Throwing pennies in an old park fountain. Staying up late to hunt for golden lightning bugs. Long picnics with peanut butter and honey sandwiches, apple slices and fruit snacks. Jumping in puddles on a rainy day.
Bottles of sunscreen. Rosy cheeks. Ocean outings. Splashing in the neighbored splash pad. Hours of red rover, a hundred different versions of tag and hop scotch. Designing chalk masterpieces on side walks. Feeling alive on park swings.
Road tripping to nearby national parks. Learning how to roast the perfect gooey marshmallow. Ideas coming to life in an imaginary world like Terabithia. Spending every waking hour under the sun camping, running, playing, skipping, fishing and laughing.
Doesn’t this sound like a dream? A life where you get to wake up and wonder what the day will bring you! A life where everyday you get to make your mark. A season of life where every precious moment will one day be looked back on with fondness and gratitude.
But, what is it that makes childhood so nostalgic? Is it the fact we knew anything could happen? We day dreamed? We believed in magic? Everything felt new and exciting? Was it the fact that we had time to be outside where our imaginations could flourish and take wind?
1000 Hours Outside, an advocate for active play outdoors says, “the amount of time kids spend outside ‘actually matters’, though you may not hear this very often. A childhood flooded with nature time benefits kids (and adults) in untold ways.”
So, the question presents itself, what are these ‘untold ways?
A study done by the Portal Biomedical Journal gives us some insight. “As a natural and compelling activity, play [outside] promotes cognitive, physical, social, and emotional well-being, offering the necessary conditions for children to thrive and learn.” This includes anything from managing emotions and problem solving to being curious, confident and imaginative.
If playing outdoors is jam packed with the potential for healthy child-development, then it is no wonder 1000 Hours Outside is the founder of the challenge known as, you guessed it, 1000 Hours Outside!
The idea behind the movement is simple; inspire kids to spend 1000 hours in nature for one year. There are no rules! Just get creative. Go on a weekend camping trip. Tell stories of your childhood around the camp fire to your kids. Teach them how to fish. Enjoy a relaxing day at the lake. Go hiking as your children get lost in their own little worlds.
If you're thinking 1000 hours feels overwhelming, the challenge creators reassure, “remember not to get bogged down on the details. Adjust the goal if you need to. No matter what, we promise you’ll never regret committing to a year filled with making memories outside.”
So, what are you waiting for?! Take this blog post as a sign to accept the challenge by saying yes to a year full of memories surrounded by this beautiful earth. Simply, download the outside tracker and join the adventure movement today!
Check out Bolder Play's outdoor play collection to help your family reach your 1000 hour goal!