Organizing a walking school bus is a great way to spend time with your classmates, lower your carbon footprint by not using the car, and enjoy nature while you walk!
Let’s Get Started
Organize a group of kids from your school and a few adult chaperones to create a walking school bus. A walking school bus is simply a group of children walking to and from school together. While the walk to school might need to be focused on being there on time, your walk home can be used as a great time to enjoy a nature walk and scavenger hunt. Learn more about your own environment by turning your walk home from school into a fun observation of nature in your own neighborhood!
Look around for different types of trees, colors of leaves, plants and flowers while you walk. You’d be surprised how many different things in nature you notice on your walk home from school when you take the time to look.
Keep track of your own environment. Pick a few things to count while you walk and see which things are the most common in your area. For example, does your neighborhood have more houses or apartment buildings? Are there more trees than bushes and shrubs? Do you see more bunnies than squirrels? How many flowerpots, small gardens, or community gardens do you pass? Count how many birds you see.
Do you know what kinds of wildlife live near your school? Be a wildlife detective and see what kinds of animals you see around your neighborhood. Where do they live? Look for animal habitats like bird’s nests, anthills, beehives, chipmunks, rabbits hiding in bushes, insects burrowing in holes in the ground, or tree trunks.
Collect leaves while you’re walking and see if you all can identify what kinds of trees they came from. Note the sizes, shapes, colors, textures, and even smells of the leaves you find. Trees are a great clue into the kinds of wildlife live in your area.
Notice the sounds you hear during your walk home. Do you hear kids laughing, cars going by, birds chirping, squirrels chattering, leaves rustling, dogs barking? Is your walk home noisier than your morning walk to school?
Document Your Discoveries
- Draw or describe your favorite things from your nature walk home in your Nature Notebook. Compare it with your notebook from your morning walks.
- What was the biggest difference between your morning walking school bus compared to your after-school walk?
Bonus: Use your nature walk as a time to share a little kindness by leaving kindness rocks around your neighborhood while you walk, or have your group Go Plogging and clean up as you go.