How many hours do your kids spend outside? How does that relate to the amount of time they spend in front of a screen? We have taken on a challenge that will last a year, it is the 1000 Hours Outside Challenge. Let me tell you more!
What Do You Mean 1000 Hours Outside?
According to the blog, 1000 Hours Outside, children will spend about 1200 hours in front of a screen over the course of one calendar year. So, if they can spend that much time in front of a screen, why can they not spend 1000 hours in a calendar year outside. This challenge is to counteract the effects of screen time for kids. This blog also offers a variety of tracker sheets to help you keep track of how many hours your children spend outside.
My kids were rather unimpressed when I mentioned this challenge to them. However, mom and dad had other ideas. Honestly, if they can spend the time in front of a screen…playing a game, watching a video or TV show, why in the world can they not spend time outside?
What Do You Do Outside?
Well, the original blog talks about an unstructured time to explore outside. This is great, but my kids got a little too used to time inside. I am not afraid to admit this…we had things come up and I just couldn’t watch them outside at our previous location. Literally, life happened. If this has happened to you, don’t be ashamed, just admit it and get ready to change it. We do this all the time when life happens and things change, don’t think it is any different for your kids.
I could kick my kids outside and think that would work, but this didn’t always work well. They would get bored, ask me what they were supposed to do. I got tired of this round and round circle. So, what did I do? I pulled out our Nature Walk ideas from Our Journey Westward. If my kids didn’t know what to do outside, I was going to give them ideas, and learning ideas on top of that!
Get Out There With Them!
Mom (and Dad) this is not just for your kids! You need all that the outdoors offer also! If you are making your kids get outside, why should you not get outside also? Can you imagine what that fresh air and Vitamin D could do for you? This is tough for me…I want to be comfy on the couch and reading a good book, or mindlessly scrolling social media. Ouch…that is just what we want to change in our kids and that is what I would rather be doing!
When I sat down to “complain” about needing to get outside with the kids, I realized that I needed this time as much as them. If I was going to make my kids get rid of extra screen time, why shouldn’t I? That is a hard point I didn’t consider before starting this challenge for the kids. If you are thinking of doing this challenge with your kids, remember, you will need to do it also!
Get your kids and yourself outside! Take the challenge with us! Keep an eye on the blog and watch our time on our tracker sheets go up. And we are in Minnesota, so these next few months will get tough. However, when the going gets tough, the tough get going!