The School Run
With many little ones about to start school for the first time, mum Jacquie Irvine takes a look at how to make that trip to and from school as happy and fun as possible
After the long summer holidays, it’s time for many of us to send our children off to school or nursery, whether for the first time or for a new term. As a mum myself, I know all about the ups, downs, tantrums and bumps and scrapes that inevitably follow, so here are a few pointers to help make every child’s first term at school a happy and naturally healthy one.
Walk, walk, walk!
Walk the kids to school as often as possible. That way, your children don’t get into the habit of sitting bored in the back of a car or arguing with a sibling. Apart from the obvious benefits, there are many advantages to walking: the fresh air and exercise boosts the immune system and helps to stimulate the brain for the school day ahead. Personally, I also love it as a good bonding activity; walking to school hand in hand chatting away. You’d be amazed at some of the discussions you can have about your little one’s take on the world around them. Also, as mums with older kids know, they’ll not want to hold our hand forever and will soon be walking 10 metres ahead!
Mornings may be hectic but getting up a little earlier is really worth it for the exercise, health and time spent together on a walk to school. If you’re not able to do it every day, try every other day, or if you live more than 15 minutes walk away from the school, why not drive part of the way, park, and then walk the rest?
Warm up their mind
As you walk to school, why not get their little grey cells ticking by playing games? My kids love to play ‘count the birds and the trees’, 'I spy' or ‘read signs’. This develops their observational skills and encourages an interest in the world around them. It also takes their minds off the actual walking and reduces the cries of “how much further?”
It’s all going so well: they’re breathing the fresh air; their minds are active; when WHAP! TUMBLE! The Kerb Monster gets them. To prevent them arriving at school in tears and with a bleeding knee, always make sure you’ve got some First Aid bits handy in your bag: antiseptic wipes, ointment and plasters.
Know the lay of the land
It’s a good idea to talk to your kids about what they should do if they need the toilet or a drink of water when they’re at school. On the first day, you can normally show them where the toilets are and their own peg to hang their coat (this peg becomes their territory!). If the school allows, it’s a good idea to give them a bottle of water to keep their body and minds hydrated throughout the day.
You’ll be amazed how hungry children can be when school breaks up for the day. It’s a good idea to have slices of apple, grapes, raisins or a cereal bar for them to munch on the way home. It gives them an energy boost and makes them less grouchy too!
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Dr. Greenfingers Mini Kids Repair Kit (£5.99): containing Cuts & Grazes Ointment, antiseptic wipes and plasters, all with nature’s own effective antiseptic Calendula, and most importantly Bravery Award stickers -guaranteed to bring a smile to their little faces and help them forget their mishap! Available in Waitrose, select Health Food Stores, Pharmacies and from the Dr Greenfingers site.