The rhythmicity of daily travel: young children’s mobility practices along the mobile preschool route.

Balldin, J., Harju, A.


The study highlights the importance of rhythm in children's social lives, through an investigation of children's daily journeys in a mobile kindergarten in Sweden. The study is based on the mobility practices of the children, and the difficult relationship between children's movements in everyday life and lasting representations of childhood’s time and place, which the researchers argue governs children's (experiences of) movements.


The results show that the children’s journeys in the mobile kindergarten were more than just transport to and from daily destinations. The children's regular journeys with the mobile kindergarten created a shared experience and established a kind of rhythm based on how the children perceived and managed different rhythms both inside and outside the bus. The children's mobility practices showed how regular journeys through the neighbourhood was an activity in itself that encouraged and inspired the children to adapt to the rhythm and find ways to participate in it.


The study is part of and builds on findings from the research project called Mobility, informal learning and citizenship in mobile preschools, which aims to map the importance of mobile kindergartens. Three kindergarten teachers and 16 children aged three to five years old from a mobile kindergarten in Sweden participated in the study. The researchers used ethnographic fieldwork where they joined the mobile kindergarten on their daily bus journeys and observed the children. The data material was analysed using Lefebvre's rhythm analysis.


Balldin, J., & Harju, A. (2021). “The rhythmicity of daily travel: young children’s mobility practices along the mobile preschool route”. Children's Geographies, 19(5):567-578.

Financed by

Riksbankens Jubileumsfond, Sweden