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Balance Bike Project

About the project

The Balance Bike Project is all about the balance bikes which we’d love to provide to all nurseries in the City of Edinburgh.

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.

Our project started in September 2015 thanks to the generosity of many people and funding from Edinburgh City Council. As a part of the first phase of the project we bought 80 balance bikes and introduced them to 40 nurseries in the most disadvantaged areas in Edinburgh.

Now we want to introduce even more balance bikes to nurseries. Andrew Cyclist Charitable Trust has kindly provided funding to supply balance bikes to another 75 nurseries in Edinburgh.In total, it means that at least 6900 kids in Edinburgh will have everyday access to balance bikes at their nurseries.

We would like to extend the project and raise even more money to supply balance bikes to all Edinburgh's nurseries, making sure that all kids regardless of their background have a chance to play on bikes.

The bikes which we provide to nurseries are brand new, and sturdy and good quality, so they will last many years. As a part of the project 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.

 

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Our vision

We’d like to provide balance bikes to all nurseries in Edinburgh.

We know how important it is for kids to be active. It helps them to stay healthy, reducing obesity rates.  But not only that - being active also has a great impact on their learning abilities, and helps focus and develop social skills.

We also want to normalise cycling from very early days by letting kids play on bikes and treat bikes as part of everyday play and activity.

We believe that active and healthy kids will turn into healthy and active adults - cycling is a skill for life!

Social aims

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, and 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 positive 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

  • Kids can spend hours playing on 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 more enjoyable than going from a stabiliser supported bike to a pedal bike as stabilisers don’t allow children to gain important balancing 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 outdoors children start to build many of the 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 experiences for children to make sure they will become active adults and happy, confident cyclists.

  • Children need to be active, and to move and play freely at an early age to minimise sensory, motor and cognitive issues in later childhood.

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Why fund our project?

We believe that our project will have a long lasting positive impact on children’s lives.

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.

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 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, which will help them to stay healthy and reduces obesity rates.

Being active may also have a positive impact on childrens learning abilities, help focus and develop their social skills.

We believe that active and healthy kids turn into healthy and active adults.

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.

 

How can you help?

  • Support our crowdfunding campaign  http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/balance-bike-project-2

  • Spread the word, by telling your family, friends, and colleagues about our project: they might be able to help us as well.

  • Like us on Facebook and follow us on twitter. Share our posts and retweet our tweets.

  • Show your friends our website, or send them a link to this page - it might help us to find more supporters.

  • If you are working with a group of bike enthustiasts or people who want to support a good cause why not organise a bucket collection at your work place or any different fun day to support our project...we can provide some promotional materials and information.

Please keep spreading the word by directing people to this page, and the Facebook and Twitter pages!