How to walk kids to school in winter
Parenting & Family

How to Walk to School in Winter

I loooove walking.  And I am an advocate for as much outdoor time as possible for myself and my kids.  In Spring, Summer, Fall? Easy- done!  But in Winter?  Our outdoor time shortens drastically.  One way to make sure my kids reap the benefits of getting outside every day is to commit to walk to school in winter EVERY DAY.  

We walk to school in snow or wind, rain or shine.  We are fortunate enough to live close to our elementary school, but it’s still a 15 minute walk with kids.  It can definitely be miserable walking to school in winter or bad weather if you are not prepared.  However, these 3 things will have you walking to school – without the complaints – all winter long.  

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1. Wear the Appropriate Clothing

This sounds like a no-brainer, but it makes all the difference in your comfort.  If you or the kids are cold, wet, and uncomfortable, say goodbye to your peaceful morning walk.  

Layers

Dress in layers!  If you’re not used to walking in the winter or bad weather, add more layers than you think you need.  On days below 30 degrees, my twins and myself wear 2 pairs of pants!

Accessories

Don’t skimp on accessories.  Hats, gloves, scarves or neck gaiters are just as important.  We have lots of windy days here and if my kids didn’t have their neck gaiter (like a scarf, but easier), we would have some miserable walks.  Protect extremities and faces from that winter bite! 

Don’t forget socks, either. I swear by wool socks and have several kinds for me and the kids depending on the temperature. Here’s what we’re currently wearing (click on the photo for more info):

Adult Socks:

Kids Socks:

Walk kids to school in rain
Rain

You need waterproof boots or shoes, an umbrella or poncho, or you can go another route with a rain suit which has been a lifesaver for us in all weather. Bonus – you don’t have to worry about everyone’s umbrella or their school clothes getting wet if they’re wearing rain suits. If you’ve never seen a rain suit, you’re in for a big dose of cuteness. The photo (link) below is the one we use and I get so many compliments! 

Snow

Of course you will want snow boots, waterproof gloves, snow pants or a snow suit.  Yes, you need these even for walking to school. Snow suits are my favorite – they keep the kids warm and comfortable which translates to almost zero complaining on our walk to school. Switching to a one piece snow suit instead of snow pants or bibs was a game changer for us!

Parents

Don’t forget about yourself!  You need to dress appropriately for your cold/snowy/rainy walk to school, too. Otherwise you will have kids that are fully prepared but YOU will be miserable and complaining.

Mamas, stop walking to school in leggings. Throw a pair of sweatpants on over. Dads, a hoodie is not good enough. Actually wear a coat and you will be so much more comfortable walking your kids to school.

Check out my winter collection on Etsy!

If you’re having trouble getting out of the house on time on busy school mornings, check out my post here:

How to Get Out the Door on Time

2. Have the Right Mindset

Every morning when we start our walk, my daughter Luna looks up to the sky and says, “It’s a beautiful day out!”  Every. Morning.  It could be cold and gray, or still dark out, and she will still make this observation. I love that.  It reminds me why we walk to school every morning.  Fresh air, nature, and moving our bodies are so good for the soul.

Look around, take a deep breathe, be grateful for your life, your health, your kids – anything – and pass that attitude on to your kids.  

Walk to school with kids

3. Distractions

There will be days when the weather is terrible, you are tired, the kids are miserable, and no one wants to be walking.  On these days, we utilize the power of distractions. 

Here are some to get you started: 

  • Count the birds in the sky
  • Practice spelling things 
  • Sing a song
  • Use landmarks to mark your walk
  • Name the trees
  • Look for squirrels or other wildlife
  • Find bird nests in naked trees
  • Wave to everyone you see

You know the episode of The Office where they are stuck in a Work Bus and Jim is trying to do everything he can to do something nice for Pam? Remember when they all chant, “Next stop pies!” while driving off toward the pie stand? Everyone loves a good chant.  

Now think of that chant, but as “We’re almost home!”.  This is our last and final thing.  If everyone is miserable or the weather is particularly bad, you will find us chanting.  Kids love to chant.  It keeps them distracted from what they’re doing and motivated to get to our destination. 

Walk to School in Winter

Now that you have these 3 tips for walking to school in Winter with kids, I hope you actually use them!  Outdoor time is so important for our well being and walking to school is a great way to get extra time in nature and movement in our bodies.  

Walk to school in winter
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