A lot of you may be in the same boat I am in right now. You need to drop your kids off at day care or school before work, pick them up after work, and also pick up groceries on the way home. You do not have 5 arms. And it all needs to happen now! For some of you adventurous spirits, you can do it all, and still enjoy the ride. Read on.
Hop on a bus
Transit might offer you a couple of options. If your child’s daycare or school is on a reliable transit route, share a bus ride with your son or daughter. From there to work, depending on distance and location, you could jump on the bus again, you could walk, or you could arrange for a colleague to pick you up to carpool from that location. Or there may be a park and ride site nearby that would work for you. Ditto for the ride home. If you need to stop for groceries on your way home, you can bus it for the last leg of your journey, or bring a little collapsible cart with you to haul your groceries home on. For those with stroller-age kids, some strollers have great storage capacity under the seat or at the back. You’ve probably already discovered this wonderful feature!
Share a ride
I admit carpooling can be trickier. But you may still have a couple of options. If your child’s daycare or school is close to home, you can walk there together and get picked up by a colleague from there. If you are the carpool driver, you can drop kids off first and continue on your way, picking up colleagues along the journey. Don’t you wish car seats were built in and could collapse back into the seat at the tug of a handle? Until they invent this, you may be able to pop your car seats into the trunk to make room for your co-workers.
I have come to love my child’s bike trailer. I can easily attach and detach the trailer, and the trunk capacity is almost as big as a small car! If your daycare facility has a storage space for strollers and trailers, this might be a great option for you. If your children have outgrown the toddler bike trailer but are still not quite big enough to ride on their own, perhaps a child trailer would work . If they have graduated to their very own bicycle, read up on cycling safely with children, and ride with confidence to school and work. Bike panniers are of course great for holding a few dinner groceries, and for storing some clean, dry work clothes and shoes in.
Walk this way
If walking is an option for you, to school, work or both, strap on your walking shoes and enjoy. Walking creates a great opportunity to chat with your children about their day. Walking can also easily be paired with transit or carpooling.
I treasure the morning walk, bike or bus ride with my son. It gives us time to talk about the upcoming day without also trying to navigate through heavy traffic. Give it a try. We’d love to hear about your experiences.
For more great ideas on getting your kids to school safely, visit Green Action Centre’s Active and Safe Routes to School program.