CONSIDER CREATING A WALKING PROGRAM for children and staff members at your classroom or site!
A daily walk would be a great way to have the children burn off some energy after the school day, or, if you offer a morning program, a walk could energize the children before starting the school day!
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 14 percent of young people reported getting no physical activity. By introducing walking as a fun activity, it can inspire children to engage in other physical activities, the CDC believes. According to the CDC, physical activity benefits children by building healthy bones, muscles and joints; helping control weight, build muscle and reduce fat; improve self-image; and create healthy social and emotional development.
Adapted from schoolagenoteoftheday September 4, 2008
THE TRAVELERS’ WALKING CLUB–
Have your group of children choose a destination to which they would like to walk. (Disney, Chicago, New York, etc.)
- How many miles is that destination from where you are?
- Choose a walking route in your building (outside in nice weather) that equals a half mile. This will be the road that ultimately takes you to your goal.
- Post a map for visual target.
- Make and keep a chart with pen at your starting point. Each time a group member finishes a half mile walk, they indicate so on the chart.
- The group combines all weekly mileage.
- Chart the group progress by marking the map in how many total miles are walked each week.
- As part of the Walking Club, research the area you have chosen as your final destination. (Geography, Points of Interest, State/City – motto/mascot, etc., Museums, Birthplace of famous people, Foods, Known for _____, etc.)
- As time draws near, use that goal point as a theme to plan a celebration. Example: Orlando could have the theme of Disney but also Sea World/Discovery Cove, etc.
- If group destination is quite a distance, pick cities along the route to celebrate as you arrive. Learn about each city…or incorporate the shops/ideas below! Themes and activities can be built around the towns along the way!
With this type of walking club, members will be incorporating geography…culture…
math…a commom group goal…
and all the activities that are part of planning a party. It is much more than walking!!!
There are many adaptable versions with this activity!
Consider this idea from Doreen Zmijski formally with Rochester Community Schools.
- This program chose the destination of an auction house in a far away city.
- Goals with arrivals at an ice-cream shop, pizza parlor, movie theater, etc., were set up and charted on a map on the way to the auction house.
- As each “goal” was achieved, there was a small corresponding celebration. (Ice-cream cone, pizza, etc.)
- At the culmination of the walking club, a family event with auction was held where the children were able to “bid” on items that were donated by parents, shops, and so on.
- The currency used for the bidding was the symbolic dollar amounts that were exchanged for individual miles that each child walked!
This is also a wonderful idea that adds fun to walking any time of the year; however, when weather is cold, the children can do their walking inside!