Think Feet First - step, cycle, scoot to school
Being active every day is important for everyone and is essential for children’s health. One way for kids to be active everyday is to Think Feet First – step, cycle or scoot to school. We can get them to think ‘feet first’ by:
- Encouraging them to walk to school with you
- suggesting the family ride their bikes to the shops or the park
- encouraging them to scoot to school or to a friend’s house
Do you and your kids think ‘feet first’?
Why step, cycle, scoot to school?
Walking, cycling or scooting to school helps to:
- keep our kids and ourselves healthy
- build strong muscles and bones
- improve concentration and helps learning
- create healthier and safer places to live, with less traffic and less pollution
- provide a great opportunity for you to share time with your kids
- give kids time to spend with their friends
- introduce children to their local neighbourhood
- teach kids about road safety.
Most kids, when asked, would love to step, cycle or scoot to school. They are often prepared to go further than you think, so think ‘feet first’ as often as you can.
How much activity?
Kids should be active every day for at least 60 minutes, and preferably for several hours. Regular physical activity increases physical, mental and social health, helps maintain a healthy weight and establishes healthy habits for life.
Mornings can be a busy time, organising breakfast, school clothes, lunches and more. Involve the kids in helping out by:
- getting them up a bit earlier to help in the morning
- having the kids help get breakfast and lunches ready
- encouraging kids to pack their school bag, check their bike tyres and get their helmet ready the night before.
If the journey to or from school is too long, park so you can walk with the kids for the last 10 minutes of the trip.
Make it a habit
Set up some reminders to keep the kids on track – put a note on the fridge or a reminder on your mobile phone. After only a few weeks it will become a habit, then it will be part of the daily routine.
If we think ‘feet first’ for short trips we can all build a healthier community for our kids.
Morning catch up
Travelling to or from school can be a great opportunity to connect with your kids about their day. You’ll have more time to chat, without the distraction of driving through the busy school traffic.
Stepping, cycling, scooting to school is good for kids and good for you.
The more families and children who walk, ride bikes or scoot to school, the safer the community is for everyone. Less traffic around schools means less pollution at the school gate and safer streets for our kids.
Being active on the way to school is also a useful way to teach kids about road safety.
Remember to reinforce the road safety messages of ‘Stop, Look, Listen and Think’ before they cross the road. If your child is under the age of 12, they can ride their bike on the footpath, and this is a great way for them to build their confidence before riding on the road.
When kids are cycling or scooting, remember to make sure they always wear a safety helmet.
Planning the trip, becoming familiar with the route, following the road rules and chatting along the way is a great way to ensure the trip to school is safe and fun too.
For more road safety information visit the Road Safety web page.