Walking to school- how far is too far for reception age?

(42 Posts)
Swishyswashy Fri 23-Aug-13 07:11:22

My DC starts in reception in a couple of weeks at a school nearly 2 miles away. I also have a 2 year old and am pregnant with DC3. DC2 is then going to nursery about a mile from DC1. Is this going to be impossibly stressful on foot each day? I'm worried!

MrsJamin Fri 23-Aug-13 07:15:26

Do you have a car?! 2 miles is a long way for small children to walk especially at the end of a long school day. We walk just over a mile and it seems a long way (DS1 is just about to start Y1).

Swishyswashy Fri 23-Aug-13 07:18:49

We do, it's just it is in London through a really, really busy area so with no parking so I was hoping to avoid 30+ mins in the car every morning. Will probably just have to do that though. Thanks for the reply.

BitOfAFatCowReally Fri 23-Aug-13 07:22:37

I think it might be a slight challenge at first, but then you'll all get used to it. Our walk is just over two miles and takes around 45 minutes (including stops to look at leaves etc. grin)

It's usually much nicer than going in the car.

spanieleyes Fri 23-Aug-13 08:31:42

Many of our children come by bike or scooter, they can then be left at school, this might be a possibility for the eldest, presumably the youngest is still in a pram?
But how YOU will manage I don't know!

Periwinkle007 Fri 23-Aug-13 08:33:51

2 miles is a long way BUT they will soon get used to it.

It is great exercise and can be quite a nice calming time, a time to talk about what they are going to do/did do. You can look for things on the way as has been said, splash in puddles on the way back in the rain, use a scooter, practice counting etc whilst walking.

If they don't know any different then they don't question it and just get on with it.

My twins did 1.5 miles each way from Reception, but they had to build up to it with walks of increasing length in the school holidays. The mornings were fine, the afternoons were more of a challenge, but a snack helped.

One mile of it had to be done at high speed in order to pick up DS1 from the junior school on time. Scooters helped get their speed up to four miles an hour, and they have always been sensible about scooting with me and not rushing on ahead.

valiumredhead Fri 23-Aug-13 09:02:45

It's fine. I'm more worried about you doing it when heavily pregnant! Kids can take scooters.

Swishyswashy Fri 23-Aug-13 09:24:56

Thanks for all your replies- we do quite a lot of walking anyway and the eldest scoots a lot too, so I guess we will give it a try and see how it works out. It probably is myself I am most worried about!!! Seriously though, I hope that we can walk at least some of the time as it seems so much nicer for the kids.

valiumredhead Fri 23-Aug-13 09:27:06

You'll be walking 8 miles every day. That will take up a lot of the day.

HmmAnOxfordComma Fri 23-Aug-13 11:55:04

Ds's primary was exactly a mile away (in the next village so country roads). He did ok to manage the morning walk but couldn't manage to walk home until about yr 2 - much too tired after the school day. We walked most mornings; drove most afternoons. Is there somewhere you could park half way if necessary?

Also if your dc2's nursery is a further mile away are you going 3 miles back to fetch him/her at lunchtime? You'll be walking all day?

lucamom Fri 23-Aug-13 12:43:52

We (sometimes) do the 1.2 mile walk (DS just starting yr 1 but yet to be 5). It's sometimes a struggle for his little legs, but on the way home I found bribery worked, so if you can stop at a bench half way for a snack, or a sweet shop en route it might just get you home quicker!

Bambamb Fri 23-Aug-13 12:49:14

I'm planning on walking my DS to school when he starts. It's about 1.2 miles and I'll be on mat leave so will have a pram with a ride on board incase he's struggling. So many people have told me I'm nuts which amazes me as it doesn't seem that far to me and he will have the ride on board 'just incase'.
We always walked to school as kids, this is why there are so many overweight kids in the UK today! Your thread has pleased me greatly OP due to the number of positive replies, clearly I am not so nuts after all.
Good for you all!

lunar1 Fri 23-Aug-13 13:33:32

Our walk is 1.6 miles each way and ds1 has done it for a year now. We goes into reception this year so was only 3 when we started. I did spend a couple of months before hand building him up to it though.

Ds2 will be the problem now though, he is just two and is less and less happy about being in the buggy. It's going to take ages with him wanting to walk bits of it!

flootshoot Sat 24-Aug-13 09:35:32

Watching this with interest. DS is going to a school about 2 1/2 miles away. I don't drive (although DH does and may be able to drop him off quite often), and I am investigating transport etc. however I walk everywhere and am hoping this will be doable. DS is used to walking (well, scooting) so I'm going to give it a go. Just think of all the calories burned and the guilt free chocolate...

lljkk Sat 24-Aug-13 10:01:04

ime it would be a nightmare. In every possible weather? The folk I know who manage 1.5 miles have to chivvy with sweets and the school age ones swap with preschoolers for occasional buggy rides. Mum is skinny from walking 6 miles a day, though, especially when pushing buggies.

How about a buggy board?

sheridand Sat 24-Aug-13 10:09:18

We walk nigh on 3 miles each way. My two have been doing it since playgroup, which was attached to the school they're now at. We built up to it gradually, and now bike it every day, or scoot it. I do find that dd, who is tiny, tires easily by the end of the week, so we find having a bike with a bike seat on is good, as by Thursday, she's happy to sit in it on the way home, for about half of the journey.

I don't find it a problem, we have rainsuits for the weather, and we enjoy it. The kids are fit, not a scrap overweight, it helps me keep the pounds off, and I find it helps them be ready for school by the time they get there, and wind down on the way home. I do give them a snack at pick up time though, usually a flapjack or banana. We see the seasons, we have good chats on the way, and they actually moan if one day their dad is late enough to work to give us a lift!

flootshoot Sat 24-Aug-13 10:16:25

sheridand that's really positive. I'm debating buggy for DD who's just 2 1/2 but really tiny and she couldnt walk all that way. She is like lightening on her scooter though. I'm thinking she can buggy when I've got DS, then use his scooter when it's just me and her.

Could you get a bus or lift home yourself? If you have to pick up from nursery at lunchtime it won't be worth going home in the mornings. Or can you use the car for the nursery pick up? Our school is a mile away with nursery in the same building and I wouldn't want to do a lot further in your position.

queenfromars Sat 24-Aug-13 13:41:24

Ds has been allocated a school just under 2 miles away, I dont drive so have no choice but to walk the almost 8 miles a day (40 miles a week)

valiumredhead Sat 24-Aug-13 13:42:38

Queen-is there a bus that you could get one way?

Enb76 Sat 24-Aug-13 13:48:03

Walking is good, isn't too tiring. When pregnant I used to walk five miles to work and back, up until my last 2 weeks. Now mine is nearly 5 we cycles everywhere, I'll cycle with her to school and then another 30 mins to my work. Make sure there's a snack for after school though or you'll get meltdowns.

sheridand Sat 24-Aug-13 18:01:16

I say bike seat. I have a big bag of plastic ties that I use to strap the scooter to my bike basket on the way home, that way dd can ride home and scoot to school. I'm not saying it's easy but it is doable. I also used to charge back and forth with them in a phil and teds, and whilst pregnant over the same terrain, bonus point is that dd came out bang on time and with very little effort!

i really enjoy our walks. I think that it's often when problems come out, who is bugging who at school comes out, and really weird questions about stuff pop out. The long walk in has become one of favourite bits of the day. And you will find that it actually rains a lot less than you think! A good rainsuit is a must though, dd loves hers, it's a pink all in one, she looks like that thing out of spongebob in it.

Queen fromars: don't panic! I did it. DS at school DD at playgroup. I did 3 miles ther, 3 miles back. 3 miles there to pick up from playgroup, 3 miles back. 3 miles to pick up ds from school, 3 miles back. It was doable, and i got to be an excellent speedwalker, but again, get a bike with a bikeseat and get your kids biking, safely, and well, from an early age. Ds was without stabilisers by 3 and very secure in biking, it helps enormously if you can bike the diatance.

I still leave a large window for time every day. I make the kids decide the night before, bike, scoot, or walk, and set the alarm accordingly.

Our walk was only about 3/4 of a mile but my friend did 2.5 miles each way from nursery onwards. The only time I was shock was when she was doing it 10 days after a c- section with dc 3.

I couldn't do school run for her as I am 3/4 of a mile in the opposite direction but she did spend a few school days at mine in the early baby days so she didn't have to do the return journeys.

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