Make the school run fun (and car free)

Get kids walking, cycling and taking public transport to school

When walking to school becomes cool

Getting the kids to school on time can be a real challenge, so let's make it easy for parents to ditch the cars.

Air Team parent Andrea, knew that if he wanted parents to stop driving their kids to his son’s school, he was going to need more than pester power. So he came up with ways to reward both the kids and the parents.

Every month Andrea runs #NoCarsFriday at the school. On these days children who arrive to school by any mode other than a car have their hand stamped to qualify for an extra house point. And their parents are entered into a draw for a prize donated by a local business, such as a free restaurant meal, massage or haircut.

Thanks to #NoCarsFriday the number of children arriving by car to Andrea’s son’s school has more than halved and some families have tried cycling or catching the bus for the first time. And other schools in the area have also joined the initiative.

Andrea says that local businesses were surprisingly happy to donate prizes once they learnt of the impact air pollution was having on children’s health. But if finding parent prizes seems like too much hard work, just rewarding the children can have a huge impact, as kids then start asking their parents not to drive them to school.

Hand stamps, stickers, or letting kids wear their favourite shoes on car free days are all great was to get kids excited about walking to school. And a lot of organisations – such as Living Streets – have great advice and resources to help you organise car free school runs.

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