Walk to school week 19 – 23 may 2008
In its thirteenth year, this year’s walk to school campaign has a lovely double ‘green feel’ to it. The theme is to focus on children exploring their local environment through sound and noise and is linked to Noise Action Week.
Your kids, as well as getting valuable exercise, are to become ‘sound detectives’ on their walk to school! This is a wonderful skill to teach them. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve reminded little Miss Green that we have TWO ears and ONE mouth for a reason!
This provides the opportunity for children to experience a richer world. One of beautiful and not-so-beautiful sounds such as bird song and wind or police sirens and lawn mowers.
You could add your own green twist to this theme by getting them to chart whether it is an environmentally friendly sound or not. A natural sound or man made sound? A pleasant or unpleasant sound……
Too often we are in such a rush (especially on the school run!) that we don’t take time to enjoy the process of getting there; this includes all the wonderful sounds around us. The flip side of this is that the World health Organisation have recognised that community noise, including traffic noise, is a serious public health problem. Research shows that background noise can have a detrimental affect on learning too.
Allowing children to walk to school has numerous benefits. The obvious one is an improvement in their health. With so many children spending their evenings and weekends in front of the TV or computer, this is a valuable way to incorporate exercise into their daily routine. As a consequence of walking to school, children arrive fresher and more alert, so ready to learn and enjoy their day. It’s a social time too – friends can walk together while parents chat to one another.
In addition, regular walking encourages life skills, such as road safety and subtle learning is taking place all the time – an awareness of the seasons, local community and nature etc. Finally, less cars on the road means less congestion and emissions. When you consider we are leaving this planet to our children and grand children, it makes sense to leave the car at home wherever possible.
If you can’t walk to school, or don’t have children, why not use this week to have a stroll every evening with your family or friends after your evening meal?
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