Did you know there’s a way you can keep fit, be mindful, help the environment and have fun at the same time? How? It’s by walking or rolling to school!
October 12 is Walk Bike & Roll to School Day where kids and parents are encouraged to put their walking shoes or helmets on and walk or roll to school safely.
This event has not only encouraged kids to keep active but has led to communities making improvements to accommodate for kids walking or biking to school.
Things like implementing speed restrictions on roads next to schools and adding new crosswalks all help to make kids walking or biking to school more visible to passing traffic.
But why restrict walking or rolling to school to just one day?
Let's look at some of the benefits of walking or biking to school.
Walking or rolling to and from school is a great way to guarantee exercise five days a week.
Regular walking helps build healthier, stronger bones, muscles and joints, as well as better performing heart and lungs.
Plus, making walking part of their routine helps set them up for a life of healthier habits.
Putting your walking shoes on or jumping on your bike, scooter or skateboard means you not only don’t have to deal with the congestion at the school gates but you’re helping to reduce the number of cars on our roads.
It’s also a great way to start a conversation with kids about the importance of clean air and the effects our daily activities have on climate change.
The result? Less fumes, cleaner air, less stress for you and a better world for our kids. Win-win!
When walking to school, kids will often bump into other kids along the way. This can lead to new friendships, improved social skills and possibly even a walking buddy for your child.
Over time, the parents in your area might organise a walking school bus, where parents take it in turns to walk all the kids in the street to school.
Road safety skills
With your guidance, kids will gain incredibly valuable knowledge of road safety rules as they walk to school.
Be sure to hold their hand, teach them to look left, right and left again before crossing the road, and encourage them to pay attention to traffic and signs—you are instilling habits that will help keep them safe well into adulthood.
Starting the day with a walk is a fantastic was for kids to practice mindfulness.
Burning off some of that excess energy in the morning can improve concentration in the classroom, helping kids get more out of their school day.
Walking home after school also helps kids to wind down and transition from school to home.
Be sure to always plan a safe route for your kids, create fun challenges to get their steps up and always remember to look both ways before crossing a road, keep an eye out for cars reversing out of driveways and stay safe.
Tips for overcoming roadblocks
We live too far for my child to walk to school: Try parking a few streets away from school and walk the rest of the way.
I’m too worried about my child’s safely. Making sure to supervise your child’s walks until they’re ready to walk by themselves. Having a device with a GPS tracker is a great way track their progress and give you some peace of mind. With Spacetalk’s Safe Zones, their device can even notify you when your child arrives at school!