Tips on how to add a different form of activity into your child’s daily routine.
Walking to/from School
On my days off I walk my kids to The Elementary School which is 1 mile away from my house. I only have one child left there, but due to late middle school start, my 7th grader also joins us. This provides us with quality one on one time on the way back. We have been walking to and from school Mondays and Fridays for past 3-4years. This year, my boys and I decided to see if the other kindergarteners and 1st graders at the bus stop would like to join us on Fridays. 80% of them couldn’t wait to get started. I was worried about whining and complaining. The reality has been happy boys running to school and cackling the entire way. I can barely keep up with them.
- walking to school helps improve memory, decrease hyperactivity, increase focus, build the immune system that gets pummeled during the school day.
- if your house is too far, consider driving part of the way there, and walking the rest.
- you don’t have to walk every day, pick a day of the week that is easier on your schedule
- the fitness is not just great for the kids, its a great way for you to get started in the AM as well.
- if you are in your work clothes, leave sneakers in your car and leave for work after walking them to school
- in a crazy busy world, a 10-20min walk to school without distractions, phones, toys, iPads, emails, cooking, homework, etc. can be a key bonding moment with your children
- for the unmotivated, start with a short distance and slowly increase it over time
- for those early morning work parents, consider walking home after school
- walking home from school for those in carpool will save you the aggravation and horror that is CarPool. Park somewhere else, tell the child and teacher that they are a walker, pick him/her up from walker line and have a nice stroll/bonding time back to the car. Kids are most likely to share about their day, right after school.
- back to the unmotivated. Get fit bits. Kids love to see numbers and track progress. Too expensive? Count steps and make bets on how many steps you are taking. Make bets on how fast you can make it to school or car. Most kids are interested by challenges.
In Good Health, AnaMaria