For several years I’ve been advocating for my kids to walk to school more, as opposed to sitting on the bus for 20+ minutes to then sit for 6.5 hours at school and of course sit another 20+ minutes again for the ride home. They would occasionally humor me, but mostly they fought it b/c it was “too long” (1.3 miles) and it “exhausted” them. That is until this year. Now that they are in first grade and third grade they actually are the ones driving our morning walks. In fact I find myself having to fight the urge of whining, “but it looks like rain…” more and more as they want to either walk or ride their bikes most days now. (And it pretty much always looks like rain this time of year in the greater Seattle area.) I prefer them walking since when they are on bikes I have to run to keep up, and I don’t get to have a conversation with them, or practice spelling words or multiplication tables~ all things I like to do when walking. Although if they do ride bikes we get there in record time b/c neither one of them likes going slowly whatsoever, so it is a good option on days we are running late. Honestly I think wearing those pedometers from geopalz is what changed their attitudes, although now they only wear them about half the time. The pedometers got them walking more, and now they find they like the walk~ it’s pretty cool when things actually work out the way they are meant to. Goodness knows when raising kids that is a rare occurrence.
It’s yet another responsibility a parent has~ making sure his/her children get exercise. It isn’t always easy in the winter when even I take one look outside and dive for the nearest blanket. During the summer months it is completely normal for my two sons to play all day, to go from a park to a pool to another park and September always leaves me cringing at the thought of those two active boys suddenly having to sit for 6.5 hours a day with just short little recesses to get outside. Then as slowly as the leaves turn colors the sedentary lifestyle seeps into their growing bones and it becomes the norm, making movement a strange and rare occurrence that results in having to ‘rest’. I hate it. And just for the record I also hate the hours of homework after school when kids should be running around, or pursuing other passions like music, art, karate, etc. Anyway, I found a tool that helps motivate the kids to move and I like it so much I just have to share. There might be other brands out there, but what I found at our local REI was a kid friendly pedometer made by geopalz. The pedometers come in all different kinds of cute designs and can be worn on shoes or hips or even held in hand, though that is not really recommended. (Your arm movements are much more erratic compared to legs/feet.) The kids get to login into their personal statistics on the geopalz website and enter in their daily steps to watch their numbers add up and earn points for the ‘arcade’ and also points to earn real things, such as frisbees or balls. Such a fantastic idea! Both the website and the pedometer seem to be fairly new and have a kink or two that still need working out, but the fact my youngest and most lay-around-the-house son said, “I’m going to wear this all the time and get more steps!” is enough to make the purchase worth it. They have really enjoyed them so far and I have enjoyed being able to say, “Let’s walk to (wherever) and you can rack up some steps” and hearing “Yay!” instead of “No way!” Great idea and seems to be a great company.