Books are a good way to learn about new subjects and for readers to become emotional with the topic. Many of the children’s books on the market, like toys, deal with motorised vehicles, whilst books about cycling often just focus on safety aspects, but not on the fun. To address this, the BAMBINI project has designed two books promoting the use of sustainable mobility (walking, cycling or public transport).
Background & Objectives
The BAMBINI project aims to influence the travel and mobility socialisation of young children (0-6 years old) and their parents in order to shift the car-dominated mobility behaviour to more energy-efficient transport modes like cycling, walking or the use of public transport. Many parents favour the car when they are travelling with their children and children often experience their world from the backseat of the car. It is important that children learn about and familiarize themselves with active mobility as early as possible to create new behavioural patterns for their future lives.
Books are excellent tools to do that. In order to achieve this in fun and playful way BAMBINI has produced 2 different books and recommended others that might be used in childcare facilities and by parents to promote soft mobility modes, to change behavioural patters that centre on the car and to create an emotional link to energy-efficient and sustainable transport.
BAMBINI partner FGM-AMOR has asked students from an art school in Graz to design a book for small children that deals with cycling. The winner was a book about a “Christmas bicycle”. With colourful pictures and a text, the book tells the story about Father Christmas unable to deliver the presents because his reindeer got sick. Luckily for all the children in the world someone lends him a bicycle – and Christmas is saved. The book was distributed in kindergartens and crèches in the partner countries, right in time for Christmas during the project lifetime. The participating child care facilities were asked to evaluate to book.
In addition the book is available for download on the BAMBINI website in 11 European languages free of charge.
The second book was designed for a younger age group: 0-2.5 years. This book has only pictures and contains colourful, bold images designed by a Dutch artist. It shows images that relate to walking cycling and the use of public transport. It is waterproof and can also be taken into the bathtub. This book will not only be distributed in kindergartens and crèches but also to parents directly through pre-birth courses.
The “Christmas Bicycle” was a big success in kindergartens and crèches. A similar book for Easter has also been produced. It is important to make teachers and parents aware about the fact that a book can be a good tool to familiarize and emotionalize children for sustainable mobility.