With classes back in session and a new school year underway, it’s not only time to hit the books but it’s also time to hit restart on those healthy routines for your family—and especially for your kidlets. When kids walk to school (or ride a bike or a scooter), they’re setting the tone for a good day. Yes, of course, sometimes distance, weather, and other safety considerations make walking impossible. But if your kids have a less than 2 km to travel, they should walk it.
Why Should Kids Walk to School?
Surprisingly, a simple walk to and/or from school is an excellent, simple way to provide your children with both exercise and time to bond (with you, each other, or friends), or to be alone (if they’re old enough and the path is safe)—things that are hugely beneficial to both their bodies and their minds.
Children who are physically active on the way to school have the opportunity to burn off some of their excess energy (those early morning crazies!) and might therefore be more likely to settle down and focus once at school. Also, walking as little as 20 minutes a day can help to stave off depression, which is beneficial to everyone. In fact, a study done at the University of Toronto states that physical activity “may serve as a valuable mental health promotion strategy in reducing the risk of developing depression”.
Why Don’t Kids Walk to School More?
To be protective of their offspring, parents often think it’s safer to drive children to school rather than allowing them to walk. While the realities of traffic and ‘stranger danger’ do indeed exist everywhere, research actually shows that children (and all people) are at an increased risk of injury when being driven in a car, compared to when they are walking.
To combat other issues, kids can walk with friends, parents or even older siblings heading in the same direction, limiting parents’ fears and keeping everyone healthy and happy. Walking to school can foster personal growth by developing a sense of independent decision making, emotional bonds with peers and the natural environment, and road and traffic safety skills.
Finally, when you don’t drive your kids to school, you save on gas and lessen carbon emissions that contribute to global climate change…that may seem like a stretch, but 2 trips per day for close to 200 school days per year times thousands of students adds up! So everyone wins with walks to school!
What About My Wee-est of Littles?
Even the littlest members of the family can benefit from a walk (or at least some time outside!) everyday so if you can manage, why not walk with your kidlets, toting the babe along with you? Instead of lugging out a stroller, scooter and upteen pieces of gear (that you’ll end up having to tote home with you), streamline your morning stroll with the Mountain Buggy Freerider. With the included universal connector, this ingenious stroller attachment is compatible with a ton of brands (including Mountain Buggy, phil&teds, Britax, Baby Jogger, Bugaboo, and more) and will soon become your kids’ favourite ‘ride’.
Ride (and Walk) with Freedom
The Freerider converts from stroller board to scooter with ease. As a stroller board, it attaches to the back of the stroller for another riding option for older kids that might not have the energy to walk everywhere on their own (or if parents would rather keep them close). And it attaches up and out of the way when it’s not being used, so you don’t have to worry about lugging it home or back to school. Not all off them are detachable, which makes the Freerider unique.
Because it’s a stroller board AND scooter in one, the Freerider allows very young children to ride close, or older ones to ride free on an easy-to-manoeuvre scooter that helps develop balance as well as being fun. The Mountain Buggy Freerider also helps to build sibling connections because your mobile littles can ‘hang out’—just like they do at home—all the way to school, ensuring the little one doesn’t feel left out.
The Freerider also grows with your child with its fully adjustable handlebar with four height options from 26in to 35in, and can also take up to 110lb of weight as a scooter or 44lbs as a stroller board. The superior manoeuvrability can be easily controlled with the rear wheel brake; the grip pad on the Freerider deck provides an anti-slip surface, allowing your child to find their balance and directional control at the same time.
The Freerider isn’t just convenient and amazing for parents—it’s super cool for kids on the go. It comes in four fantastic colour options (orange, lime, yellow and black) and it also has light up wheels! A small magnetic power generator activates 3 lights in the wheels, causing a blur of blue, green and red to glow when in motion, which kids think is the absolute coolest.
Walking to school will give both you and your child some exercise—and we all know that many people don’t get nearly enough as it is. Even if you live out of the school’s catchment area, there is nothing stopping you from parking a reasonable distance from school and walking the rest of the way.
Our legacy began in 1992, with a father’s need to create a buggy with all terrain agility. So with precision engineering he crafted the foundations of Mountain Buggy’s legendary platform. From newborn to toddler, the mountain trails to the city streets – Mountain Buggy enables parents to live a life without limit.