feature a single frame build with a wide flat and textured foot deck that keeps your child from slipping off on rides.

The handle bars on the scooter are adjustable to accommodate your toddler as she grown in height every year. There are some special models that provide a seat or saddle which enriches your toddlers riding experience.

This seat could either be fixed or foldable to give your child the alternative to ride or sit depending on their mood. Steering is easy on a scooter as all your child needs to do is lean to the direction they want to go and propel their bike.

Some scooters are fitted with three wheels for the younger toddlers in order to secure their balance while others are on two wheels which is great for an older toddler around 4 to 6 years old.

The wheels are tiny and averagely thick in width which gives more speed to the rider. An advantage of some scooters is that they are foldable making them easy to store away.

Some scooters are made from plastic so if you are worried about any injuries to your toddler, this could be the right pick for you. However, they won’t last long.


  • Motor skill development
  • Lean-to-steer function
  • Adjustable handlebars
  • Colorful and flashy designs
  • Takes up less space


  • Require assembly

View Price on Amazon

Verdict: Which is better, Balance bike or Scooter?

My best pick would be a Balance bike because while the operation of both is based on leg propelled movements, the scooter will present the issue of the dominant leg that does all the pushing over the other leg which is more dormant.

Also, if you can afford a balance bike with brakes already fitted, your toddler will perfect their fine motor skills that will help them later on in life.