The Balance Bike Project is all about the balance bikes which we’d love to provide to all local authority nurseries in the City of Edinburgh.
About the project
We'd like to provide balance bikes to all local nurseries in Edinburgh.
Having balance bikes available to children attending nurseries will increase opportunities for Edinburgh's children and families. More people making more journeys by bike as a means of transport will help make cycling safer, more normal and more popular.
In the long term thanks to providing balance bikes to the nurseries we will make a real difference to children and their family's life, have a good impact on local communities and also make lots of children smile.
We aim to place at least 2 balance bikes in each nursery. It doesn't seem a lot but 2 bikes means that at least 60 kids will benefit from the bikes in each nursery, every term.
At the moment we're running the project to introduce balance bikes to nurseries. Edinburgh Council has kindly provided initial funding for us to supply 2 balance bikes to 25 nurseries in the most disadvantaged areas. We would like to extend this project and raise enough money to supply balance bikes to all Edinburgh's nurseries, or at least for as many as we can manage to raise money for.
We will start first with the most deprived areas, continuing on from our existing project, making sure that all kids regardless of their background have a chance to play on bikes.
We know how important it is for kids to be active. It helps them to stay healthy and reduces obesity rates. Being active also has a great impact on learning abilities, helps focus and develops their social skills.
We also want to normalise cycling from very early on, by letting kids play on bikes and by treating bikes as part of everyday life.
We believe that active and healthy kids turn into healthy and active adults - cycling is a skill for life!
We live in times where we face a big problem of physical inactivity. Many people live sedentary lives, spending most of their time sitting inside their workplaces and homes, driving from place to place. As a result we move less than ever. As we already know this doesn't have the best impact on our physical and mental health.
It's not a great example to set to children. That's why we want to change it. We want 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'd love to spread our love for bikes to all kids in Edinburgh, and maybe even the whole of Scotland, to help foster a lifelong love of bikes.
Why balance bikes?
There are lots of positives about the balance bikes and here you can find some of them... (surely you can add more good things to the list)
- It's fun
- Children can spend hours playing on the bikes and not get bored
- Balance bikes are a great introduction to cycling. The transition from balance bike to pedal bike is much easier and enjoyable than going from stabiliser supported bike to a pedal bike as stabilisers don't allow children to gain important balance skills
- Scooting and steering a balance bike develop balance and help children learn key body coordination skills
- Using a bike can give children the sense of achievement and independence which can boost their confidence
- Balancing a bike is fairly easy for young children, so it's a skill they can learn from a young age
- Children don't need much encouragement to play on the bike: they just need easy access to the bike and as much opportunities to play as freely as possible
- Through active free play outdoor children start to build many life skills such as sharing, problem solving, planning, etc. Let them play and they will learn
- Children on balance bikes learn how to balance but also how to push, tilt, tip and coordinate. Playing on the bike also helps children develop their strength and flexibility and helps improve their resilience
- Active and healthy kids will turn into healthy and active adults and cyclists. Cycling is a skill for life!
- The first 10 years of life provide a critical window for creating a lifelong commitment to physical activity. This is our chance to create early positive experience for children to make sure they will become active and happy, confident cyclists
- Children need to be active, and move and play freely at an early age to minimise sensory, motor and cognitive issues in later childhood.
Why fund our project?
We believe that our project will have a long lasting positive impact on children's lives.
We believe that offering bikes to the nurseries will help many kids to learn how to cycle a bike and get into the habit of being active and spending time outdoors.
The bikes which we will be providing to nurseries are brand new, and sturdy and good quality, so they will last many years. We will also provide a repair service to keep them safe and in a good shape for a long time. Each nursery will also receive a pump to avoid flat tyres and prevent bikes being left in the back of the shed because of this minor problem.
Each nursery will also receive information on the balance bikes and what the benefits are of using them during free play outdoors. This information will be also accessible to children's parents and carers to make sure they are aware of the project and its benefits.
We will also monitor and analyse the whole project to make sure we know the outcomes and whether we can implement any improvements and help the nurseries' staff and parents.
About the Bike Station
We're a recycling charity which provides a range of services to promote cycling and sustainable transport within the community. We work with voluntary organisations, local communities, schools and youth groups providing everything from cycle training, guided rides, fleets of bicycles, training sessions and events.
We're also Scotland's largest bicycle recycling organisation. We recycle and refurbish bicycles, giving them a second life and at the same time providing affordable bikes to local people who might not otherwise have been able to afford a new bike.
All our work and activities are focused on promoting cycling and encouraging people to ride their bikes safely. Whatever we do, we don't do it for our profit.
How can you help?
- Support our crowdfunding campaign
- Spread the word, by telling your families, friends and colleagues about our project you can help us to find more supporters
- Like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter. Share our posts and retweet us
- Show your friends our website, or send them a link to this page - they might be able to help as well
We want to use your kind donation to invest as much money as possible into providing balance bikes to the nurseries in Edinburgh. Therefore we don't want to spend your money on marketing materials - just on the bikes - so our rewards aren't fancy. We simply hope that by donating to the Balance Bikes project you'll feel good by doing good.