But I have less than fond memories about scooters from my childhood: I never owned one because I never wanted one. The few times up and down the sidewalk in front of our homes on my neighbor’s pink scooter were good enough for me. It always went for the ankles, and it never showed mercy. While admitting this to a coworker, she chuckled and said, “Oh, you were one of those kids.” Yes, yes, I was.
But this is 9 year old me talking here. I saw many people of all ages doing cool things on them and even riding them for more than half a block. The mechanism that seemed to only want to chop my feet off was used by more balanced people to do tricks and look like a professional scooter-er. I was pretty jealous.
But flash forward several years, and I’ve discovered a whole new way to scoot, with Mini Kick and Maxi Kick scooters from Micro* (formerly known as Kickboard USA)! Before I started at Magic Beans, I didn’t know there were any scooters other than Razors and those awful all-plastic ones with some kind of princess on them (I tripped over my niece’s approximately one thousand times before she grew out of it). But on my second day at the store, someone showed me my first Micro. To call these the Holy Grail of scooters may be a bit much, but uncoordinated 9 year old me rejoiced. And maybe 22 year old me did too.
Micro scooters have three wheels, and kids can start using them at an impressively young age – the Micro Mini 3-in-1 scooter comes with a seat attachment that lets kids as young as age 1 start riding. As their balance improves, you can switch to a ring-shaped handlebar without the seat, and then a regular T-bar handle, letting your child use it up to age 5! There are not many toys out there that you can give a 1 year old that will last you even close to that long.
Because they have three wheels, it is much easier to balance on a Micro scooter. To steer, you do not turn the handle, but simply lean the handlebar in the direction that you want to turn. Granted, this makes for wide turns and prohibits doing impressive scooter tricks, but your ankles are safe (and what three-year-old should be doing fancy scooter tricks, anyway?).
I see kids on scooters here in Boston and the Brookline area way more than I ever did in suburban Indiana, where I grew up. But I believe this is because out there, scooters were almost solely used for doing tricks, not for transportation. I see more kids using scooters in the city to get from point A to point B than anything else, as well as up and down their own street in an attempt to fight off that summer boredom. Which makes me believe that the Micro scooters are more comfortable to do this with. The flexible body of the scooter means you do not feel every nook and cranny in the sidewalk, another hazard of cheaper plastic and metal scooters.
It is a much smoother ride. And the way it turns means it is less likely that you will crash in front of a bunch of strangers when you are out in the city with your family, which, incidentally was my #1 fear as a 9 year old.
If your child is a bit older, a whole lot cooler than I was, and is capable of 360s, kick flips, and other wacky stunts, then there are Razor scooters out there that can do it. But for simple, safe, sidewalk surfing for little guys and gals? Micro scooters are easy to balance on, easy to control, and they grow with your family – and, that’s right, Mom and Dad, you can get a Micro that’s big enough for you, too! So the whole family can ride on three-wheeled scooters forever.
* Confused by all these names? This is why if you ask a Magic Beans sales associate for a scooter, our first response will always be “How old is the child?” Because trying to figure out what age a Micro / Maxi / Mini / etc. scooter is naturally going to be confusing, and we want to make sure you don’t leave the store with the wrong size. It happens a lot, so make sure you doublecheck with us when you buy one! We’d hate for you to surprise a favorite nephew on his birthday with an awesome scooter that it turns out he won’t be tall enough to ride for another two years.