Fun on the School Run with Regatta

Walk to school month continues, and I can happily say that we are still enjoying all the new adventures we are finding to have along the way.  For many children though, a walk to school is something that they never get chance to enjoy.

Outdoor specialists Regatta have recently published the results of a survey they carried out looking at the school run. The results made interesting reading. Here are a few of the key results:-

  • Despite almost half (47%) of British primary school children living within just one mile of the school gates, over a million1 have never walked to school.
  • Walking to school has declined 62%2 over the past 50 years.
  • Parents blame ease and convenience for their reliance on the car, despite four out of five (79%) children expressing a keen desire to pound the pavement with them.
  • Over half (58%) of parents readily admit that their own children have petitioned for them to ditch the car in favour of walking.

To help combat this, Regatta have come up with a list of fun activities that you could do on the walk to school to make the trip more interesting, and to pass the time quicker. The ideas are fab fun, everything from not walking (skipping, jumping, hoping etc), looking for animals on the way, taking a diversion to your route, counting your steps like a human pedometer…the list is just endless. (If you are interested, you can download the guide here.)

DSCN9710

Dad wrapped up in his Regatta gear.

DSCN9721

Ready for the school run in Regatta

DSCN9561

Joe on route to school.

DSCN9711

DSCN9720

DSCN9716

DSCN9728[1]

Regatta very kindly sent us some lovely warm, outdoor clothing to make the cold, frosty mornings a little bit more bearable. This included waterproof coats, woolly hats and gloves, and strong, protective footwear. We have enjoyed wearing these pieces when doing a part walk of the school run. (As I explained in a previous post – we live almost 2 miles away from school, so a full walk is not possible, but a partial walk is perfectly manageable.) One of the tasks we tried was to take a diversion, and so we have made a visit to the local park part of our afternoon walk home. This has helped make the most of the lovely, warm afternoons we have been enjoying this Autumn.

DSCN7263

DSCN7262

How do you make the school run more interesting? Do you take the car or enjoy the walk? I would love to hear more about your daily routine.

*I was sent some products from Regatta to use whilst taking part in the #itsmyadventure  challenge.

 

 

 

 

 

Take a walk to school this month

Up until quite recently, my morning mommy routine was a bit of a nightmare, one that left me feeling stressed out before the day had chance to begin. It began with the alarm going off, and me banging the button in order to snooze for five (or ten) minutes. Then there would be the frantic rush around the house, looking for uniforms, doing breakfast and trying to get Joe’s hair into an acceptable state, all before leaving for school. We live almost 2 miles from our school, so the car is a must, but as I don’t drive my father-in-law comes to take us in the mornings. We always struggled to park, trying to get as close as possible to the school, and then there was that final, mad rush to get in before the second bell, when the doors are firmly shut. I would then stagger home for much need Caffeine and biscuits. All the above points made me very interested when Tots 100 asked if I was interested in taking part in a study with Kia as part of Walk to School Month. Walk to School Month is all about promoting the benefits of walking to school – from improved health, the easing of road traffic, especially in the area’s around schools, and the benefits for the environment. The Kia scheme coincides with International Walk to School Month, in which each year primary school pupils from across the UK join forces with children in more than 40 countries worldwide to celebrate the benefits of walking to school. Kia Motors are currently sponsoring the Walking Bus project. (You can find more by clicking here.) Kia were interested in finding out about all the stresses of the morning walk to school routine, and so sent out a Polar heart monitor to wear during the morning routine.

DSCN9017

Ready for School

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI wore the heart monitor for a week to check out the results, and, after a few days I noticed that my heart raced at almost the same times every morning. The first was before I left the house, trying to get Joe to brush his teeth and have a wash (he’s a boy, he thinks being smelly is totally acceptable.) But the others occurred after leaving the house. Getting stuck in traffic on the road the school lies on was a particular stressful moment, as was then trying to find a close parking space (because we were in danger of being late), and then, the final rush to get to school on time, all these things were clear stress points that I could measure on that special watch on my wrist.

DSCN9015

All set for a less stressful morning!

So, what to do? Clearly the stress is dangerous, particularly for someone who already suffers from High Blood pressure. I decided the school drive needed to be addressed, the parking and that final rush somehow needed to be tackled. I decided that setting out earlier, parking further away and then actually enjoying the walk, rather than having to rush, may all be beneficial, and even fun. We live in  a semi rural area, so there are lots of things to look out for on the way, from different plants and trees, to horses, and even a farm that has Alpacas. We used the walk to chat, and to enjoy the lovely Autumn mornings that have been very kind to us so far.  Joe loves the horses that live in one of the fields that are on our walking route, and so we have taken a little time to stroke them and say hello when they are close to the fence. Walking to school does not have to be a chore, or dull, it can be refreshing and fun!

DSCN2619

*This post is in partnership with Tots 100 and Kia promoting Walk to School month this October.

An interview with Judy Murray – All about Set4Sport

I was invited to Britmums Live this week to meet the wonderful Judy Murray, and to find out all about the Set4Sport campaign that she is currently launching.  Unfortunately I was not able to go due to childcare issues – this is an occupational hazard when you have a little one. But Judy very kindly answered the questions I sent along with Gemma Glover from Spreading Jam PR. Here is the interview in full.

 

  1. Can you tell Fashion-Mommy readers a little bit about Set4sport.

JM: Set4Sport is a programme inspired by my years of experience as a tennis coach and parent. The programme, brought to life in a book, showcases easy and accessible ways for parents to play with their children that helps develop the skills required for playing sport in later life.

Set4Sport, which is supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, is all about playing games and having fun in a family environment, using everyday household objects as equipment.

2. Both of your sons are talented sportsmen, and I read that tennis is not the only sport they excel in – how much of this do you think is due to the fun sporting environment you created at home when they were growing up?

JM: They both developed good co-ordination at a very early age, especially hand and eye co-ordination. They were both very good at all types of sports. Andy was very much into tennis and football. Jamie was into tennis and golf.

3. Sport and pastimes can be an serious expense, particularly for parents of larger families, what advice can you offer about sports and pastimes on a budget.

JM: Individually, golf and tennis are more expensive then team sports. The Set4Sport programme can help encourage parents to play with their children in a way that is not cost worthy, playing games that do not cost anything using objects around the house. Involving all the members of the family, create areas in the house where you play with them – instead of paying to use a gym etc. Create your own programme for your children, developing their skills.

4. You also talk a lot about using your own home as a sports environment (good with the British weather), can you give some examples of this?

JM: The book shows all types of items you can use around the house.  The games are very adaptable – you can either play the games with 1 child and 1 parent or numerous members of the family. You can play the games inside or outside, and the games do not require huge amounts of space – which makes them all very accessible. It is always very useful to use sponge balls instead of hard balls so nothing gets damaged! It’s all about being imaginative and creative.

5, What sort of feedback have you received about the project so far, from sports professionals and from schools/teachers?

JM: The feedback has all been extremely positive. Both sports professionals and schools teachers recognise the importance of encouraging children to be more active. From Nursery’s to sports coaches – they all agree every sports needs more kids playing it, so if they start at a young age – they will develop more in the future.  The parents that have tried the games have all given very positive feedback. I would love to hear more feedback and also know ideas for new games.

6. A personal question – I have a three year old who is already showing some serious balls skills, both catching and throwing, and kicking and controlling – what advice would you give me for nurturing his growing talent?

JM: Keep doing what you are doing. Play with him, challenge him. When I played with Jamie and Andy I never let them win (until they got too good). Make sure you develop his co-ordination by making certain games difficult for him.

7.What do Andy and Jamie think about you developing their childhood games into a serious sports programme?

JM:Both Jamie and Andy love it! They have also had a huge input into Set4Sport – they remembered all the games. I used to set the games up and Jamie and Andy would change the rules or choose a fun way to do it. All of the games were their favourite games. Jamie’s favourite was ‘Beat the Goalie’ and Andy’s favourite was’ Jumping The River’ http://www.set4sport.com/games/

I think the main thing to realise is, there is no right or wrong way to play with your child. It is YOUR way. Just make sure you are developing their skills and challenging them!