The child development department is not really happy with this new trend and craze of indoor cycling that has come to America’s children.
Last year when everything was locked down due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Little Tikes, the children’s toymaker realized that the sales of Peloton’s stationary bikes were dropping down and no one was allowed to go out. They later figured out that this can be their chance to create something for children so that they can enjoy even at home, alongside their parents, says the Little Tikes vice president of product development Kevin Bloomfield.
That’s when Little Tikes launched their new stationary bike called Pelican, this summer. The bike is made for children of 3-7 years old, the bikes will also be having a screen attached which will be used for viewing videos. Like Pelican is meant for kids of 3-7 age, the other model that is Pelotons, is a popular stationary bike for adults and this one comes with a screen that will display exercise classes and add a social touch to exercising alone. The cost of this bike is around $1,495 and other than that they charge a membership fee of $39 to view video classes.)
“We didn’t want the parents to be the only ones having all the fun,” Bloomfield said in an email to CNN Business. “Our commitment to inspiring an active and imaginative lifestyle among kids sparked the idea.”
Children’s stationary cycles had existed in the past, but they did not last. In 2007, Fisher-Price introduced a $150 stationary bike for kids, which was updated in 2017. Fisher-Price later reduced the price to around $100, and the bike is no longer available. It made no attempt to explain why. The bike was only available through Amazon, which declined to comment.
Experts in child development, on the other hand, aren’t buying it. They argue that a stationary bicycle, particularly one with a screen, is a step backward in terms of what a bicycle can do for a child’s development. Children who ride a stationary bike miss out on the learning opportunities that come with exploring their community on foot or by bike.
“It just feels so bogus to me. And it doesn’t feel like something that kids will use a lot,” Roberta Golinkoff, a University of Delaware professor who studies child development, told CNN Business.
“Kids want to be part of the real world,” said Lenore Skenazy, the president of Let Grow, nonprofit promoting childhood independence. “A stationary bike doesn’t prepare them for anything but moving their legs in a circular motion.”