International Walk to School Day: Eight Ideas to Celebrate Education with Your Child

by Sierra Winters

Now that school has been in session for an entire month (can you believe it?), parents and children are finally settling into their school day routines. Pencils have been bought, book bags have been repaired, and you have enjoyed a few scoops of after-school ice cream on the days you get to walk your child home. Every routine looks different, even within the same household. For example, if you don’t live in a walkable city like New York, you may never have had the opportunity to walk your child to school. But here’s a chance to change that!

The first Wednesday of every October marks International Walk to School Day, a celebration in which students, parents, and school faculty around the world experience the benefits of walking while simultaneously learning about pedestrian safety. Sometimes, schools even use the event to raise awareness around a specific issue. In some communities, the walk may begin from individuals’ homes, while in others, groups will meet at public locations near the school (such as a library or recreation center) and walk from there. Each participating community celebrates this holiday in a unique way that reflects their own values and culture.

Education is a gift to which not everyone has access. This holiday is a reminder to celebrate the privilege of going to school, and it makes us wonder: how else can we commemorate our education system?

Below are a few more ideas that will help you and your child honor the blessing of education while connecting with one another in a meaningful way. Enjoy!

  1. Pack your child’s lunch with them by your side, explaining the benefits of each food you tuck inside. For instance, you can teach them how avocado has healthy fats that will keep them full throughout their lessons.
  2. Buy a special eco-friendly school supply that will bring your child joy each time they use it. First on this list? A plantable pencil! We also love the classic Decomposition Books.
  3. Let your child choose a plant that you can grow at home and take care of it together. Take pictures to document the plant’s growth, discussing how and why it develops. They will likely be learning similar information in class, and this will help them see the miracle of life in real-time!
  4. Create a photo album (by hand or on a site like Shutterfly) and document your child’s educational projects and interests. Have them choose stickers and do some of the journaling.
  5. If your child has a book, clothes, etc. from last year that they don’t need anymore, donate it together. Explain how giving up one small material possession will help another child in their education.
  6. Go to a thrift store in your neighborhood that supports a non-profit and buy an item that relates to school. This is an inexpensive way to do something fun and bring home a goody without breaking the bank, while also adding to a worthy organization.
  7. Write a letter with your child to their teacher, thanking them for their dedication and creativity in the way they teach.
  8. Read the story of Malala Yousafzazi, a Pakistani activist for female education, who was shot for going to school. She later became the world’s youngest Nobel Peace Prize laureate at age 17.

What other ways can you think of to celebrate education? Let us know!

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