The Danish Cyclists’ Federation launches new campaign for kindergartens

| June 5, 2013

In May 2013, the Danish Cyclists’ Federation launched its new campaign, ”We can bike!” The campaign is based on the concept of “Cycling Games” and brings the bike into Danish kindergartens.

By Mai-Britt Aagaard Kristensen, Danish Cyclists’ Federation

Losing the training wheels
Do you remember the time when you learned to bike yourself? The rush when you were suddenly wheeling away without help or support? This is the feeling the Danish Cyclists’ Federation wants to give all children in Denmark. And this is where Cycling Games come into the picture, because learning to bike should be fun!

‘We have a unique bicycle culture in Denmark, and the children are really the foundation of it. With modern balance bikes, children as young as two can learn to bike. The earlier they start, the more secure they will become on a bike. And good experiences with cycling as a child makes you want to bike as an adult as well,’ says Trine Juncher Jørgensen, Head of Projects at the Danish Cyclists’ Federation.

Cycling games – more than mere play
But what is this Cycling Games concept really about? Cycling games are well-known children’s games like ‘follow the leader’, which have been transformed to work on bikes. During the games, the child learns to keep their balance, estimate distance and speed, trains their sense of space and direction, and practices all sorts of manoeuvres (start, stop, turn, etc.) on the bike. When all this is in place, the child can better focus on traffic rules, traffic lights, and other road users when they start practicing cycling in traffic with their parents later on. Cycling games makes cycling safe.

We can bike!
The campaign runs for the entire month of May and is constructed around a weekly play day where the children play a new cycling game that trains new cycling skills. Twenty-five kindergartens in the greater Copenhagen areas participated in the pilot campaign. In the middle of April, the kindergarten teachers joined a kick-off event where they tried to play the cycling games themselves and also saw children playing cycling games.

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Kindergarten teachers played cycling games with the experienced cycling children from the kindergarten Hylet at the campaign kick-off.

But cycling games do much more than teach children to bike. ‘Cycling games increase the children’s self-worth and self-confidence. It strengthens the child’s entire development: physically, psychologically, cognitively, and socially. It fits like a glove with the six learning themes in kindergarten,’ says Erik Nielsen, leader of the Kindergarten Hylet, who helped develop this year’s campaign.

The “We can bike!” campaign is funded by Østifterne.

Read more about Cycling Games in the pamphlet 6 Cycling Games
Read more about the Danish Cyclists’ Federation’s activities at cyklistforbundet.dk.

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Category: Children, Newsletter 11

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  1. Newsletter 11.June 2013 : Cycling Embassy of Denmark | July 29, 2013