Being in the ‘burbs opens up new opportunities to be out and about
No matter how prepared you are for a move to the ‘burbs, there’s no doubt something — or, more likely, some things — that will surprise you once you’re settled in. For many of us and many of our Suburban Jungle families, those “things” are the added perks that come from being in suburbia — specifically, that added level of safety and security that comes from being part of a close-knit community. For starters…
#1. Letting the kids walk to school
Live in walking distance of your kids’ school? Set up a pod of neighborhood kids and let them walk, bike or scoot to school together. This helps create a sense of independence — and friendship — while helping kids get some twice-daily exercise in. And — bonus — research has found kids who walk to school tend to perform better academically, with stronger attention spans, verbal skills, reasoning and numerical abilities. They also tend to be less stressed and are happier and more excited as they head to school each day.
#2. Making the bus stop a fun morning kick off
Too far to walk? In the ‘burbs it’s not uncommon for kids to head to the bus stop early to hang out and socialize. Got younger kids? Rotate with neighboring parents so someone hangs with the kids until the bus comes. On your “off” days, watch your kids walk from your front door to the corner.
And if you’ve got older kids? Encourage them to keep eyes on younger siblings and neighbors. It’s a great precursor to babysitting and it’s an easy way to create a sense of community among families in your immediate neighborhood.
#3. Walking the dog — any time
The suburbs are havens for pets. Between the dog runs, puppy playgrounds and sheer density of four-legged family members, there’s no shortage of animal-loving families — especially now with so many “pandemic pets” being adopted.
In the ‘burbs it’s also easy to ensure dogs (and their owners) have the exercise they need. Even late night walks are more manageable — let Fido into your backyard for a quick bathroom break, or take a stroll through your neighborhood. During daytime hours, walking the dog is a simple way to have some safe, socially-distanced interactions and get fresh air alongside friends and neighbors.
#4. Pounding the PM pavement
The same goes for walking and jogging. In suburbia, there are endless opportunities to pound the pavement at all hours of the day, even pre-sunrise or after the kids go to sleep. It’s another low-key way to socialize at a distance while getting your steps or strides in.
#5. Finding local hang out spots
Whether it’s a walkable downtown or a nearby playground, in the ‘burbs it’s easy to give kids space to explore with their pals. As kids get older, those boundaries can flex and expand which, like walking to school, helps them gain confidence, decision-making abilities and independence which will no doubt serve them well in middle school, high school and beyond.
For us, there are some added perks to being in the ‘burbs — and, trust us, once you and your crew have had a taste, you’ll see why that feeling of safety and security is such an important piece of suburban living.
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