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Walking to School

(25 Posts)
appbloss Mon 13-Oct-08 11:21:52

We are moving very soon and the school will be about 1 mile away. I really want the children to walk to school, we do where we live now but the school is very, very close. I just wondered if any of you walk a long way to school and how you cope with little legs and bad weather? I really think it is beneficial, and dont want to get into the habit of driving. Thank you.

verywiseowl Mon 13-Oct-08 11:37:21

We used to walk a mile to nursery (school is now closer). If you get into the habit of it the children don't expect any different and just get used to it.

Make sure you leave plenty of time (at least 5 minutes more than you think you could possibly need) to get there and that children have suitable coats/hats/gloves etc.

We played games on the way. I spy drove me mad (esp as 2 yr old DD always picked green bush), but we also looked for letters on signs, walked on walls, stomped in puddles (if you're sure they won't go mad or take change of clothes), picked up items of interest etc.

The walk was brilliant and I found it much less stressful than driving. Plus I found it a really good time for chatting to the children with no other distractions.

On the way back we often popped into a playground as well which was a big hit, if you're in the car you tend not to do this.

appbloss Mon 13-Oct-08 11:41:20

Thank you, that sounds like good fun! I am excited, just hope they dont moan too much!! But, like you say if leave in plenty of time and no rush, things will go a lot smoother. My children dont mind walking, this will just be a much longer walk that they are used to!

Smithagain Mon 13-Oct-08 11:49:56

We do it. It's just what we do. It took about half an hour at the beginning of Reception, now we're down to 20 minutes if everyone's in a good mood. (DD1 is six and has been known to run all the way!)

Get decent wet weather gear, including waterproof trousers and wellies for everyone. Not stylish, but you don't want them sitting in wet clothes all morning.

And on sunny, crisp winter mornings it's just lovely!

Also bear in mind that you don't have to do it every day. We do use the car from time to time, if everyone's a bit exhausted and/or we're running very late. But walking is our default.

Fennel Mon 13-Oct-08 11:52:35

We find scooters and bikes really helped with infant age children for that sort of distance. They enjoyed it and there was less straggling and moaning all round. A mile on a bike isn't far at all, even for a 4yo.

motherinferior Mon 13-Oct-08 11:55:18

DD1 used to walk a mile or so most mornings during her reception year, as we'd drop off her sister at the childminder first.

Agree about scooters too.

And a snack for the return journey is often appreciated, if your children are anything like mine.

Fennel Mon 13-Oct-08 11:57:57

Also, bribes. "If you walk home without complaining we will get an ice pop (10p) at the corner shop". My children will still do a lot for an ice pop.

uptomyeyes Mon 13-Oct-08 11:58:11

Definitely agree with scooters etc. Find out if you can lock them up at school or nearby so that you don't have to carry home. I've started jogging home a couple of days a week as a way of fitting a tiny bit of exercise in for me too.

bythepowerofgreyskull Mon 13-Oct-08 11:58:17

our school is a mile away - I walk most of the time but on bad weather days I go in the car.

appbloss Mon 13-Oct-08 12:10:01

Brilliant advice, thanks!! Great to hear that you all enjoy it. I'll have to find out if the school has a place to lock up bikes as the children will love that x

purpleduck Mon 13-Oct-08 12:14:35

We walk a similar distance too. We have lots of kids at the school that live by us, and often we walk with others.

helsy Mon 13-Oct-08 12:18:16

We go on the walking bus - it's a mile and a quarter from our house to school and Dd2 (8) was walking every day unless it rained heavily, then we car-shared. However, dd2 has just started school and I don't want her getting in tired, so we are driving mostly until at least half term, walking about once a week, until she seems to be taking school more in her stride, so to speak.

branflake81 Mon 13-Oct-08 20:46:42

Our school is 2 miles away and we have always walked it. Kids do sometimes complain but once they get going they're fine.

duckyfuzz Mon 13-Oct-08 20:49:00

we live a mile from school and would walk, if I wouldn't then have to turn round, walk back, get in the car and then drive past the school to get to work and arrive late!

roisin Mon 13-Oct-08 22:11:29

How old are they? Ds's school is c.0.7 mile. When they were tiny it was a long way: when ds2 was in nursery class he had to go there and back twice a day.

Now it's no distance at all and they skip home.

If you have a routine that you always walk and lift in car is not an option, it's easier IMO.

Kaplumbagadort Mon 13-Oct-08 22:16:33

I walk about a mile to school everyday with my DC. Generally they are fine and they are very used to it now.
I hate it when it is really raining but they put waterproofs on and take a change of trousers.
We have min races ie last to the next lamp post is a slug (usually me to save arguments!) And we spot bugs/spiders. Also play walk like a ..., gallop like a ... slither like a ... and move in funny ways along the pavement! Anything to get them there faster. I hate walking slow.grin

janeite Mon 13-Oct-08 22:17:09

DP walked both of our girls to school since they started in nursery. Until 3 years ago it was about a mile each way, then we moved house and it was about a mile and a half each way. It stopped in September when dd2 started secondary school but basically she was walking all of that way from the age of about 20 months.

If they have to do it, then they do it.

Wellies and good rain coats are a must and those umberellas that are clear are also a good idea.

Dottoressa Mon 13-Oct-08 22:19:54

We do it in all weathers. DS is Y2 and DD is in Reception, and I don't think we've ever driven. Even if we did, we'd have to park so far away that we might as well park in our own driveway!!

Walking is all they've ever known within a couple of miles of home.

One child at their school did ask us (in a tone of total astonishment): "haven't you got a car?"

Tommy Mon 13-Oct-08 22:20:11

my friend walks her daughter to school - they live just within 2 miles. The daughter (6) comes on her scooter of it's not wet when she has the whole waterproof thing - trousers, wellies etc.

If you have the time to do it (you don't have to rush off to work or anything) then I would definitely go for it. It is so good for children IMO - gets them used to the idea that they can walk to places.

We walk to school but it only takes 10 mins

Clayhead Mon 13-Oct-08 22:22:28

I agree with everyone else - good coats/waterproofs a must.

Also agree that it is easier if they know the car is not an option; lots of other parents at school offer me lifts though as they assume I have no car - I do but prefer the walk to school.

cory Tue 14-Oct-08 08:50:13

You know, some of my best memories of my childhood are walking to and from school in all seasons, the red leaves in autumn, the first morning frosts, seeing apple blossom out in somebody's garden on the way. I wish my dd was able to have that.

appbloss Tue 14-Oct-08 11:05:22

Thanks everyone for all your inspiring replies. I am really looking forward to it now with lots of ideas. I think the talking will be a great plus too, at the moment because we are so near to the school they just rush in throw down the bags and then play. I know the excercise will be fantastic for them and to give them the chance to really notice the seasons the change. But also that chance to have a chat and some fun. I do know that there will inevitably be the odd day where there are moans, stress etc. But the positive so outweighs that! xxx

missmama Tue 14-Oct-08 11:27:15

It also gives you a chance to do last min spelling practice too.

peanutbutterkid Tue 14-Oct-08 13:54:35

Hmmm, we nearly always walk (or cycle). I drive maybe 5x /year. We only live just over 1/2 mile away, and the journey is generally HELL.

DC moan, complain at the others going slowly, find more things to strop about, get tired on their bikes/scooters, etc. and want to walk or beg a lift hanging on sides of pushchair instead. If the strop is big enough they'll stage a go-slow strike, or even refuse to move at all. And I've had them run off in a strop, too.

I have learnt the hard way to just say "hmmm, we'll discuss it when we get home" to any requests during these journeys, as an emphatic "No, you may not stay up until midnight on Friday" (or similar) may kick off a huge strop when I really don't need it.

It's the unpredictability of their grumpiness that gets me most down. Weather is quite easy to deal with, by comparison. Walking is more tolerable in the aftrnoons when I'm in no hurry to get home, but miserable in the mornings when I JUST WANT TO GET THERE.

appbloss Wed 15-Oct-08 09:48:38

I can understand that! Mornings are usually my most stressful time, but all the moaning and stroppiness is worth it, i think, to know that by walking our children to school they are benefiting so much!!! We'll see how they cope,or how I cope, but looking forward to it. At this moment I am really worried about the actual move, changing schools and saying goodbye on Friday to all their friends. I'm in tears already xxx

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