Some great ideas to incorporate into your school’s Clean Air Day! Some are simple, some more complex…choose what fits best into your school and community!
1. Make a “Golden Shoe” out of an old trainer and present it to the class with the highest participation of walkers on the day.
2. Carry signs that display pedestrian safety messages.
3. Have a nutritious breakfast before or after the walk.
4. Invite the school mascot or wear school colors while walking.
5. Carry colorful balloons during the walk.
6. Play walking songs.
7. Hold a walk during lunchtime.
8. Invite local celebrities to participate.
9. Have kids design promotional materials for the event.
10. Hold a pep rally before the walk.
11. Take a tour of an ambulance or fire truck in conjunction with the walk.
12. Hold a safety coloring contest.
13. Have community leaders greet and congratulate kids as they arrive at school.
14. Do a flag salute before the event.
15. Make and hang posters promoting the event at school, along the walking route and throughout the community.
16. Provide parents with maps of safe routes to school.
17. Use the school PA’s system to announce pedestrian and bike safety tips and make reminders about the event.
18. Have the students help plan the event.
19. Hold a pedestrian safety assembly or “question and answer” session for the kids along with the walk.
20. Use the concept of a walking school bus at the event.
21. Use the day to showcase safety changes that have already been made to build support for future improvements.
22. Mark routes to school with the mascot’s prints.
23. Create a student “Walk to School Committee” responsible for calculating, posting and announcing statistics about the number of walkers, miles walked or any other related goals.
24. Involve parents and grandparents with the school celebration by inviting them for refreshments.
25. Parents or students write songs and have them sung by the school choir.
26. Choose a motto that captures the reason for walking or biking to school, like “spare the air, save a bear.” Give out gummy bears as treats in keeping with the theme.
27. Organise a cleanest/shiniest shoe parade in school, or a boot parade if it rains.
28. Let children design badges/hats to wear on the day.
29. Arrange for children and parents to sign a walk to school pledge to hand in on the day. Perhaps a prize for a pledge picked from a hatful of pledges.
30. Invite the whole family to take part – walk with a granny or a nanny or even a pet!
31. Create a Clean Air Day assembly with songs or poems about walking to school.
32. Design a banner to display in a prominent position outside school, or to be carried on the way to school at the head of a walking bus.
33. Encourage your local Mayor or other dignitaries to lead a group of walkers to school. Let children write the letters inviting them to take part.
34. Set a target number of kilometres to walk collectively.
35. Consider closing the school parking lot (for the day) if you have one. Suggest alternative park and walk areas for those who have to drive.
36. Set up passport stamping stations along the most used walking routes. Children have their “passports” stamped by volunteer adults/staff along the way to prove they really did walk.
37. Set up the solar system along the most used walking route, with the sun represented by the school and balloons as the planets. Children can then have a learning experience by seeing how far away the planets are from each other, relatively speaking.
38. See whether local businesses/town will allow their car parks to be used as safer dropping – off/parking areas for the day.
39. Hold a tree-planting event in conjunction with the walk.
40. Provide children with walk to school diaries to fill in for the week. What did they see or hear on their way to school? What was the weather like?
41. Draw the longest hopscotch you can on the safest part of the most used walk to school. Play “longest hopscotch” on the way home.
42. Urge as many members of staff as possible to take part and walk or cycle to school to set an example.
43. Encourage parents to sponsor children to walk around the school playing fields if they’re not able to walk to school.
44. Provide a healthy breakfast at school for those who participate in the walk. Local supermarkets could provide the goodies!
45. Award the class with the largest percentage of walkers, an extra long playtime.
46. Hold a “Best Ideas For Getting Your Parents To Walk To School With You” contest.
47. Provide disposable cameras to record hazards on the way to school. Use the results to campaign for safer routes to school.
48. Provide a “can you spot” sheet for children to tick off objects on the route to school.
49. Take photos of the launch of your event at your school and add them to the school’s website.
50. Create School Bus Drop-off Zones a block or two away for students who must take the bus.