A mother in a yellow jacket and a daughter in a pink jacket holding hands and walking in the park in the fall together for International Walk to School Month

Walk to School Month: How to Inspire Your Kids?

Every October is International Walk to School Month. That month kids have an opportunity to participate in the walk to school celebrations around the world. 

The purpose of this day is to raise awareness and support for regular walking to school for the benefit of health, the environment, and the community.

Let’s explain this term thoroughly and see how you can encourage your kids to walk to school!

International Walk to School Month

The month of October is at its peak, encouraging us to spend more time outdoors stretching our legs. Even though this month is dedicated to health activities, it’s not just about health. Walking to school month aims to bond kids together and encourage socialization and conversation.


Exercise is the most significant aspect of the entire month, even though we also conserve gasoline, save money, and protect the environment.  Additionally, walking is among the healthiest forms of exercise. Walking increases heart rate and provides a strong physical workout while being easy on our legs and muscles.

Depending on your kids’ school and where you live, communities throughout the country and the world promote Walk to School Month with events and programs, promoting safety and better streets. Before we move on to the activities part, let’s see why walking is good for kids!

History of International Walk to School Month

Walking increases strength, self-assurance, and mental health, helps with weight loss, and lowers the risk of different diseases, among many other benefits. Such a simple activity has countless health benefits.


When upright walking originally evolved, it gave humans access to a world unlike any other. It was a physical exercise and a gateway to other life situations. Walking alone with your thoughts, through nature, then with some companion, with a pet, on a date, through tourist spots while traveling, or up a hill to see beautiful dawn. Walking is healthy for your physical, mental, and spiritual health

In addition, choosing to walk has a positive impact on the environment. Using fewer vehicles positively influences the environment since there is less noise, pollution, and toxic emissions that cause climate change.

The first National Walk Our Children to School Day was established in Chicago in 1997 by the Partnership for a Walkable America. Since then, localities in the United States have continued to celebrate, and other nations have joined gradually. The International Walk to School Committee declared October International Walk to School Month in 2006 due to the immense global interest in Walk to School Day. Since then, this month has been commemorated all over the world.

Is it Good for Kids to Walk to School?

Yes, walking to and from school can be extremely beneficial for kids. Walking to school is a wonderful method to incorporate physical activity into kids’ daily lives. However, it does more than only improve their health; it also helps kids to interact with one another, have fun, and connect with their surroundings. In other words, it benefits their general well-being.

Besides having huge advantages on kids’ physical health, it also represents a great way of establishing healthy habits. Incorporating these things from an early age will form an adult who will appreciate the environment and enjoy physical activity, such as walking and jogging.


Walking to school can also increase socialization, empathy and compassion. This activity can also help kids to learn road safety rules. Practice and time make it a lifelong skill, but it takes time, so parents must be patient. Each time they travel to school, they learn about road safety, especially walking.

Aside from these obvious reasons, walking to school greatly impacts the kids’ mental health. There have been many studies showing that kids who walk to school are more:

  • Alert and attentive
  • Have better verbal and numerical skills
  • Have good reasoning skills

But in addition to these benefits, these youngsters also experience less stress and more enjoyable school days. Simple healthy activities like walking can lower the chance of developing early anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. 

How Do you Encourage Kids to Walk to School?

Here are the top 5 tips to encourage students to walk to school

Prepare little awards – Encourage kids to walk to school by preparing little badges or diplomas and give them those awards each time they walk to/from school. The teachers can do this, but also parents can do this to support their kids. Make the task harder over time (requiring kids to walk to school every day for a week) and make the awards even better. This will encourage them to walk daily and, over time, incorporate that into their everyday life. 

Encourage social interaction – Walking to school doesn’t have to be an alone walk. You can contact some neighbors’ parents to organize a group school walk. Set up the time and meeting place and let kids walk to school together. It will make the trip to school way more exciting, fun and safer while socializing and getting to know each other outside the school.

Involve yourself – This is especially important for parents with younger kids. Set up the meeting points together, the safe routes to get to school, and emphasize the value of not talking to strangers and traffic safety. You can even make a deal with other parents to take kids to school together or take turns. While walking ensure your kids have fun with some outdoor activities.

Educate your kids – Ensure that your kids know what’s the cause of walking to school and all its benefits. Educate them that taking a bus or a car ride can influence our planet, its pollution, our furry friends and the whole environment. Make sure they know just how much they are helping!

Make a trip to school fun and creative – Come up with fun fall activities to do while walking! Observe nature, collect pebbles, leaves, and branches, and play small games like eye-spy. Learn traffic rules together or street signs, chase animals and name the plants. It will not only teach them road safety, improved memory, and higher awareness, but it will also awaken their minds and prepare them for a learning day!

In Conclusion

International walk to school month is all about promoting health activities, raising awareness of our environment and promoting a clean planet. There are numerous things kids’ can do to encourage them to walk.

Aside from obvious physical benefits, walking can have a huge impact on overall mental health. These kids are more alert and attentive and have better verbal, numerical, and reasoning skills. For that reason, October is the month of walking to and from school. 

Encourage your little ones and start your walk routine!


  • Petra Moskatelo

    Petra is the main editor and writer here at Footmeter. She is passionate about helping people find the right solution. She holds a university Master's degree in pedagogy, and she knows a lot about children and learning.