Today all sorts of people like 1000 Hours Outside have charts and apps for recording your outside time. But I started recording it in 2017 years before I heard of 1000 Hours Outside. Here’s my story and conversion to more outside time.
I’ve mentioned on this blog growing up in the country and always loving the outdoors. But I had a new conversion to it in 2017. We were living in SLC where winters are freezing. We had come from Eastern North Carolina where we played outside all winter. But moving to SLC I excused ourselves from playing outside in the frigid temperatures.
Then I read Balanced and Barefoot: How Unrestricted Outdoor Play Makes for Strong, Confident and Capable Children. It changed my life forever! I’d had CPS called on me before because my children were outside barefoot. That really dampened my love for children playing outdoors. But this book let me be myself again and parent how I wanted to. She also inspired me by telling me stories of babies in Nordic countries who take naps outside. Right away I had my children spending more time outdoors and when my baby was born that June I had her outside as much as possible even the next winter.
After reading Barefoot and Balanced I was inspired to get my kids outside more. To facilitate this I made up a simple outdoor chart where the kids all wrote down how many minutes a day they spent outside. It quickly became a friendly competition. Any outdoor time counted so my 16 year old, who was pretty much only studying for the ACT as her schoolwork, sat outside all day and studied. She said if she could have taken the test outside she would have aced it. Instead she had to take it in a gym full of desks and students. Anyway, she won those months. But then I had kids sleeping outside to get more hours. It was a fun time and everyone has fond memories of all the outdoor time we had, whether it was a family campfire, or just reading or crocheting outside.
Here’s the chart I made back in 2017. The 3 youngest were babies and toddlers so they didn’t record their time.
I made it on google docs. Feel free to copy my idea or find one online. Or email me and I’m happy to send you one for free. It’s really fun to keep track of.