When we started the Axel Project almost two years ago we were just rolling with it. We wanted to see kids happy, healthy and enjoying bike riding. As we’ve gotten out to many events and interacted with thousands of children and their families we started to come up with the idea of bringing bike into the schools. With our target market (2-5 yrs old) the bikes are small to transport and store and kids are at a critical age to either embrace physical activity and a love for learning or get swept into other things like video games and completing worksheets that do little to encourage and instill the love of learning or physical activity.
What we’ve come up with is RideTime. We introduced it to our local school in late December and have schools lined up for the Spring in Colorado. Take a look at what we’re doing below, then share with your local teachers and schools so we can get RideTime moving!
What is RideTime?
RideTime provides bicycles, helmets, and educational materials to schools so they can introduce children to STEM concepts (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) by using bicycles and physical play in their Pre-K and Kindergarten curriculum. RideTime is incorporated into the child’s day just like story time, lunch time, and nap time.
Studies have shown that play in the early years enhances developmental, emotional, and social growth. With RideTime kids have an opportunity to ride bikes and do hands-on learning activities. RideTime is both fun and meaningful.
According to Lets Move! thirty years ago, most children led lives that kept them at a healthy weight. Kids walked to and from school every day, ran around at recess, participated in gym class, and played for hours after school before dinner. Today, children experience a very different lifestyle. Walks to and from school have been replaced by car and bus rides. Gym class and after-school sports have been cut; afternoons are now spent with TV, video games, and the internet.
It’s important that children have access to the experiences and tools that help them stay active and enjoy learning as they enter elementary school and beyond. We believe bikes are a simple, fun and practical learning tool to staying active and healthy and we believe that introducing them to bikes at an early age helps create lifelong healthy habits.
Learning and instilling these basic skills early will get them riding on two wheels—with their friends, their family and forever.
What will Axel Project Donate?
Bicycles, helmets, safety materials, 6 lessons (Developed by Strider Bikes), copies of Zoom! children’s book
Sample RideTime Day
Axel Project delivers the materials above and spends a day with teachers/students.
Safety Activity with Flash Cards: Skills: Helmet safety, bike safety, riding safety (10 min)
Engineering Introduction: Bike Building Kids build felt PB&J sandwiches/Adult builds bike. Skills: Following directions, figuring out why order is important, thinking about reasoning, recognizing the importance of tools (30 min)
Bike Riding Fun: Follow the Leader and more! Skills: Starting and stopping, bike handling, confidence, teamwork (30 min+)
Wrap- Up: Free play riding time, Zoom! book reading (10 min)
Axel Project leaves each school with instructions and materials to complete additional lessons.
Lesson 2: Protect your melon! Technology: Shock absorption
Lesson 3: Our bikes in motion! Science: Experimenting with friction
Lesson 4: Are we there yet? Math: Estimating and measuring distance
Lesson 5: Ramp it up! Simple physics: Speed and acceleration
Lesson 6: Art: Fine motor skills