William has one of those Little Tikes 4-in-1 convertible tricycles that the parent pushes, and then the child eventually graduates to pedalling. He really likes it and I think he feels like the other kids instead of being trapped in the stroller. Being small and having coordination issues, William has trouble keeping his feet on the pedals. He wants the independence of pedalling, but can’t quite manage it.
His physiotherapist suggested a foot plate and straps to keep his feet on the pedal, and provide a little more support under his feet. She had never seen foot plates tiny enough for his size 5 feet, so after some creative thinking, this is what I came up with.
I got the 3″ x 6″ x 1″ thick blocks of wood and 5/8″ sew-on Velcro at Michaels, and the plastic rings at my local quilt store. I had some adhesive Velcro in my stash, but I have learned from experience not to try and sew through it… Take my word for it and just don’t do it. I made 1″ wide straps out of some bicycle print quilting cotton, which I think is super cute.
I had my husband drill four holes in each wooden block to zip tie it to the tricycle pedals, and added some grip tape he had on hand for traction. I used a staple gun and 5/8″ staples to securely attach the straps to the wooden block.
After the initial trial, where I had only the over-the-foot strap, it was quickly evident that William needed something to keep his foot from slipping back off of the blocks. We brainstormed a few solutions, but decided that another strap would work the best and would be adjustable. I sewed up two more strap pairs and stapled them in place.
Another modification we made to the trike several weeks ago was the addition of a piece of Dycem non-slip material on the seat. William would “scooch” forward, curling his bum underneath him, so the Dycem provides some grip for his bum to stay put. We just duct taped it around the sides of the seat and it works very well.
With little feet securely attached to the pedals, we took the tricycle for a spin this morning, and the modifications worked perfectly! William was smiling and his little legs were going. Hopefully this will lessen the pedalling learning curve and our little man will be that much more independent.