Walk to School Week: 5 ways to learn while you walk

Posted by iChild, May 16, 2022 10:51 AM

By Rachel Clinkard, e-commerce director of Charles Clinkard

While taking the car during the school run can be a quicker and more convenient option on a busy morning, Walk to School Week encouraged families across the UK to keep active and enjoy the outdoors. And, as spring is well underway, now is a great time to get your family out and into nature, and continue the habit way beyond Walk to School Week.


Walking to school isn’t just great exercise either. Research from the Wildlife Trusts found that, among many other benefits, 90% of children felt they learned something new about the natural world after spending just one hour a day outside, and 79% said that this experience could help their schoolwork.

Being in the outdoors can expose your children to so much more of the natural world than they would experience travelling by car, giving you the perfect opportunity to explore your local area. To keep your children occupied on your walk, and to encourage them to investigate even more, why not make your journey to school educational? Below are just some of the ways you can make your school run a great learning experience for your little ones.

Keep active

No matter how far you have to travel, walking to school is great exercise for the whole family. While you’re on your walk, why not discuss with your children all the ways your school run is doing your body good? Try walking a little faster and talk about what happens to your breathing and your heart rate as you exercise. You can even extend this into a whole week of healthy learning, planning meals together to get in your five a day and using iChild worksheets to learn more about fruit and veggies while you eat breakfast.

Discover your local wildlife

Walking to school in spring is the perfect time to spot some local wildlife you may never have noticed when travelling in the car. You could try to see how many birds you spot on your way to school, play a game of eye-spy, or even put together a fun scavenger hunt. Create a list of things your children will find in your neighbourhood, such as certain leaves, flowers, and animals, and see how many they can spot on your journey. If you notice anything you don’t recognise, be sure to research it as a family once you all get home. You might also take with you a little book of common British plants or birds, so that you can look up things you see along the way.

Save the environment

Not only does walking to school help your body and mind, but it can also be great for the environment. Teaching children about sustainability is now more important than ever, so why not talk about the good your walk is doing? You could discuss how much energy you’re saving by walking to school instead of travelling by car, and how making small changes like these can have a big impact.

While you’re investigating local wildlife, try to talk to your children about the importance of protecting their homes. Putting the topic into context like this can make what is a tricky subject much easier for children to understand, and it can encourage your little ones to make more sustainable choices in the future. Plus, by showing them that eco-friendly choices can be enjoyable, you can encourage your kids to be sustainable into adulthood.

Watch out for historical landmarks

Your local area may very well be full of great opportunities to learn. Be sure to keep an eye out for anything interesting, such as local landmarks, datestones, statues, and plaques. If you know there’s something nearby that isn’t on your usual route, why not set off a bit earlier so you can walk by it? Your children can practice their geography skills by working with you to plan the new route, making it feel like a great adventure.

If you’re taking a detour, then be sure to plan for your journey and wear comfortable footwear. Well-fitting shoes with flat, supportive soles are best. If you’re planning on walking particularly far, then you may want to change into your trainers and your children can swap back into their school shoes once you finish your walk. 

Brush up on the Green Cross Code

Walking to school is the ideal time to refresh your children on the Green Cross Code. During your journey, discuss with them the best place to cross the road, making sure you stop, look, and listen before you step out. You can even keep an eye out for common road and safety signs, such as pedestrian crossing signs, no pedestrian signs, and cycle route signs. Why not turn it into a game and see how many different signs you can spot on your walk? 

By Rachel Clinkard, e-commerce director of Charles Clinkard


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