Bikes are more than “just for riding”.
We love bikes at Playcentre, they build on our tamariki interests such as transporting, imaginary play and they develop their balance and coordination. It is wonderful to see this progress into their ability to manoeuvre the bikes, learning to ride around corners and ride on different surfaces. Some children can ride two wheeler bikes and they bring their bikes along with their helmets.
We have observed how playing with bikes helps to build relations with other tamariki as they learn about turn-taking, sharing and helping each other out. At our Playcentre we use different terrain for the tamariki to ride up and down the grass hill, sometimes we put crash mats for them to ride down the hill, along the concrete road (drawn with chalk) up the wooden ramp, turn the tight roundabout at the top and back down again.
Sometimes we add paint for them to ride through and make bike tracks on paper. Given our location within Fernlea Primary school, our tamariki ride their bikes and tow the wagons to the school office to pick up the Playcentre mail, this builds on their transporting interests and creates a familiarity with the “big kids” school. Our tamariki are so proud of themselves for being a big help, doing real jobs for their Playcentre. A real sense of pride!
Karen Sagaga, Wainuiomata Playcentre