All schools can get kids moving with “Don’t Walk in the Hallway” decals

Years after the launch of Don’t Walk in the Hallway, Alberta organizers are celebrating its success.

The program — which encourages kids to be active indoors at school — was launched in early 2015 by Chris Fenlon-MacDonald, then the physical education specialist at Panorama Hills School in Calgary.

As part of the program, existing floor tiles in school hallways are covered with a brightly coloured adhesive. As they walk between classes, or participate in indoor recess, kids can then jump, skip, or hop across the colours, creating patterns in movement.

One study has found that kids take roughly 1,000 extra steps per day when the program is offered in their schools.

“Don’t Walk in the Hallway takes a passive environment and turns it into an active one,” says Fenlon-MacDonald, now the provincial education coordinator for Ever Active Schools, a wellness initiative within the Alberta Teachers’ Association.

“Hopefully it will support our desire to see kids active for life.”

Kids love it, and parents and educators do, too, he notes.

“What we’re finding is that it’s changing the culture of schools. That is probably the most profound thing,” says Fenlon-MacDonald.

“Now we’re seeing that movement is normalized behaviour. Students are developing the confidence to move, and they’re motivated to move.”

So far, kits have made their way to schools across Canada and even into the U.S. Each contains vinyl floor decals as well as lesson plans and communication starters to explain the program to parents, teachers, administrators, and students.

And — as a bonus — each floor decal has been created so that it can be used within a school’s math curriculum, as well.

Fenlon-MacDonald developed the idea for Don’t Walk in the Hallway after attending a talk by Canadian physical literacy expert Dean Kriellaars.

He was so inspired by Kriellaars’ presentation, that he approached the staff at Panorama Hills to see if they’d be interested in implementing some of Kriellaar’s suggestions.

Fenlon-MacDonald then worked with Kirk Newman, a math specialist with the Calgary Board of Education, to create coloured patterns for the floor tiles that would help develop creative movement as well as numeracy skills.

For Fenlon-MacDonald, Don’t Walk in the Hallway is just one step toward developing a child’s physical literacy, as well as boosting overall fitness levels and academic achievement. “It recognizes the importance that physical activity has on both health and academic outcomes,” he says. “It’s about creating awareness of the connection between activity and learning.”

Ultimately, Fenlon-MacDonald says he and his team hope that there will be no need for a program such as Don’t Walk in the Hallway, because the ideas behind it will be intrinsically built into every new school and public space.

“It would be great if this was normalized in the design of new school builds, if architects and design firms would have to demonstrate they’re intentionally designing activity-permissive learning environments,” he says

“We’d love to see a shift in the design norms of education spaces and, ultimately, public spaces.”

Purchase information: 

Teachers, educators, parents, and recreation centre facilitators can now order do-it-yourself kits to create programs within their own facilities.

The decals can be purchased through Ever Active Schools – in their online store:

Building on the success of Ever Active Schools, Roland School in Manitoba has produced another version of decals to create a sensory pathway in their school hallways.

Roland School is fortunate to have access to a teacher in our school division who managed to integrate the planning and preparation of our sensory path into her textiles class coursework. There is a possibility that she may be interested in producing graphics for schools outside of our division, however, this is in the early stages of planning and costs etc are still to be determined. If you would like to be included on a mailing list regarding this possibility, please reach out to principal Brandy Chevalier [[email protected]].

Editor’s note: This article was originally published on October 31, 2016. Updated: January 7, 2019

 

 

32 responses to “All schools can get kids moving with “Don’t Walk in the Hallway” decals

  1. Hello there,
    I was wondering if anyone has tried to adhere these to a ceramic floor? I know it’s a good idea to put these decals on a floor with a waxed covering. I don’t think wax will work on ceramic but we want to protect the decals so they last a bit longer.
    Any suggestions would be appreciated.
    Thanks,
    Shelley

  2. I am an Occupational Therapist in New York and love the idea of “don’t walk in the hallway” and love the name motor breaks, movement, etc. I have a bit of a pet peeve about use of the word “sensory” – there are so many things that are addressed with sensory and while the children are moving and that is awesome, there is not a lot of “sensory input” going on. They are never in a horizontal plane, there is minimal activation of their vestibular system, they get some proprioceptive input via jumping but not much else in the way of “sensory”. Again I think the concept is awesome and movement is crucial – just not a fan of the use of the word “sensory” and feel movement is a much better term.

      1. One suggestion: Put two vertical lines of flowers on the wall with about 1.5 feet of space between the rows. Child stands with their back to the wall and ‘picks’ flowers (touch them) on their left side with their right hand and vv, rapidly spinning back and forth between the two sides. Start low, picking flowers at their feet, bending forward at the waist with head down by the knees, gradually coming up. This provides rotary vestibular input and some inversion. It only requires a small amount of hallway space and is easy to make. Idea from Sheila Frick and Mary Kowar of Vital Links.

  3. The Original Sensory Path was in fact this path, Don’t Walk in the Hallway. In Alberta!
    My favourite is Jump and Sea sensory decals from Ontario.
    But Don’t walk in the hallway is for all age groups and are considerably cheaper.

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  4. Hi, I am interested in these after seeing a video from CBC news. I really like the letter ones on the video but am nik ot see them in the on-line shop, do you still have them available?

    Thanks

      1. Hi Leigh,
        Thanks, I see the shapes and the hands and feet but must be missing something. I can’t seem to find the raindrops or the alphabet ones I see on the video.

        Thanks,
        Jackie

        1. Hi Jackie, Roland School in Manitoba produced that version. They are fortunate to have access to a teacher in our school division who managed to integrate the planning and preparation of our sensory path into her textiles class coursework. There is a possibility that she may be interested in producing graphics for schools outside of our division, however, this is in the early stages of planning and costs etc are still to be determined. If you would like to be included on a mailing list regarding this possibility, please reach out to principal Brandy Chevalier [[email protected]].

  5. How many decals come in a package ? Generally speaking, how many packages would you need for a 40 foot hallway?

    1. Hi Patty, We don’t have those specifics but you can find more on their website which is now at the bottom of the article.

  6. Hello,
    I’m a school counselor in Delaware and I have been working with my pricipal to purchase a sensory walk, like the one shown in the video, with the flowers, frogs, logs and places to push on the wall. I’m not able to find that one on the website. Could you help?

    1. Hi Lindsay, We have added purchase information at the end of the article. We suggest you contact them directly for additional info.

  7. Hi my name is Ian and I am creating a sensory walk in a school for my Eagle Project is there any way you can share some more information with me to help me with the plan and proposal I need to create to build something similar to what you are selling. I do not have funds to be able to buy the kits you are selling but I would love to see if you can share more guidance and information with me. Thank you in advance.

    1. Hi Ian, This is not our product. We have added purchase information at the end of the article. We suggest you contact them directly for additional info. Thanks, Leigh

    2. Hi Ian, what an awesome Eagle project. Both my sons are Eagles, One is now 19 and the other is 17. They did their projects at my elementary school. You will have to check with your local council, but both boys raised about $2,000 each. They wrote donation request letters to local businesses asking for donations of $100 or any other amount the company could afford. If they couldn’t donate money, then maybe they could donate goods (water, snacks, pizza for lunches, etc.) In the donation letter, they included photos of what they intended to do, a photo of themselves, why it was important/how it would help the students at the school, and a self addressed stamped envelope for the donations to be returned (checks made out to the troop). There was even a line to check that “We are unable donate at this time.” We only got one of those back. Even though we requested for $100, we got $50 from some and $500 from others! Local American Legions, Ruritan organizations, and Lions Clubs seemed to be the most willing to donate. Smaller businesses with students in the school were also very willing to donate some money. Make sure to include a deadline about 4-6 weeks later. Some organizations need to vote on this at a monthly meeting. Many mid-size companies are also willing and like to make donations to local charities, especially those helping children. Ask the principal if they have any outside organizations that like to help the school. Our local Lions Club sponsored our school for a few years. They donated items all the time.
      Because of my older son’s project (a reading deck in a enclosed garden), the school board now matches donations raised. We actually didn’t even need any school board money for my second son’s project. The school, PTA, and local board of education may also donate some money to the project. We are from a very small, very poor, rural county-5 elementary schools, 2 middle and 2 high schools. Not much extra money, but there is some there. I’m sure your district might be able to help also. Best of luck and congratulations on your upcoming Eagle Rank.

  8. Hello I am an elementary school speech pathologist. Are the decals that were featured in the cbc piece done about the Roland School available for purchase? Thank you!

    1. Hi Josephine, We have added purchase information at the end of the article. We suggest you contact them directly for additional info. Thanks, Leigh

  9. Hi there. I’m the Toronto Catholic Trustee in Ward 2. Love this idea. Who could I speak with to get more info?

    1. Hi Markus, I have sent you an email. We have added purchase information at the end of the article. We suggest you contact them directly for additional info. Thanks, Leigh

  10. Hi
    My name is Michelle. I am a custodian at an elementary school. We have just put these awesome stickers down for our students. Can we wax over them or do we have to take them off and replace when stripping and waxing the floors??

    1. Hi Michelle, great question! We looked on Ever Active’s store site to see if we could confirm that answer for you and it turns out that they can be waxed over. Their site says the following:
      “The decals are made of laminated, textured vinyl that are designed to withstand regular wear-and-tear and school custodial procedures for about a year. Please let us know if you are experiencing any problems with maintenance or your decals.”

      If you have any other questions, here is the link: https://everactive.org/online-store/

  11. Hi There,
    I am an Elementary Principal in Ontario. I’m wondering where I could order a starter kit of these decals? I’m having difficulty finding it on this page. Could you please advise?

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