What Is The Balance Bike Project?
In September 2015 we received funding from Edinburgh City Council, to place two balance bikes in 40 nurseries in the most disadvantaged areas in Edinburgh.
We distributed brand new, sturdy and good quality balance bikes so that they could withstand many years of the kinds of rough play that 3, 4 and 5 year olds are good at. As well as the bikes each nursery received information on the balance bikes and the benefits are of using them during free play outdoors. We also made sure this information was accessible to children’s parents and carers to make sure they are aware of the project and its benefits.
We wanted to show kids how great it is to be outside, how much fun it can be to play on bikes and how easy it is to cycle a bike. We also wanted to spread our love for bikes to all kids in Edinburgh to help foster a lifelong love of bikes.
We know how important it is for kids to be physically active. It helps them to stay healthy and reduces obesity rates. Regular exercise also has a huge impact on their learning abilities, and helps focus and develop social skills. We believe that active and healthy kids will turn into healthy and active adults. Cycling is a skill for life after all!
But more than that – we also want to normalise cycling from an early age, by letting kids play on bikes and by treating bikes as part of everyday play and activity.
What Happened Next?
We distributed eighty bikes amongst forty nurseries in Edinburgh, and through the nurseries we monitored the impact the bikes had on the children.
After a very positive reception, and a successful monitoring, the Andrew Cyclist Charitable Trust kindly provided funding to supply balance bikes to a further 75 nurseries in Edinburgh. In total, it meant that at least 6900 kids in Edinburgh have everyday access to balance bikes at their nurseries, and we hope that these children grow up to become the cyclists of the future.
This is an example of one of the many successful projects we have run over the years. Keep an eye out for more!