While visiting a private kindergarten, we kindly asked the kids if they could draw or paint any memories influenced by cycling. The result was surprising. The kids created fanciful universes where people, alongside animals and supernatural beings, share the joy of commuting on two or even more wheels.
Do your kids cycle? Cycling benefits anyone including the youngest riders as it improves both their physical fitness and body balance. It’s also good for their lungs and heart and there are even studies proving that cycling increases brainpower because of the amped-up blood flow to the brain. Despite the facts telling us how favourable cycling is for kids’ upbringing, the majority of us is perhaps missing the most important fact: did anyone ask the kids how they perceive cycling? What kind of cycling experiences do they value over others?
To find out, we paid a visit to a private Prague kindergarten for kids ranging from 2 to 7 years, open since 2008. The Seminarium – as the institution is called – offers kids a wide range of activities. In a cosy environment, they spend days with physical exercises, dancing, drawing or doing creative arts. The kids learn to get to know their own body by playing a variety of games, practising yoga and performing acrobatics. During musical lessons, they focus on rhythm, speech-language therapy, breathing exercises. Even though cycling is not included in the schedule, Seminarium’s owner Ms Agnes Miksch agreed to arrange a class where approximately fifteen kids were asked to express memories they’ve recollected about their cycling history.
After a brief hesitation, the children became excited and most of them put incredible creativity into their effort. Some of the results were not only beautiful but also surprising. While some kids depicted their recent family cycling trip to the mountains, possibly a little more open-minded Karolínka created an abstract painting where the bike was hard to distinguish but was nevertheless called “A magic gate and a sailing ship of the cycling wizard.”
Should we make a summary of the entire event, we’ve been amazed by the children’s imagination and their power of visualisation. It seemed to us that the kids perceived cycling both emotionally and positively. In their memories, cycling was shared with other family members or even pets and imaginary characters. Thanks to this experience, we believe that once the kids grow up, they will still be cycling fans as expressed in their amazing artworks.