We’ve had an exciting meeting with members of the North Lanarkshire Early Years team and local nursery play staff from Shotts Nursery Centre this week. Together with one of Cycling Scotland’s well experienced cycle trainers Drew, they are supporting us in the development of a resource pack specifically tailored to suit early years trainers. This resource will support our new trainers across Glasgow to feel confident in working with small children and to use appropriate language to explain their activities; it will also ensure that children learn the most appropriate elements of starting to ride a bike. These elements include a bike safety check, a warm up, learning to balance on a bike, how to get moving and how to stop safety.
The Shotts nursery staff have been out and about in their local playgrounds learning how to train children to use balance bikes and shared lots of opinions about what worked and what didn’t, as well as suggestions for specific methods to engage this age group. For example, we could set children a mission to reach the castle at the end of the playground, having to secure their armour and check their steed was safe to ride before starting out on their adventures. Rather than cycling round cones, children would cycle round steep mountains and if they wobbled off the blue line they would risk falling into the big blue sea below. Great imaginative ideas to encourage children to play on pedals!
Our meeting demonstrated the benefit of information and skills sharing across different organisations in Scotland – we have learnt a great deal from the team in North Lanarkshire and will be using their advice to adapt our resources over the coming weeks. We already have lots of interested groups raring to go and are very excited to start training our trainers. It’s thanks to the support of the players of the People’s Postcode Lottery that we have the chance to develop this project and change the early years cycling opportunities in Glasgow!