CYCLING GAMES FOR CHILDREN29 July, 2014 0 comments
Cycling Games For Children
When I was a child, I would spend more or less every day of the summer holidays outside on my bike. I would spend hours seeing how many times I could 'go around the block,' or I'd head off with my sister on long bike rides, with sandwiches and a bottle of juice in our rucksack. This was the early nineties. Things have changed, but there's one thing hasn't - kids still love their bikes.
Going on bike rides might not be a realistic, everyday option, and 'going round the block' might get a bit boring. Plus, with it being the summer holidays, friends are often scattered here, there and everywhere. Having a list of games at the ready is a good plan. The games in this article can be played almost anywhere, from the driveway to the local park.
Stephanie D from Trails.com says bike games can improve your child's confidence and bicycle skills. In addition, games can be a great opportunity to remind your kids about good safety habits, such as wearing a bike helmet or using hand signals.
Cycling is a really excellent form of exercise for children. Beauty of Cycling say cycling works all parts of the body, since you have to balance yourself on the bike, while at the same time powering it. It's an excellent way of improving your posture and strengthening the back, arms and legs.
Steven Goodridge from I Am Traffic says cycling improves mental focus, emotional balance and stress levels. Cycling also teaches children to develop patience, discipline, self-reliance and personal responsibility.
Bike Obstacle Course
For this game, use pavement chalk to create a wavy lane on your driveway or at the local park. Make it three-foot wide and about fifty foot long. Just outside the chalk line, tape balloons to the ground. The aim of the game is for players to ride as quickly as they can along the lane without going outside of it and popping any of the balloons.
For this game, each child will need a camera. Give them half an hour to go off on their bikes and photograph ten different things. When they return, upload the photos onto a computer and judge which photo is the funniest, the most creative, the most artistic, the silliest, the wackiest, etc. Award prizes to the winners. Ensure that at least one photo from each child wins a prize.
Using the side of a piece of chalk, draw a line that is about three inches wide and 50 feet long. The aim is for your child to ride the tightrope, keeping both of their tires on top of the line. You can make this more difficult by placing an empty pot halfway down the line. Your child then has to drop a penny into the pot without coming off the 'tightrope.'
How Slow Can You Go?
Using chalk, draw a four-inch wide line across your driveway or footpath. Have some of the line straight, some curvy and come in a figure of eight. Using a timer, time the children to go as slow as they can without putting their foot down. If they put their foot down they have to start again. Use a chart to keep tab on how everyone does.
For this game, you'll need a 10 foot 2X6 or 2X8 wood flat. Lay the flat on a grassy surface. The objective of the game is for your child to get atop the board on their bike, slowly ride the length, then ride off the end. As it get easier, swap the flat for narrower pieces of wood, or add another board at the end to increase the distance.
This game involves leaning the bike over a bit, so be close to hand in case of any accidents. To start off with, place four or five cones in a straight line, about eight feet apart, and have your child weave in and out of them. As their skills improve, move the cones out of a straight line so that they're staggered and they have to turn more to get around each cone.
This game requires nothing but a grassy slope. It's all about practising going faster and breaking without skidding. A few skids can be allowed, as this adds more fun to the game, and also works to improve bike handling skills.
Flexibility is key if you want your child to have a good time playing bike games. David Fiedler from About.com says to remember that every cycling game can be modified to fit your setting, the age and ability of your child. Your child will have loads of fun, while at the same time learning lots about bike riding and honing their abilities in the process.
Cycling is always more fun when there's more than one involved. Mark Riedy from Bicycling.com says that it's a good idea to get the neighborhood parents and kids for a morning of fun riding at a local playground. Children tend to learn best when simply following the example of others their own size.
You can be creative with prizes. Give out things that will encourage the children to be active or creative, such as a jewellery making kit or a basket ball. though a little bit of chocolate wouldn't harm. Instead of a mini chocolate bar, maybe go for chocolate medallions that they can wear for a little bit before eating. Another good idea is to hand out accessories they can decorate their bike with, like handlebar streamers, bike bells, spoke reflectors in a funky shape or colourful spoke beads.
Many bike accidents involve a head injury, so always ensure your child's helmet is well fitted before letting them get on their bike. Ensure that the helmet:
- Is brightly coloured so that your child is visible to drivers as well as other cyclists
- Is well ventilated
- Fits correctly and is able to be adjusted
And remember, cycling children are healthy children.