Nursery children across Suffolk are taking big strides to be more active after more than 30 pre-school settings embarked on a Little Feet Walking Challenge.
Little Feet is an initiative developed by Living Streets, the UK charity for everyday walking, that helps children aged 2-5 years walk more through a set of fun and engaging activities that also support families in understanding the benefits of active, everyday journeys.
It is supported by the Suffolk County Council led Most Active County partnership which aims to encourage more people to be more active.
One local nursery taking part is St. Edmunds Catholic Pre-school from Bury St Edmunds.
Caroline Wright, Manager at St Edmunds, said “We are delighted to support the Little Feet campaign, by encouraging our pre-school children to walk to school. We strongly believe in the benefits of fresh air and regular exercise, particularly in the battle against childhood obesity”.
“Walking to school will help our children to develop essential motor skills that will prepare them for school, whilst at the same time, encouraging them to develop healthy habits that will support their physical and emotional wellbeing for life. It also helps them to take responsibility for their environment and support the fight against climate change.”
“As a Reggio Emilia inspired nursery setting, this initiative sits well alongside our principles of helping children to be strong, independent, capable individuals. After-all, walking to school and learning about keeping safe on the journey through town, is quite an achievement when you’re 3 or 4 years old!”
According to Living Streets, 9 in 10 children aged 2-4 years old do not meet recommended activity levels with 78% of early years settings surveyed not involved in any walking initiative. The organisation equates this to more cars on the road, leading to more congestion and poorer air quality for children to grow-up in.
Cllr James Reeder, cabinet member for health at Suffolk County Council, said “Walking to or from pre-school is a simple and effective way to help families meet their daily activity recommendations. It’s also important from a road safety and environmental perspective. If we can encourage children to be active from an early age, we hope it will instil healthy habits that children can take to primary school and, eventually, into adult life and, by doing so, contribute to our ambition of becoming the most active county in England.”