3 reasons why using kid-specific equipment is important and where to find it in Colorado
Have you ever tried to ride your child’s bicycle? You feel a little like a clown, right? Your legs are scrunched and contorted, your knees hit the handlebars, and the seat . . . ouch! Even if we could, we wouldn’t want to use equipment made for kids, so why should we expect kids to use adult-sized gear? You never thought of it like that, did you?
You want your child to have a fun experience from the start no matter the activity, and a key element to that “When can we do this again” enthusiasm is setting him up for success. And, of course, equipment is a critical piece of the experience. You may not have paid much attention to gear before, so let’s talk about the benefits of using the right size equipment and give some suggestions about where to find it in Colorado.
Why using kid-sized equipment is important
- Prevents injuries. Using proper equipment and safety gear is essential to staying safe. Not only do you have to use the gear, but you also need to make sure it’s the right size and fits well. A local specialty store can help you size gear whether it’s a backpack, helmet or paddle. Check out REI, Sports Authority or even L.L. Bean and stop in for their expertise. (And, let’s face it, this tip applies to adults, too!) Also, take a look at our Choosing the right backpack, hiking shoes and bikes for kids post for other suggestions.
- Sets kids up for success. Using the right size gear promotes a positive experience. Equipment that’s sized to fit kid’s abilities makes all the difference in the experience being positive or not. It’s kind of like using a plastic rain poncho versus a Gore-Tex rain jacket when you’re on a hike and a downpour happens. I know which one I’d prefer tucked in my backpack!
- Increases confidence. We know confidence increases as skills do, so don’t make equipment a detriment. Using equipment that’s too large (or too small) makes learning more difficult and forces kids to adjust their technique. (Believe me, those bad habits are going to cause headaches down the road when they need to be corrected.) Kids are not mini adults, and their gear needs to reflect their size so that they can continue to learn and thrive.
Where to find new and used kid-sized equipment
If your kiddo is like mine, he outgrows gear just about as fast as he gains another interest. We know with gear, following the “room to grow” approach is wrong. You don’t have to buy new equipment – although, personally, I always buy new when it comes to helmets. With a little research, you can find a bargain – like purchasing last year’s version of a bike, for example, without sacrificing quality. So, where can you find second-hand treasures?
Garage sales and local consignments are gold mines when it comes to buying seasonal items. If you’re looking to branch out, check out: Colorado-specific
Avid4 Adventure knows the importance of using kid-sized equipment
Did you know that all Avid4 Adventure camps use equipment specifically designed for kids? The caliber of equipment provided by our awesome partners is the highest quality and sized specifically for kid’s needs. We know kids want to have fun right from the start and not struggle with a paddle that’s too long or a bike where their legs can’t reach the pedals – and we want them to be active and outside for life!
Get some fantastic deals on gear at the Avid4 Adventure 2015 warehouse sale! Check out the page to find out dates, locations in both CO and CA, and offerings on equipment you won’t want to miss!
About the Author: Lynne Marsala Basche spent most of her career on the island of Manhattan at two New York publishing companies. A multi-year Avid4 Adventure mom and a new contributor to the Avid4 Adventure website, Lynne’s writing adventures also take her to championing volunteerism and regional recreation stories as a staff writer for the Castle Pines Connection newspaper, as well as supporting separate large corporate communications programs. By trying to keep pace with her mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding, lacrosse playing, unicycling, tae kwon do-loving 11-year old son, she, like most Avid4 parents, loves sharing the value of outdoor recreation and its positive influence on children’s health and confidence development. Lynne lives in Castle Pines, Colorado and regularly immerses herself in outdoor activities with her family where she also runs her freelance writing company, Blue Spruce Creative