Letting the Kids Walk to School

April 20, 2016
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Carpooling may be the chosen transport option for parents when taking their children to school, but the simple task of walking to and from school promotes physical exercise, among other things, to help build better habits at an earlier age.

One of the more obvious advantages of walking to school is physical activity. For much of the day, kids are sat in classrooms reading textbooks and taking notes from whiteboards. Although recesses and PE classes may seem sufficient enough for daily exercise, encouraging lots of activity at a young age can set them up for a better quality of life in terms of health, overall satisfaction, and education. Studies have even indicated that physical fitness improved academic performance, where increased exercise correlated with better grades and standardized test scores. With a morning walk before school, children tend to be in better moods, are more alert and retain information better than those that were driven to school.

Another benefit would be the increased appreciation for the outdoors and the environment in general. A video that went viral last month compared recess times between schools in the United States and Europe and showed how little outdoor activity school aged kids in America experienced.

Other than the physical aspect of being outdoors, the surrounding environment can offer inspiration and appreciation for something as simple as a forest trail that’s on the way to school. Kids revel in their surroundings in a way that we as adults don’t, and falling in love with the outdoors can lead them to have a better sense of belongingness in their immediate community and have a greater respect for the environment.

Though perhaps one of the most important benefits in the eyes of your child is the independence you have provided. As kids grow up, they discover how to do things on their own, and when they’re given the freedom to do so, their self-esteem and confidence in their own abilities are far greater than those with limited opportunities to demonstrate their abilities. Toddlers as young as two years old already begin exhibiting their desire for independence by wanting to choose their own outfits, which may not seem like a huge deal for some parents when the very act of self-dressing is a major factor in mental and physical development. While it is our job to look out for our kids and raise them according to what’s best for them, there are certain liberties that we shouldn’t be restricting them from. Whether it’s letting them wear clothes that challenge gender roles or allowing them to walk to school on a safe route, kids can only grow if you let them.

3 Comments

  1. Shannon Leigh Johnson

    April 22, 2016 at 5:07 pm

    In today’s world, kids walking alone is a stupid idea. There are ENTIRELY TOO MANY sick people who snatch kids

  2. Christina Vitabile Fitzsimmons

    April 23, 2016 at 3:39 am

    Yeah, not happening. There are other ways my kids can get exercise. They play sports, and they can enjoy nature trails by going hiking with me.

    • Shannon Leigh Johnson

      April 24, 2016 at 8:54 pm

      Right. And there are many other ways my kid can have independence lol .. Walking to school alone, around idiot drivers and sick people who can snatch kids.. Nope, not happening.

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