Cycling and play organisations in Scotland have teamed up to create an exciting new book which tells the story of a little girl’s adventures on a cycle ride with her grandfather.
The Play Together on Pedals partnership hopes the inclusion of Out on Bikes with Grampy in the Bookbug Explorer bag gifted to nursery-age children by Scottish Book Trust will inspire children and families to cycle together, to experience the fun and health benefits of cycling.
The book will be launched on Tuesday 7 June at Crookston Early Years Centre in Glasgow by Clare Haughey MSP, Minister for Children and Young People. Children at the nursery will have the chance to hear all about what happens when a little girl and her grandfather go cycling to explore their local area and enjoy opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife along the way as well as seeing who can pedal faster – although she suspects that Grampy is cheating.
Play Together on Pedals is a partnership programme run by Cycling UK in Scotland, Play Scotland and Cycling Scotland, aimed at removing barriers to participation in physical activity.
The original Play on Pedals project began in 2014 and since then has taught thousands of children to balance or pedal their way to more cycling confidence.
The idea for the book came from the personal experience of Suzanne Forup of Cycling UK in Scotland, who said:
“When my son was little there didn’t seem to be anyone like us in his books, travelling by bike for their everyday journeys – in fact we saw more bears on bikes than children! It’s said that you need to ‘see it to be it’ and so we hope that more families with pre-school children will feel that travelling by bike can become part of their normal too.”
A competition to find an author and illustrator who could capture the sense of fun and adventure that children experience when cycling resulted in Out on Bikes with Grampy, written by Anna Jarvis from West Sussex and illustrated by Hannah Asen from East Lothian.
Suzanne said: “We’re delighted with the heart-warming story of a little girl going for a cycling adventure with her grandfather. It shows how you don’t need to go far to have fun if you use your imagination and engage with nature like Grampy does. We hope it will inspire lots of families to go cycling together to create their very own adventures.”
The story has already proved a hit with four-year-old Jaxon who attends Crookston Early Years Centre, who said: “It was great, I liked it when they went on the bikes. I have a bike and it’s a speedy bike and it’s number one!”
Clare Haughey, Minister for Children and Young People said:
“I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to read Out on Bikes with Grampy to the nursery children at Crookston Early Years Centre.
“Both reading and cycling have benefits for children: they support positive mental and physical health, relationships, attainment and importantly, they both provide a sense of fun.
“I’m delighted that Out on Bikes with Grampy is now provided in the Explorer Bookbug Bags so that all children aged three in Scotland can enjoy the story too.”