Do your kids walk, ride or scoot their way to school?

The #KidsOffCouches community is all about helping children love active recreation. However, it can often be hard to find the time to encourage our kids to have active lifestyles. One area that you may not have thought of is your child’s daily journey to and from school.

Understandably, many of us live too far away from our kids’ school that travelling by car is the only real option. For those of us who do live close enough though, it may be worth encouraging your children to ride, scoot or skate as a way to get to and from school.


It's Fun!

Think back to the very first time you walked or rode to school yourself.

There is a wonderful feeling of freedom and independence. It also allows kids to enjoy and experience their community in new ways not possible by car. Being able to journey to school with you or their friends allows them to form better relationships and become familiar with the area you live in.

There are many events for walking and bicycling, as well as school programs that can help introduce your kids to commuting in a fun, safe way!

 

Healthier Habits

The Australian Department of Health recommends that children between 5 and 12 should be getting at least 60 minutes of activity a day. This exercise can accumulate throughout the day in many different ways, even if your child doesn’t play a sport. The daily commute to and from school is one great way our children can meet their activity needs.

This exercise not only allows your kids to have stronger, healthier bodies, but also helps them form long-lasting habits. Physical activity also reduces the risk of conditions like type-2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and cancer.

 

Cleaner Environment

More kids getting to school actively, means less cars on the road. Vehicles emit pollutants that contribute to global warming, as well as affect your health. Reducing vehicles on the road is not only healthy, it’s environmentally responsible.

Promoting Safety

It’s important that our kids can get safely to and from school. There are a number of things both parents and kids can do to reduce risks.

  • Kids and parents should:
  • Learn safe walking and bicycling skills
  • Be aware of areas of risk such as busy roads
  • Take the safest route, not quickest
  • Ways to keep your child safe on their way to school:
  • Teach them Stop, Look, Listen and Think, as well as school crossings
  • Show them the safest routes
  • Encourage them to go with a group of friends

 

Community Benefits

There are many positives that come from walking and riding to school. These benefits are:

  • Less traffic congestion – The less children being driven, the less cars on the road. This reduces the risk of accidents and car exhaust.
  • Stronger sense of community – Kids will become more aware of others, helping them meet new friends and neighbours.
  • Safer streets – With more people walking and cycling, crashes decrease. This is because drivers will anticipate seeing people, and will drive more cautiously. Also, personal security increases, as there are more people alert.
  • Lower costs – Families save more on fuel. Fewer vehicles on the road also means less road maintenance.
  • Improved community accessibility – Bike paths and cross walks provided for school children also benefit others in the community. Walkers, joggers, pram pushers and strolling seniors can all get around too.

 
What Is Ride2School?

The Ride2School Program runs all year and aims to encourage children to find active ways to get to school. Schools using our program reportedly have 50% of their students commuting actively, opposed to the national average of 20%.

We hope that this blog post has been helpful in showing you the benefits of encouraging your children to walk and ride to school. With national Ride2School Day on Friday March 4th 2016, we have the opportunity to give it a go with our kids, perhaps for the first time, and join in with 350,000 others across the nation making the journey. Walk carefully, ride safely, but most importantly, have fun!

If your little rider needs something to help get them to and from school in 2016, we’d love to help you! FunSports has bikes, as well as scooters, for every student from primary school through to high school.