Each October, National Walk to School Day encourages students around the country to walk, bike, and roll to school. There are many reasons to forgo driving to school: it’s better for the planet, it allows kids to move their limbs and exercise, it helps them connect to nature, and (most importantly) it’s fun!
During this time of year, the weather is often perfect for walking outside, and the changing seasons create the ideal opportunity for students to discover the colors of Fall and learn about nature on their way to school.
National Walk to School Day will take place on Wednesday, October 12th. With the date fast-approaching, make your walk even more fun by planning these engaging activities that are perfect for an early autumn stroll!
Mindfulness is the practice of staying fully present in the moment. Research has shown that practicing mindfulness can help kids regulate their emotions and build self-esteem. Walk to School Day is a great opportunity to practice mindfulness since the repetitive motion of a walk allows kids to coordinate their breaths with every step.
Try this mindful walking activity, which can be done on the way to school or later as a group in the classroom! Children will learn to coordinate their minds with their bodies and reconnect to the present.
Become a wilderness explorer
From a child’s perspective, the walk to school involves traversing an environment filled with otherwise simple items that can pique their curiosity, from a chirping bird on a branch to a crack in the sidewalk with moss growing inside. Take this Walk to School Day as an opportunity to foster a sense of exploration and adventure.
Snap some photos along your walk and create a fall scrapbook, channel scientist Jane Goodall with some nature journaling, have a creative and easy scavenger hunt using paint swatches, or even practice the scientific method using the STEAM exploration model.
Later, you can reflect on the walk by using collected leaves and paintbrushes to learn why leaves change color or by planting a garden to share the beauty of nature.
Have fun riding a bike
Kids can also bike (and roll!) to school on October 12th. Get them excited about their biking excursion by decorating their bicycle basket or creating a cute license plate for their mode of transportation. Help kids learn about the parts of a bike with this worksheet, and teach bike safety with coloring pages that encourage helmet wearing and the importance of reflective surfaces.
For more activities and resources, check out our Learning Library!