1000 Hour Outside – Challenge Accepted!
We are diving deep into the outdoors this year. We are 10 hours in, only 990 more to go! Even in these first few days we’ve faced our challenged. When I’ve asked Cyrus if he wants to go outside I was greeted with a “No”. When we got out, he stood by the garage saying “out” even though he meant in. That was not going to stop us though.
Even in the first 10 days I’ve been the one to say “No, I don’t want to”. The funny thing is, that day Cyrus went and pulled his snowsuit out of the closet to go outside. It was quite ironic.
Getting outside has benefits for every part of the mind and body. It helps with immunity, mental clarity, creativity, stress, improves sleep, helps with vision and the list goes on and on. We always feel better when we spend time outside. However, getting outside isn’t always easy. So here’s what we’re doing to help get this challenged started and to meet our goal!
Taking the first step to get ready is the hardest part. Again, mindset matters.
Does it take time and effort? Oh yeah! Is it worth it? Definitely!
Even if it takes 20 minutes to get ready, to be outside for 30 minutes, that’s a win. Any time outside is a win. Plus, the more you do it, the better you get at it.
And maybe I’m alone here but my days tend to be broken down into how I’m going to fill time between naps and bedtime. So even 20 minutes to get ready plus 30 minutes outside burns up almost an hour of the day. Again, worth it!
Another piece of advice is to think forward. Never have I regretted going outside with my kids. Knowing that, I can easily talk myself into putting in the effort to get them outside.
Get the Gear!
There is a book called No Such Thing As Bad Weather. Its written by a Scandinavian mom who moved to the US then back to Scandinavia. She explains in the book this saying from back home about how the weather is never bad. The weather is the weather and the only bad thing might be your gear. You have to set yourself up for success. Look at all the elements you have where you live and invest in the gear you need. I know this seems like a lot of money and up front it can be. However, once you are outside, the play is endless and free!
Here are some of our favorites for outdoor gear. We’ve invested in these pieces and will use them for multiple kids because the quality is undeniable.
It takes kids a little while to get creative. They might seem bored or ask to go in. Try to be patient. Look around and see what you can grab to get their imagination going. Boredom is okay. Its the place where imagination and creativity thrive. Remember, every experience for them is new, especially young toddlers. Tasting snow is new, seeing an icicle is new, jumping over a log is new, looking up at the sun coming through the trees is new.
Be a Kid Again!
Think back to what you loved to do as a kid. I would hunt for salamanders and snakes. I never wanted to touch them, but I would want to find them. Can you build a fort? Make mud pies? Dig a tunnel in the snow? Catch fireflies? Build a fire and roast marshmallows?
I promise that getting involved won’t just spark joy for your kids but it will for you as well. When is the last time you made a snow angel? Or rolled down the hill? In my opinion, adults need to learn how to be kids again. We don’t need to be so serious and structured all the time. We can have a free-spirit and join in the fun rather than supervising.
Follow the Guide
Over on 1000 Hours Outside Instagram they shared a guide for people with harsh winters and those with harsh summers. Check out this link to find a guide that works for you. Living in Minnesota we have the blessing of both harsh winters and harsh summers. The cold is a barrier and the heat and humidity in the summer is a barrier too. Either way, the guides are helpful in setting some goals. I like to look at them as how many hours per week, rather than per day. Working full-time outside of the home only allows a couple hours of daylight at the end of the day. The weekends are always wide open so we spend more time outside on the weekend than during the week. You just need to find what will work for you, your family and your current lifestyle.