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Bikes- Do They Have A Place In Pre-school?


scottiedog
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Hi All,

 

I visited another pre-school setting recently and they never have bikes out - the reason being - all the children do is bomb about on them. There are other things children can have outside that will benefit them better! I was quite shocked as this was from a setting that our Children's Centre Teacher suggested we visit. The reason being is that we should be looking at taking some ideas from them to better ourselves.

 

Surely having bikes available helps to develop gross motor skills, negotiating around obstacles and helping to use up all the energy that many children have, especially the boys, are some of the benefits to name but a few!!

 

What do all you good people think?

Scottiedog

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I ran several settings without bikes... never saw a need for them, always other things and activities to use/do which gave all the same or comparable benefits as bikes.. .

 

Last setting only had them because the school were looking for a new home for theirs and passed them on to us.. we did not have them out every day, or all the time..

 

Inge

 

edit to say - its not that we didn't have them out.. we didn't have them at all... I do think though 'because they charge about' is not a good reason not to have them out...

Edited by Inge
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Hi Scottiedog

what an interesting day you must havfe had. It's always good to go and visit other settings both to extend our own practice and confirm what we do also. Do remeber that what is right for one setting may not always fit alongside the philosophy and practice of another- so maybe that the bike (are they bikes or trikes you use?) issue is where you differ.

 

Personally I think that trikes and scooters are good in a setting as it helps to do not only what you are saying but also other valuable skills such as turn taking, sharing, confidence building etc.

However, I recently read some great articles regarding the use of 'scoot' bikes- small wooden vehicles with no pedals and no stabalizers- the intention of these is that the child learns co-ordination and sense of balance far quicker than if given a trike to learn on and they naturally go from using the scoot motion into riding a real bike without the need for stabilizers.

 

The Kate Greenway nursery in London use them and their website has some excellent information and background reading on the subject.

http://www.kategreenaway.ik.org/attachment...elcome_pack.pdf

 

I saw these bikes in Costco recently for around £35!

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Hi Scottiedog

what an interesting day you must havfe had. It's always good to go and visit other settings both to extend our own practice and confirm what we do also. Do remeber that what is right for one setting may not always fit alongside the philosophy and practice of another- so maybe that the bike (are they bikes or trikes you use?) issue is where you differ.

 

Personally I think that trikes and scooters are good in a setting as it helps to do not only what you are saying but also other valuable skills such as turn taking, sharing, confidence building etc.

However, I recently read some great articles regarding the use of 'scoot' bikes- small wooden vehicles with no pedals and no stabalizers- the intention of these is that the child learns co-ordination and sense of balance far quicker than if given a trike to learn on and they naturally go from using the scoot motion into riding a real bike without the need for stabilizers.

 

The Kate Greenway nursery in London use them and their website has some excellent information and background reading on the subject.

http://www.kategreenaway.ik.org/attachment...elcome_pack.pdf

 

I saw these bikes in Costco recently for around £35!

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We have never had bikes. Primarily because of lack of storage, but not sure I would want them now anyway and if I did I would choose the type with two wheels and no pedals. We, happily, operate in a reasonably affluent area and children use bikes at home, some come to pre-school on their scooters and I am happy for them to use those in our outside area if they wish. Ofsted inspectors fully aware of no bikes - never been an issue.

 

Last summer I had to ban prams/pushchairs outside because some of the children just could not understand that they were not for running up and down with and bashing other children with. They are back in use at the moment - but the time will come again I am sure when they must temporarily stay inside - strangely we have no problems of that nature inside!

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We gradually got rid of our bikes as they broke or got beyond repair for two reasons. Firstly, the bombing around that you describe was really disruptive to other children's play because in our outside area it was impossible for the bikes to be used without affecting other children. Second, we found that children were spending such a long time sitting down waiting for their favourite bike to be available whilst less popular bikes were sitting unused and unloved. It got to the stage where some children were spending about 95% of their time waiting for the 5% when they could ride their favourite bike.

 

I have to say neither we nor the children miss them - there are other ways of developing balance and gross motor skills, and the children have really engaged with all the open ended resources we have fitted into the space in our playhouse which the bikes previously took up.

 

There are a few other things to take into account though. Our group is in an area where children have gardens and bikes and space to ride them in, so are not deprived by our lack of bikes. In an ideal world I'd have a significantly larger outdoor area where we could have an area for bikes and trikes so that children wouldn't need to dodge the bike courier or pizza delivery man as s/he wheeled around the place!

 

Maz

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i think 'most' children have bikes of one kind or another at home these days :o - and there are other ways of improving motor skillls with out them :( - also lots of pre schools have storage issues :( - and children quabbling over the 'best one' -so no they are not needed! xD

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I'm with the majority on this one and I have to say it was so liberating chucking the bikes out last year (they were very well worn so couldn't really have been reused). We had observed that although they were used for gross motor skill development and they could help build turn taking skills (or sharing as the more articulate of you might out it!), we were spending more and more time supporting the sharing. Rather than getting better at sharing the children seemed to be needing more support and then on top of that those riding the bikes were dominating the outdoor area, and those waiting to use them were taking up the small space left. We had tried putting more or fewer bikes out on different occasions but it hadn't really helped. Additionally where the bikes were stored meant there was no way we could hide them and hope they would be forgotten about for a bit. Now our outdoor area is used in much more constructive ways and we feel more of the children are getting more out of it. BUT it does depend on your setting and should only be a decision you make because it fits your setting, not because someone else suggests you do it.

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I'm speaking in defence of the bike!!! xD

 

Each to their own of course, we have bikes or ride-ons we only use them occasionally the children really enjoy them and I'm sure benefit from the experience of 'riding together' - this is, in my humble opinion, quite different to playing on your bike/trike/scooter at home........

 

Yay for the bikes! :(:o:(

 

Quick edit to say - the Primary school that we feed use them too!!!

Edited by sunnyday
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I'm with you Sunnyday....yay for bikes... it is the only way I can get some children to participate in activities and they don't just charge around, they negotiate space, they exercise, they learn gross motor skills, they participate in role play activites on the bikes, they park in alloted spaces that they have 'mark maked' name spaces, they learn to take turns, in fact I can't see any area of learning that can't be provided for to promote learning opportunities when using the bikes, if they are always available it is like everything else the novelty of charging around soon wears off and more purposeful play can ensue.

 

 

 

May I just add we are very lucky to have the space to store and to ride them

:o

Edited by Guest
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We can't take our bikes outdoors, but we're in a big hall. They are out all day most days and we really don't have any issues, often the bikes/trikes are just left unused. However on the odd time when we've tried putting them out for just a short period.......it's like mayhem- every one wants certain ones etc.

I think you just have to go with what works for you. I like the sound of the two wheel thingys, off to look them up now!!

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Are we talking about triycles ? The children in the settings where I have worked love them, and ask for them on a daily basis. As I'm all for listening to children and their choices, they usually come out every day. at one stage or another. We also have 'vehicles' for three to ride on, so negotiation is needed. I'm all for dashing about if the 'dashers' are respecting other children's space and play...and my toes.

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Thanks for the interesting discussion, certainly food for thought. Many of the children attending our setting live in flats so love using the trikes and scooters. Like everthing, if used correctly have a place.

 

Have the same trouble with the prams and buggys as you Panders. They are a nightmare sometimes!

Edited by scottiedog
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I have always liked bikes for the children and they love them. They don't go on them everyday but they always ask for them if we are going on the playground. Our children even have to peddle up hill slightly (and down again - how they stop I don't know but they do). Granted we do have a large ish playground for children to ride around in but I feel children need this type of vigourous daily exercise, fabulous for gross motor development and treading down those pathways in the brain.

 

I remember one Mum saying that although they have bikes at home they don't have the large safe concrete area to develop their skills on. One little boy learnt to ride a bike at my last setting.

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I must say that we like trikes, scooters, cars and tandems at our pre-school too. Pushchairs, shopping trollies and wheelbarrows are use to cart around dolls of course but also leaves, stones and bricks. Heaven on a plate for our transporters (schema).

 

We have a small petrol station with lots of hoses where children come to fill up their tanks, pay their money and go off again.

 

I find often that after the mad rush to get a vehicle and riding it to death a lot of children will then calm down........enough to engage in imaginative play, superheroes, going on holiday and that sort of thing. We have a set of traffic lights and a zebra crossing which the children set up and take turns using.

 

We wouldn't have them out every week but I do think that they, like most resources, have a place in pre-school

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I think it depends so much on the setting and the type of outside space you have. We used to have trikes and other ride-ons but found the same problem as Maz in that children would wait ages for the one or two most poplular bikes. Plus our outside space is small and bikes were causing saftey concerns. If you're lucky enough to have lots of space and storage and you are able to offer bikes/trikes/scooters etc. then I'm sure they have lots of plusses. But we manage fine without!

Beehive

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I think its important to question WHEN they are used.

 

We dont have ours out when the outdoor area is used as a classroom.

 

HOWEVER

 

They do come out at break time when it is a playground.

 

The bikes are numbered and we painted a bay for each bike to be put back into (match numbers maths)

 

also the bike has a timer on (from pound shop) children activiate they have 3 mins and then replace bike in correct bay for another child to use.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yea for wheeled vehicles in Pre-school or at least outside. We are lucky enough to have a paved area and a garden so are able to get outside pretty much everyday even during the colder months.

 

We have' little tikes' cars, scooters and trikes. I agree that they are great for gross motor skills and also turn taking and sharing. We have a three minute timer that we use and the children soon learn to ask to hold it to wait for their turn (sometimes they forget the vehicle and just want to watch the timer).

 

Rachel

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I just wanted to add our outside area is a classroom as well......an extension of indoors but I wouldn't want to state certain 'times' when the bikes could come out....it is the children's choice at our setting, the shed is open and if the bikes start to come out (self accesed) and there is already a lot going on in the area then we so the same as inside, we have a discussion about who wants what, how much room we have, how are we going to deal with it?

The children have started to make a barrier made of pretend bricks and hoops when it is busy outside and THEY decide where the bikes can go too, they also use cones - great to watch.

Once again I have to say we are lucky and as others have stated it does depend on what space you have...when I worked in a village hall setting with no outside area, the bikes used to come out a playtime...I didn't like it and trialled bringing a few out for the whole session, with barriers - amazing how the novely of running for one particular bike once they all came out later in the session at the 'playtime' or children sat waiting for a bike dissappeared, and also how it settled some 'cryers' being able to access a bike first thing, also allowed some more active children to let off steam and enable their concentration later in the session......novely wore off slightly... :o

Edited by Guest
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  • 4 weeks later...

Hey there!!

 

We were inspected last summer and the Ofsted inspector was amazed at how many children could ride 2 wheelers as we encouraged risk taking ( of course our children wear helmets and are told they will fall off). Our children love to ride around so much we have sand timers as there are not enough bikes - so our children know how to wait patiently for their turn, and everything is fair. (The OI liked this too!!)

 

Thanks

 

Nat74

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