Back to school tips for keeping kids on the move from AboutKidsHealth

The start of a new school year can be the perfect time to introduce a new routine for getting to school. Consider using active transportation to increase children’s independence, strengthen their connection to the environment and incorporate more physical activity into their day.

Active transportation means making a journey on foot or by bicycle instead of by car or bus. Here are some tips for encouraging children to use active transportation to get to and from school, if this is a safe option in your community:

  • Be a role model by using active transportation for your own journeys whenever you can.

  • Walk and bicycle with your child. Not only is this a great opportunity to connect and get more physical activity, but it also offers you the chance to help your child find the best routes to get where they want to go and teach them how to get around safely.

  • Start a “walking school bus” to get your child and your neighbours’ children to school. This can help make the trip to school more enjoyable while also incorporating more physical activity into your child’s day as well as your own.

  • Encourage your child’s school to provide safe and secure storage for bicycles if they do not already provide it.

  • Take part in car-free days. You can encourage your neighbours and co-workers to take part as well to help create a more child-friendly community.

If you do not live in a community where active transportation is a realistic option, visit aboutkidshealth.ca for tips on advocating for a “child-friendly community”, which allows for safe and active transportation and play in the front yard or street, to keep kids on the move.

AboutKidsHealth is SickKids’ health-education website and features more than 3,500 articles on a range of health topics. For more information on active transportation, visit aboutkidshealth.ca.