Wednesday, April 4, 2012

German Design

There are many fun advantages to living in Germany.  One of them is being able to benefit from German design - so many things are simply taken to a whole new level of efficiency (like egg timers and flour mills).

Our family is particularly enjoying the balance bike (Laufrad).

The orignal design was by Karl Drais in 1817, who designed a bicycle without pedals (for adults).  In 1997, a German designer Ralf Mertens re-designed the "Draisine" to be child-sized.


We see these bikes quite frequently being used by children 2-5 years old.  They are so fun and practical!  And we frequently hear that using a balance bike helps children be able to more quickly transfer to a regular bike, since they already know how to maintain balance. 

The balance bike is definitely one of my favorite kid play equipment so far.  The kids are getting very fast on them (which is kind of nice - it gets me running again). I'm just seeing that very soon I'm going to need to re-learn how to ride a bike (something I've done about 15 times in my life).  Do you see balance bikes in your neighborhood?  Do you have any favorite children's equipment from your childhood or that your kids currently use?

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