Winter can be tough when children don’t get enough time outdoors. However, walking to and from school can get the kids outdoors and spend time with friends! Studies show that along with the health benefits of active travel, walking increases creative thinking by 60 percent. Teachers at schools that have Winter Walk events and where students walk to school every day during the cold months notice that students are more focused because they have had the time to wake up, talk with their friends, and get some exercise before coming to class.
Walking to school can also be a great way for children to spend time with friends who they may not see as much due to being inside more often. Check out the video below from the Winter Walk at the Hampton School in Hunterdon County. This is their third year and the event has only grown more successful as the years have passed!
If you would like to plan your own Winter Walk or a similar event, your regional SRTS coordinator can help! Events like these remind us that walking to school and spending time outside are year round events.
To make your winter walk more comfortable, make sure to dress appropriately for the cold weather, including layers, sturdy waterproof shoes, gloves, and a hat. Reflective patches or clothing are also important to make sure that children are visible. These events can also be fun, including games to motivate children to walk, a theme such as the Disney movie “Frozen,” and giving out hot chocolate as students and parents arrive!