Publication Date

2015

Abstract

This paper argues that highlighting the enjoyment or fun aspects of children׳s experiences can also encourage walking to school. It seeks to identify and understand the neighbourhood attributes contributing to an enjoyable walk to school from the perspectives of children. A group of 178 children (9–11 years old) was drawn from eight government primary schools situated in Sydney metropolitan neighbourhoods. A combination of a written questionnaire, a drawing activity and focus group discussions was employed to understand firstly the nature of children׳s fun while walking to school and secondly, the neighbourhood attributes that can promote such enjoyment. The findings reveal how their interactions with nature, recreational amenities and retail spaces contributed to their enjoyment of playful, sensory, autonomous as well as social types of experiences. In accepting children׳s experiences as fundamental to the understanding of their school journeys, practitioners and academics can thereby research, create and promote environments that directly respond to children׳s needs and interests to walk to school.

Document Type

Journal Article

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