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Explore Outdoors With Kids

What better way to foster a love of nature and our planet than spending time outside in all of nature’s glory?! Join us on our journey to spend 1,000 hours outside together over the next twelve months and check out all the ideas below to spend time with your family outside!

Yesterday, we started a year-long family challenge, and I’m super excited about it. I’m especially pumped that everyone is fully and willingly on board!

Starting now, we are aiming to spend 1,000 hours outside over the next twelve months. A quick estimate puts our goal at three hours outside per day on average (2.74 hours per day if you whipped out your calculator like I did).

At first blush, that seems like a lot of hours. And it is! But I think we have a shot at achieving it if we are diligent about making time outside a priority. 

I stumbled on the 1,000 Hours Outside challenge several months ago, and then quickly forgot about it. Jess reminded me about it a week or so ago, and I knew now was the perfect time to tackle this challenge.

Trading Screen Time for Green Scenery

The creators of the challenge started as a personal family goal and arrived at 1,000 hours based on some research they did. Although it seemed high, they found that children spend an average of 1,200 hours a year in front of screens! What??! If kids have space for that much screentime, they can certainly replace a good chunk of that time outdoors. 

We printed out the challenge sheets yesterday and hung them up in our playroom. You can hang them on a wall, the fridge, a clipboard, or anywhere else that works for your family. It definitely doesn’t have to be fancy.

We don’t all spend the same amount of time outside, so each family member has their own chart. Outside time is good for kids and adults, so M and I are participating too.

I added a little tracker on the side of the page to record partial hours. Ten or twenty minutes here and there can really add up, and I want to be sure the boys are rewarded for time, even if it’s not a full hour. They can use the mini clothespins to track time in ten-minute increments and fill in an hour bubble each time they get to sixty minutes. 

We Care About What We Love

Raising kids who care about nature and trees and environmental well-being starts by spending time enjoying the bounty of Mother Nature. Books help. Discussions add depth. But actually breathing in the fresh air, soaking up some sun, and feeling the crinkle of leaves under their feet or sand between their toes really energizes their young little hearts to protect our planet.

I’ve already started creating a summer bucket list that I will share as we get closer to the season. I can promise you it will include lots of time outside. I’ll also share some more ideas throughout our year of ways we get outside together! 

Are you up for 1,000 hours outside over the next twelve months? You don’t have to start in January or the first of the month or even the first day of the week. Print out the tracker sheet today, markdown your start date, and give your family 365 days to tally up 1,000 hours of outdoor bliss!

Playing in the yard and stopping by the local park are really easy and great ways to enjoy nature. If you’re looking for lots more fun ideas about how to spend time outside with your kids, you can check out some of these posts I’ve shared on the blog. I’ll be sure to keep adding to this list over time. So be sure to pin this post and come back to it for new outdoor activities to try with your family!

Let me know if you’re up for the challenge. And of course, share any ideas you have for ways you and your family spend time outside year-round. Look forward to hearing what your family is doing to explore the great outdoors! 

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