There is a fantastic movement that we are participating in this year. 1,000 Hours Outside believes that ... " Allowing children the time they need to play freely outside is not a new or original concept. Nature play is something kids have done since the dawn of time. From that perspective, this is the most ordinary thing we could be doing for our kids. And yet, current research shows that the average American child only gets 4-7 minutes of daily free play outside.
In just a few short decades, childhood has largely moved indoors and yet the basic tenants of child development have not changed. Kids still need outside play in order to fully develop in every facet.
By committing to nature play, you are giving your child the gift a beautiful childhood in the here and now as well as lifelong advantages for the time still to come.
Join the challenge! Play outside!
Our first logged hour outside in 2020 was on New Years Day and involved one of the “stranger” things Bram wanted for Hanukkah... a “trash grabber” he said "so I can pick up trash" that we often see around our neighborhood lake. Well he got one (I found one at the dollar store!!) and decided on New Years Day that is was the perfect time to put it to use.
I let him guide the way out of our house and down a short path to a community lake and trail we often explore. He found and picked up all of the trash himself while I held the bag. It took some serious problem solving and fine motor skills to figure out how to pick up each piece and we talked through how the trash most likely got there. Explaining that most of the trash we found did not start where we found that that most likely rain brought it here.
After an hour we had a bag full of trash so heavy it was almost breaking and I could barely carry anymore. Mainly we found cans, plastic bottles and plastic bags... but we even found a coffee mug! After we placed the bag in a community trash can I said “you should be very proud of yourself today” he smiled and said “I am”.
I think we just started a New Year’s Day tradition.
Hour 1 of 2020 - Check!