October is Walk to School month and we can think of many reasons why children should pound the pavement! Keeping active keeps the body and heart healthy and is great for development. Not only will walking to school develop mobility and social skills it will also develop road awareness and make children think about the world around them.
Only one generation ago, 70% of children walked to school – less than half do now! We want to support the encouragement of children walking to school as this can make so much difference i.e. happier children! It has proven that children who do some form of exercise before school perform better as they arrived refreshed and ready to learn.
Improve road safety awareness
It is widely accepted that road safety awareness is something that should be introduced to children from a young age, what the different colours of the traffic lights mean, the different kinds of vehicles on the roads, how to get in and out of cars safely and, as they get older, how to cross independently and cycle safely on the road.
Sadly however, more than 4,500 incidents happen on UK roads and 20% of these injuries happen on the school run, only increasing as children get older. Therefore, it becomes even more important that children are educated thoroughly on the dangers of the road both at home and during school time.
Our thermoplastic roadway markings, as well as inlaid safety surface roadway designs, can provide any play area with a fun and interactive means of teaching children about road safety. Made to measure for your outdoor area, these roadways are totally bespoke and have the option of including extra prompts such as traffic light markings, zebra crossings, ‘stop, look, listen’ instructions, parking bays and more – all to give children a more authentic learning play experience.
Our roadways also allow children to put their new found knowledge into practice as both motorists and pedestrians as they travel around the roadway on foot, tricycles and scooters. This gives them the opportunity to build upon their existing creative and imaginative skills as they create different scenarios and role play activities with their peers and teachers.
But it is not just road awareness and health that makes walking to school beneficial. What about Mother Nature? The school run alone is responsible for generating two million tonnes of CO2 per year. Imagine what could be achieved if we began converting some of these rides to strides? You will also take away the stress of trying to find a parking space and reduce school gate congestion!
Along with doing your bit for Mother Nature, walking to school with family members or friends is a great way to build on relationships and improve communication skills. Need to break the ice? Pass the time with classics games such as I-Spy and get children to become more observant about the world around them.