National Walking Month
In May each year schools all around the world take part in National Walk to School Month to help promote walking as a form of exercise that is good for your health.
The month-long event is organised by the British Heart Foundation, which aims to encourage fun events and activities in school to raise awareness and donations for the charity.
How to Take Part in National Walking Month
Walk to School or Work - National Walking Month is a great way to leave your car at home, get outside and get fit by walking to and from school. If school or work is too far, try walking part of the way instead.
Take the Stairs - Instead of taking the lift or elevator, take the stairs.
Go Exploring - Explore your local area, or enjoy a day out in the countryside, beach or park. Hiking is a great way to explore while getting plenty of exercises.
Take a Lunchtime Stroll - Take a little stroll around the school playground after lunch. This can help you be more productive for the rest of the day.
Walk Your Pet - If you don’t have a pet, walk with someone who has one or ask if you can walk their pet for them.
Benefits of Walking
Walking is an excellent exercise and walking regularly can keep us fit and healthy.
It is also good for the environment. It is the most environmentally friendly way to travel.
Walking can also make you feel more positive and ready to start the day.
Walking is a great way to keep active and maintain a healthy lifestyle. For children, walking offers a variety of benefits and opportunities:
10 Ideas to make walking with kids more fun!
1. Play a game
This idea is pretty similar to how you might pass time on a long car journey. Try and think of different games you can play together whilst walking along. Here are a few suggestions:
2. Make your own ‘I spy’ list
Make up your own simple ‘I spy’ lists to take out on your walk and tick off. You can do a new list each time you go out. You can include anything from road signs to nature! We’ve listed some ideas below:
3. Go looking for bugs
If you have a magnifying glass, why keep your eyes on the ground and go looking for some bugs in your street. Just remember not to touch or pick anything up. Just look at the insects if you are out in public. If you want to do some real bug hunting, and if you have a garden, then that is the safest place for a full bug hunt.
4. Take some photographs
Letting your child take some photos can add some variety to your daily walk and they will probably love being in charge of the camera. Try writing a list before you go out of things to photograph. It’s also a good way to ‘collect’ the items on your ‘I spy’ lists.
You could set a theme for the photos you take on your walk and print them off when you get home to turn into a collage.
Of course, you also get to enjoy ‘editing’ 3 million photos from your camera/phone when you get home.
5. Turn your walk into an obstacle course
Ok, so it’s not going to be as fun as a trip to the park, but why not try balancing on any lines you see, not standing on the cracks or jumping over any covers in the pavements. Please engage in this activity responsibly, and remember to keep at least 2 metres apart from others not in your family at all times.
6. Play what does the sign mean?
As a lot of us are simply walking around our local neighbourhoods at the moment there are probably plenty of road and street signs to see. Ask your child to read the signs or ask them what they think they mean.
7. Design a trail
You could design your own trail for your children around your local streets. Decide on a simple circular route and write down basic directions and clues for them to solve. The clues can be based on street signs, road signs or shop names, even manhole covers – there are plenty of words out there when you start looking. The answer to the clue should reveal one letter and then all the answers (letters) make up an anagram your child needs to work out at the end.
8. Beat your step count
Why not try to beat your previous day’s step count…another lap around the block anyone?
Or you could do the same walk a few times and see if you can beat your time! Might get everyone moving along to try and shave a few seconds off your personal best!
9. Map reading
Give your child a map (either print off a map of your local area or use your phone). You can teach your child how to read the map, identify north and south, and try to navigate. Maybe you can encourage your child to plan a route or draw a map of your route before you head out.
You could also use a mapping app on your phone and show your child how to use it.
10. Complete a rainbow hunt
See if your child can find all the colours of the rainbow in nature whilst out on your walk. Before you go, they could make their own sheet with the colours of the rainbow on with space next to each one to write down what they’ve found.
Hopefully, this one is quite easy in spring with plenty of colourful plants and trees around.