Pre-school children in Scotland to get thrill of cycling with new book: Out on Bikes with Grampy

Scottish Minister for Children and Young People Clare Haughey reads a book about cycling to nursery children
Scottish Government Minister for Children and Young People Clare Haughey reads Out on Bikes with Grampy to children at Crookston Early Years Centre in Glasgow
  • Book from organisations behind free cycling sessions for children in Glasgow gifted to all three-year-olds at nurseries across Scotland
  • Minister for Children and Young People Clare Haughey MSP launched the book today with a special reading at Crookston Early Years Centre
  • Photos are available for download
  • Play Together on Pedals project helped more than 500 children in Glasgow learn to ride in 2021-22

Cycling and play organisations in Scotland have teamed up to create an exciting new book which tells the story of a little girl’s adventures on a cycle ride with her grandfather.

The Play Together on Pedals partnership hopes the inclusion of Out on Bikes with Grampy in the Bookbug Explorer bag gifted to nursery-age children by Scottish Book Trust will inspire children and families to cycle together, to experience the fun and health benefits of cycling.

The book will be launched on Tuesday 7 June at Crookston Early Years Centre in Glasgow by Clare Haughey MSP, Minister for Children and Young People. Children at the nursery will have the chance to hear all about what happens when a little girl and her grandfather go cycling to explore their local area and enjoy opportunities to spot a variety of wildlife along the way as well as seeing who can pedal faster – although she suspects that Grampy is cheating.

Play Together on Pedals is a partnership programme run by Cycling UK in Scotland, Play Scotland and Cycling Scotland, aimed at removing barriers to participation in physical activity.

The original Play on Pedals project began in 2014 and since then has taught thousands of children to balance or pedal their way to more cycling confidence.

The idea for the book came from the personal experience of Suzanne Forup of Cycling UK in Scotland, who said:

“When my son was little there didn’t seem to be anyone like us in his books, travelling by bike for their everyday journeys – in fact we saw more bears on bikes than children! It’s said that you need to ‘see it to be it’ and so we hope that more families with pre-school children will feel that travelling by bike can become part of their normal too.”

We hope the book will inspire lots of families to go cycling together to create their very own adventures

Suzanne Forup, Cycling UK’s head of development for Scotland

A competition to find an author and illustrator who could capture the sense of fun and adventure that children experience when cycling resulted in Out on Bikes with Grampy, written by Anna Jarvis from West Sussex and illustrated by Hannah Asen from East Lothian.

Suzanne said: “We’re delighted with the heart-warming story of a little girl going for a cycling adventure with her grandfather. It shows how you don’t need to go far to have fun if you use your imagination and engage with nature like Grampy does. We hope it will inspire lots of families to go cycling together to create their very own adventures.”

The story has already proved a hit with four-year-old Jaxon who attends Crookston Early Years Centre, who said: “It was great, I liked it when they went on the bikes. I have a bike and it’s a speedy bike and it’s number one!”

Clare Haughey, Minister for Children and Young People said:

“I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to read Out on Bikes with Grampy to the nursery children at Crookston Early Years Centre.

“Both reading and cycling have benefits for children: they support positive mental and physical health, relationships, attainment and importantly, they both provide a sense of fun.

“I’m delighted that Out on Bikes with Grampy is now provided in the Explorer Bookbug Bags so that all children aged three in Scotland can enjoy the story too.”

Notes to editors

  1. Play Together on Pedals (PTOP) is run by Cycling UK, Play Scotland and Cycling Scotland. Originally funded by the People’s Postcode Lottery through the Dream Fund as Play on Pedals, PTOP now reaches families as well as pre-school children and is funded by Glasgow City Council through the Paths for All ‘Smarter Choices, Smarter Places’ fund.
  2. Cycling UK, the UK’s cycling charity, imagines a world where the streets are free of congestion and the air is clean to breathe, where parents encourage their children to cycle to school and everyone shares the exhilaration of being in the saddle. For more than 140 years, we’ve been making our streets safer, opening up new traffic free routes and inspiring more people to cycle more often:
  3. Play Scotland is the lead organisation for the development and promotion of children and young people’s play in Scotland. We work strategically to make the child’s right to play a reality so that all children can reach their full potential and be able to confidently inhabit an inclusive public realm, as well as help shape child-friendly communities:
  4. Cycling Scotland’s vision is for a sustainable, inclusive and healthy Scotland where anyone, anywhere can enjoy all the benefits of cycling. Working in partnership with other organisations, and with funding from Transport Scotland, Cycling Scotland helps create an environment for everyone in Scotland to cycle easily and safely. Cycling Scotland is a founding member of the Play Together on Pedals Partnership and has developed quality assured training opportunities for early years staff to deliver cycling activities:
  5. Scottish Book Trust is a national charity that believes everyone living in Scotland should have equal access to books. Our work provides opportunities to improve life chances through books and the fundamental skills of reading and writing. Access to books and a love of books bring many important benefits from family bonding and advancing children’s learning, to unlocking creativity, helping employability and improving mental health and wellbeing. Scottish Book Trust aims to support all communities across Scotland, with particular focus on those who are vulnerable and under-represented:

Press contact information

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