Scooters, bikes, roller/in-line skates or even shoes with wheels in the heels, these seem to be the things that make it on to a list of children’s gift lists year in, year out. Any toy that gets kids off their screens and mobile phones and out in the fresh air playing and having fun must be the perfect gift. When I was growing up, having a bike or scooter would see us outside for hours, generally only coming in for mealtimes.
But things move on, technology advances and things change. While bikes haven’t changed that much over the years (or at least on first glance – they do now have a ton of gears, lighter and faster frames, quick release wheels etc.), scooters have. I remember scooters being basically a short plank of wood with two wheels and a handle, not even a brake! These days scooters come in many guises, including stunt scooters, commuter scooters, foldable scooters, scooters for toddlers, trampoline scooters, dirt scooters (including a BMX scooter that really looks funky), electric scooters, snow scooters (yes they are a real thing) and carving scooters. Skates.co.uk offer a wide range of scooters (including the ones I have mentioned above, and you can find them here) and they kindly sent us a scooter from their carving scooters range to try out; a totally different kind of scooter – a sit down, ride-on scooter for kids. We received the JD Bug Kidz Swayer.
If like me you didn’t realise there were that many different types of scooters and are wondering what a carving scooter is, Skates.co.uk describe carving scooters “as an amazing alternative to your average kids’ scooter. With three or four wheels to propel you forward, you can sway from side to side to ride”.
The JD Bug Kidz Swayer is a carving scooter that has four wheels, a seat and leaves you sitting only 12cm from the ground, giving the rider a low centre of gravity and a completely different and unique scooter experience. It is suitable for children 3 to 12 years old with a maximum rider weight of 50kgs (110lbs / 8 stones).
The JD Bug Kidz Swayer features:
- 4 Perfectly positioned, smooth rolling wheels
- Deep moulded, high quality plastic seat
- Durable iron frame, handlebars and foot rest
- Frame adjusts and grows with your child
- Provides a balanced and stable base for hours of fun
- Suitable for use both indoors and outdoors
- Available in Red/White or Pink/White
There is some assembly needed before use, but it is quite quick and simple and the tools and instructions are included in the box. In the box is:
- Rotate Caster
- Handlebar with grips
- Sticker Sheet
- Allen Key
- Instructions Manual
Assembly is quick and easy following the easy-to-read instructions and using the Allen Key provided. The Swayer has three different positions to shorten or extend the length of the frame so that is adjustable and can be set for different heights (it is best to start with the shortest and work your way up to find the best and most comfortable position for your child).
Once assembled you (or your child) can decorate it with the sticker sheet (or not).
The seat is a very high-quality and strong deep moulded plastic seat, securely attached to an iron frame. The frame can easily be adjusted a couple of notches so that it grows with the child, extending the usability of the Swayer which should give you several years use from it. The PU wheels are strong and durable and can easily be replaced when wear and tear starts to show or there is any damage.
Before using there is some safety advice to be aware of and follow: continuous adult supervision is required, never use near cars or other vehicles, do not use near roads / streets / swimming pools / stairs / hills or sloped driveways, do not use barefoot or wearing sandals, keep shoelaces out of the way of the wheels, and wear protection equipment such as a helmet, knee and elbow pads.
Riding the Swayer does take a bit of getting used to. To ride, you sit on the seat (strong and durable moulded plastic seat), put your feet in front of you on the handlebars, hold on to the handlebar grips and then “swing” the handlebar left / right to get moving. It does take some practice, especially trying not to put your feet on the ground and run along like you are driving a Fred Flintstone car, you need to sway from side to side. Once you get the hang of the swaying movement of the handlebars it really is easy to manoeuvre and because the rider is sitting only 12cm off the ground the lower centre of gravity makes it a very stable ride. The Swayer can be used indoors (if you have the room and smooth floors, it doesn’t work on carpets) or outdoors (make sure that you follow the safety guidance).
Overall, the kids have loved the JD Bug Kidz Swayer. It makes a different and unique gift over the run of the mill scooters and bikes, especially with Christmas coming up. The kids loved sitting down and riding along (on a flat surface it doesn’t go so fast that you can’t walk along with them), just don’t use it on a slope or down a hill as it will pick up speed and the only way to stop is to plant your feet on the ground as the Swayer isn’t equipped with a brake.
From our point of view, it was very simple to assemble and only took a couple of minutes to put together and make sure that it was secure before using. It seems extremely strong and durable and should stand up to a child’s use. The easy extendable adjustment that can be made to ensure that it is the right size for your child is excellent. We would recommend using a safety helmet just in case. We found it best to use in big open spaces rather than going up and down on the pavement. Personally, I wouldn’t let the kids ride this in the house (unless you have lots of space of course) and when outdoors make sure there are no cars, parked or otherwise, as it would be so easy to scratch one or scoot into their path, and with being down so low visibility might be impeded.
I can’t say for sure how good and fun the JD Bug Kidz Swayer is to ride as unfortunately I’m too big and heavy to have a go, but I can tell you that the kids both say that they love it, and it is lots of fun to ride (the smiles on their face support this) and both give it a massive thumbs up.
This sit-down ride-on scooter is perfect for helping kids to develop motor skills, balance and coordination. Used correctly and safely this is an excellent alternative to a scooter and will see the kids having hours and hours of fun.
For more information or to buy, visit www.skates.co.uk.