Bicycles/ Bike Safety
We love to hop on our bikes and hit the trails for a family bike ride! Each spring I can hardly wait for the snow to melt so we can take our bicycles out again. Bikes are a great physical activities for kids and having a Bicycles Theme Day is the perfect way to either teach new riders the safety rules or refresh seasoned kids. May is National Bike Month but any sunny day is a great day to try this Theme Day.
Print out the Family Theme Day Planner and decide which activities you’d like to do and in what order.
Bicycling with your kids is a great way to exercise together, but families should be also aware of safety issues and this Theme Day is the perfect way to teach or review bike safety. The most important rule would have to be: wear a helmet! This is so vital as it can help prevent head injury by 85% and brain injury by 88% (Canadian Academy of Sports Medicine, 2000 – as found on http://www.together4health.ca). It is very important to review with your children traffic rules and ways to keep safe on a bike. Do not send your kids out to ride their bikes if you have not talked about bike safety!
For an excellent lesson plan, including handouts, on bicycle safety try this: http://www.together4health.ca/files/upload/bike_safety_teachers.pdf
For more safety worksheets try here: http://www.nhtsa.gov/people/injury/pedbimot/bike/BSKitBoth/3152BSKit/pages/Section1/Section1TOC.html
For a song about bikes try “Bicycle Built for Two” check here for lyrics: http://www.kididdles.com/lyrics/b041.html
You can find many free colouring pages online by using your favourite search engine and typing in “Bicycle Coloring Page” or print out my Decorate the Bicycle Coloring Page.
JOURNALING QUESTION PROMPT:
Write out one or more of the following questions in your Family Theme Day Scrapbook or on a piece of paper to glue in your scrapbook: What do you like best about riding your bicycle? Where would you like to go for a family bike ride this year? What do you know about bicycle safety? How can you be safe on your bike?
Choose the level of your child:
¨ Toddler – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and have your child draw a picture of the answer
¨ Preschooler/Kindergartener – discuss the answer(s) out loud first and write the answer down for him/her leaving one word for him/her to write out himself/herself with your help. You could also encourage him/her to draw a picture as well.
¨ Early Grade School – have your child either write out the answer himself/herself (encourage phonetic spelling) without your help, or offer to help with spelling each word out loud one word at a time.
¨ Grade School – have your child write a sentence or two on his/her own and then read over and discuss the response. (You decide whether to correct the spelling or not)
¨ Older Child – have your child write a longer response (paragraph).
¨ As a Challenge – instead of a question ask your older child to write a story or poem about riding a bike.
Print out a Bicycle Word Search:
Check here for the answer keys:
Raid your child’s bookshelves to find any books about bicycles or bike safety.
Go to the library with your child to find some books about bicycles or bike safety.
Go to the library on your own to find books on about bicycles or bike safety from both fiction and nonfiction to have already on hand for your theme day. Many libraries allow you to go online and search for titles based on subject (Search for “bikes” or “bicycles” under “Children’s Books”). Reserve them if you can to save time.
Here are some of Non-fiction titles about bicycles and bike safety:
· Bicycles Pedal Power, by Lynn Peppas, Crabtree Publishing Company, 2011 – A Bobby Kalman Book, this is an easy to read book about the parts of a bike and different types of bicycles .
· Bicycle Safety, by Lisa M. Herrington, Children’s Press, 2013 – A Rookie Read-About Safety Book, this is an easy reader with photographs and not a lot of text but it does give basic safety rules for new little bikers.
· Cyclist BikeList: The Book for Every Rider, by Laura Robinson and illustrated by Ramón K. Pérez, Tundra Books, 2010 – This is a great book for older kids as it has more text and detail and includes information like how a bike works, how to choose the right kind of bike, as well as safety and health.
· My First Bicycle Book: A Fun Guide to Bicycles and Cycling Activities for Children aged 7 Year +, by Susan Akass, Cico Kids, 2013 – This is a more thorough look at bicycles and includes such ideas as what type of bike to buy, how to adjust the saddle for safety, and a great helmet guide. I highly recommend this one!
· Pedal It! How Bicycles Have Changed the World, by Michelle Mulder, Orca Books Publishers, 2013 – This would be a great book for older kids as it highlights the history of bicycles and then shows how bicycles are used around the world.
· Safety on your Bicycle, by Lucia Raatma, Bridgestone Books, 1999 – Easy to read for beginner readers, this book offers basic safety pointers for kids.
For some picture books about bicycles try these titles:
· Adiós, Tricycle, by Susan Middleton Elya and illustrated by Elisabeth Schlossberg, G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 2009 – a little pig tries to hid his tricycle during a yard sale even though he’s outgrown it. This book includes Spanish words through and a glossary at the back.
· Along a Long Road, by Frank Viva, Harper Collins Publishers, 2011 – Bold illustrations with very easy to read text shows the fun of riding a bike. What makes the illustrations even neater is that they were created as a single, continuous, thirty-five foot long piece of art using Adobe Illustrator!
· The Bear’s Bicycle, by Warren McLeod and illustrated by David McPhail, Little Brown and Company, 1975, A little boy talks about all the proper ways to ride a bike all the while there are funny illustrations showing a big brown bear not following the rules.
· Everyone Can Learn to Ride a Bicycle, by Chris Raschka, Schwartz & Wade Books, 2013 – IN playful watercolours, this book shows a little girl learning how to ride a bike through perseverance.
· Red Racer, by Audrey Wood, Simon and Schuster Books, 1996 – Nona wants to get rid of her old junky bike so she can get the shiny red racer she saw in a store window, will she let the Wicket Thought (illustrated as a green monster) win?
· Ride Right: Bicycle Safety, by Jill L. Donahue and illustrated by Bob Masheris, Picture Window Books, 2009 – This easy to read book is a great introduction to basic bike safety. It follows Ajay receiving a new bike for his birthday and then highlights a safety rule.
· Sally Jean, the Bicycle Queen, by Cari Best and pictures by Christine Davenier, Melanie Kroupa Books, 2006 – Follow
ME AND MY HELMET CRAFT:
NOTE: Stress the importance of wearing a helmet by making a simple art project of a decorated helmet.
Materials: A copy of my Helmet Template, coloured paper, markers, child safe scissors.
Step 1: This craft can be done a number of ways. Have your child choose to either decorate the helmet as a colouring page or use it as a template to cut out and trace on paper.
Step 2: My Youngest coloured the helmet, cut it out and glued it to orange paper.
Step 3: My Eldest cut it out, traced it on blue paper and then glued it to green paper. He coloured in the strap black and cut out a strip of paper in a cream colour to decorate.
MOVING BICYCLE CRAFT:
NOTE: My Eldest son created this craft idea one Mother’s Day when he wanted to send his Grandmother in Australia a card with a bike on it since she loves riding her bicycle. He used clip art for the bike but you could draw your own for smaller kids or have your child draw his/her own.
Materials: Coloured paper, markers, glue stick, brad or paper fastener.
Step 1: Have your child draw a bicycle or use some free clipart as my Eldest son did. He printed it on the computer and then cut it out.
Step 2: Cut out a circle from craft paper and have your child decorate it all around with grass and flowers. Using markers
Step 3: Cut out a long strip/rectangle with coloured paper that is approximately the length of half of the circle (just over) and glue the bike picture to the end. The bike should peek over the grass.
Step 4: Poke a hole through the bottom of the rectangle and the middle of the circle (adult step) and another piece of colour paper (on in my son’s case a paper card) and then feed the brad/ fastener through all three holes. Turn the paper over and spread the wings on the brad/fastener so that it stays in place.
Step 5: When the bike or the grass is turned it should look like the bike is moving!
CORK STAMP BICYCLE ART:
Materials: A cork, black ink (or paint...we used an ink pad though), green and blue paper, markers.
Step 1: Cut out a hill from the green paper and have your child glue it to the blue paper.
Step 2: Have your child create a bike using the cork as a stamp to press on wheels. If you use paint you will have to wait for the paint to dry before proceeding to the next step.
Step 3: Have your child draw a bicycle onto the wheels and people on the bikes.
Step 4: Encourage your child to draw trees or buildings or other things one might see on a bike ride.
Materials: coloured ribbon (we used shiny ribbon left over from Christmas), child safe scissors, a ail (optional) and a screw.
Step 1: Let your child choose the colour of streamers. My son wanted all the colours.
Step 2: Cut out 18 pieces of ribbon approximately 13 1/2 inches long.
Step 3: (Adult step as this was a little tricky) Pinch the end of one ribbon and then add another and another until you are tightly holding 9 lengths of cut ribbon in one hand. Then carefully keep them together and tie a knot in one end.
Step 4: Do the same with the other set of 9 ribbons.
Step 5: Check your child’s bike handles...there may already be a hole in the end (there was in my son’s). If there is no hole carefully poke a nail through the plastic to create one.
Step 6: (Adult step...again a bit tricky) Carefully poke the knot of one set of ribbons through the hold in the handlebar until it fits through. Do this with the other and voila you have homemade streamers!
RECYCLED BIKE CRAFT:
Materials: whatever recycled materials you and your kids can find! My son used the lids to old Play Doh containers, drinking straws, a bit of pipe-cleaner, a cork and a piece of cardboard.
Step 1: Figure out how you will arrange the recycled materials to create the from of a bicycle.
Step 2: Glue the pieces to a piece of cardboard.
Step 3: Let it dry and then display!
Most of these snacks involve playing with your food to create food art! Enjoy!
Cracker and Pretzel Bike: For this snack give your child some round crackers of various sizes and pretzel sticks and twists and nuts or raisins and have them create a bike to eat!
Bike Shaped Sandwich: To make our Bike shapes sandwich we made tiny circle sandwiches (using a juice cup to cut out the circles form the bread and then placed them on our plates as wheels. We used cheese, pickles and olives to create the parts of the bike.
Bike Shaped Salad: Use any circular veggies your kids will eat (cucumber, tomatoes, large carrots) to create the wheels (or use apple slices for those kids that prefer fruit) and then encourage your kids to create the rest of the bike with other slices of veggies or fruit. We used cucumber slices, celery crescents, and carrot sticks.
Wheel shaped pasta would be an appropriate dinner for this Theme Day.
Bike Cupcakes: I always have a few frozen un-iced cupcakes in the freezer for Theme Day fun! For our Bike theme day we made quick icing by adding milk to powdered sugar and then added green food colouring to some in a separate bowl. Then we used mini Oreo cookies for the wheels and piped with black icing (bought at the store) for the details of the bike frame. For fun we added little star shaped candies for the centre of the bikes!
Print out my Bike Safety Brainstorm Worksheet and have a family Brainstorming session to write down how to be safe on your bike! Be sure to include things like obey traffic signs, ride single file, wear a helmet, yield to pedestrians, use a bell, ride in the daylight, use reflectors if you are going to ride at night, do not wear headphones , walk your bike across intersections, one person per bike, check your tires, check your brakes, etc.. It might help if you have a few books from the library about bicycle safety for your kids to flip through as well when you are doing this.
ARM SIGNALS CHART:
Print out my Hand Signals Worksheet and as a family help your child draw in the proper signal (this can vary depending on which country you are from...we have drawn in the correct signals for Canada).
HINT: You can give you child a bracelet or elastic to wear to help your child know which arm to use for the hand signals.
PLAY A GAME: We marched in one place pretending to ride a bike. When I said “pedal, pedal, pedal” we continued to march. When I said “turn right” we’d make the right hand signal and when I said “left” we’d make the left hand signal. I’d often say “Stop” as well so we’d have to signal to stop.
TRAFFIC SIGNS MATCHING:
THE IMPORTANCE OF HELMETS:
There was recently a serious bike accident in our community with a sixteen year old who ran through a red light on her bike and was not wearing a helmet that occurred when we had this Theme Day. It was a sad reminder of how important it is to review Bicycle Safety with your kids.
To stress the importance of wearing one’s helmet (parents, too!! Don’t forget to wear yours!) try this experiment out. It really shows how a helmet can protect your precious head and shows that even if you fall and are injured the damage will be much less if wearing a helmet!
Egg Drop Experiment:
Materials: two raw eggs, sharpie marker, two cotton balls, paper egg carton
Step 1: Get your kids to draw faces on the eggs. These eggs will represent a person’s head!
Step 2: Cut out two parts of an egg carton so that they are still attached together but can fold to form a basket of sorts. The helmet we will be making has a top and bottom (like two helmets) since an egg is only a head without a body. Your child may want to decorate the carton helmet with markers like my youngest did.
Step 3: put a piece of cotton in each part of the carton and then fit the egg snug within.
Step 5: Close the helmet up and then tape shut..
Step 6: Go outside, preferably near a sidewalk gutter where the egg remnants can be washed away. We worked together with my Eldest holding one egg without the helmet and my Youngest the other in the helmet. We counted to three and they were to drop them at the same time. As you can tell by the photo my Youngest forgot to drop the egg at the same time...but he did drop it soon afterwards.
Step 7: Now examine the eggs. The one without the helmet was completely smashed...now image that was your head. Yikes! The one in the helmet had a slight crack in it, which shows us that it would still hurt but our heads would still be okay.
HOW TO FIT A HELMET:
There is a correct way to wear a helmet so make sure you review this with your family. A helmet should not move more than 3 cm when you push on the front of it and the straps should fit snug under your chin with no gaps. The V-Shape of the strap should be just below your ears. The top of your helmet should sit in a horizontal position on your head, covering your forehead, and it should be level with your eyebrows. Always wear a helmet that is right for your age and size and NEVER wear one that has been in an accident or that is damaged (buy a new one).
Look here for a simple helmet fitting checklist: http://www.bhsi.org/checklist.htm
CHECK YOUR BIKE TOGETHER:
Print out my ABC Check Worksheet to review with your child how to check out his/her bike to make sure it is safe to ride.
Here’s what you and your child need to know:
A is for Air – Check the tires and wheels
B is for Brakes – Check to make sure the brakes work
C is for Chain – Check to see if the chain is tight and oily looking.
Check is for -- Final Check. Pick the bike up a few centimetres off the ground and then drop it. Listen for any unusual sounds and look to see if anything is loose.
For lots of bike info check here: http://bikesafety.caa.ca/cyclists/index.php
For bicycle safety tips try this site: http://www.bike-riding-guide.com/bicycle-safety-for-kids.html
For more bike safety check this site: http://www.safekids.org/bike
If you live near a playground that has an open area for riding bikes you can come up with all sorts of safe bicycling games. Don’t do these games on open roads or near cars. You could set up rocks or pylons and ride around them as an obstacle course. You could time your kids to see how quickly they can reach a certain spot, or if that seems too dangerous you could try the opposite and have a slow race…who can ride the slowest while keeping their balance.
Q: Why do bicycles fall down?
A: Because they are two tired.
Rhoda bike around the block.
Search through your child’s DVD/ video collection (or visit your local library before hand) to find your child’s favourite shows that may have bicycles in them.
For a family movie try this title:
The Bike Detectives
Go for a Family Bike Ride to a local park or on local trails.
If your vehicle has a bicycle rack take the family bikes to a different location and try some different trails.
Journaling about bicycling
Traveling Bicycle Craft
Bicycle Themed Food!
Bicycle Theme Day Printables
Review Bicycle Safety with your kids!
Helmet Safety Experiment: In progress
Bicycle Colouring Page
Simple Helmet Craft Two ways
Cork Stamp Bicycle Art
Journaling about bicycling
Recycled Bicycle Craft