School can sometimes be stressful for kids. There’s a lot to think about, tons to remember, and even more to worry about. Social stresses are often present also, which can be hard for kids to deal with. We have a small tip that might help your child relax before school starts, setting them up for a more peaceful and productive day at school.
Walking to School Is Great for You and the Kids
Walking is a powerful stress-relieving practice that you can build into your day and that of your kids. When you walk before the other stresses of the day begin, you can help your body and mind relax and get ready for a productive day. That’s the case for kids, too. One way to do this for both of you is by walking your child to school.
In some areas, walking to school is a community activity in which many neighborhood kids engage. It’s great because it gets some physical activity in before the school day starts, which is invaluable for kids’ stress levels. It can also help nurture a powerful sense of community and belonging which combats stress—for kids and adults.
Your child can also ride a bike or scooter to school while you walk or ride along with them. Any physical activity before the start of school is stress-relieving and will help your child.
Not only does walking to school help your child manage stress, but it can also save you gas money, wear and tear on your car, and decrease carbon emissions, resulting in better air quality in your neighborhood.
What If You Can’t Walk to School?
Many kids don’t live close enough to school to walk there or there isn’t a safe sidewalk system in the area. Here are some things you can do instead:
- Drive your kids partway to school, park, and walk in the rest of the way with them.
- Get up a little earlier and go for a quick family walk together before heading off to school.
- Have your child play outside for a few minutes before leaving for school if it’s not possible to go for a bike ride or walk.
Safe Routes to School is an organization dedicated to encouraging kids to walk or bike to school and helping communities create a safer infrastructure for doing so.