How to make walking to school with your kid fun
Many adults love walking. But how to make it fun for a kid? I've been exploring how to do this by going on foot to school with my youngest son. We cover fifty blocks a day together each day---sometimes more---and I've found it's a healthy, fun and surprisingly wonderful alternative to driving.
I've been living without a car for three months now. It's an experiment. I wanted to see if a single mother with two school aged sons could survive without a vehicle. I believed my life would be better without a car. I live near the Canada Line and thought that if I can't do it, who can? My older son rides the city bus to school, but until I let go of the car, I drove my Grade Three son.
But now, we walk to school. It takes us a half an hour. Then I walk another half an hour to work. At pick-up time, I walk back to his school and then home with him, which means another hour of walking for me. That's two hours of walking. Two hours of being outside. And two very special hours of alone time for me and my kid. Our dog enjoys all of this, too.
Tip One: Build in rewards and emphasize them to your kid
"We get to spend more time together, this way. You always get a treat so you have energy to keep going. We have time to talk and play."
Tip Two: Have a back-up plan
Tip Three: Good shoes.
This should be tip one. My feet aren't the best in the world, so having the right shoes makes all the difference between pain and pleasure. Running shoes with orthotics make my walks wonderful.
I keep my kid in good shoes, too. What you save in gas money, you can invest in footwear.
Tip Four: Build a twenty minute run into your walk home from school and you don't need to go to the gym
Tip Five: Get ready to be understanding and cheerful even when your kid isn't.
One more thing. Hurry up.
See you on the sidewalk.