Outdoor Kids: 365 Days Outside
Rebecca Cohen had an outdoor experience with her kids every day in 2009. Find out how!
You know that immense feeling of satisfaction after you achieve a goal? I want you to feel that same satisfaction this time next year, after you've spent 365 days outside with your children.
On January 1st of 2009, I set a goal to have an experience outside every day with my two kids, whether walking to school, exploring a patch of woods, or going to the park. I took the goal seriously -- but without frustration -- by simply making sure that getting outside was top of mind whenever they were looking for something to do.
I achieved my goal. The best part of setting a goal to get outside every day is that it is easy -- rarely taking any planning, the outdoors is free, and it's literally right beyond your doorstep. Sometimes we spent time outside in the morning and evening; other times, we'd take a walk and spend so long exploring that we were gone nearly two hours.
My boys, now five and seven, are now more naturally drawn to the outdoors and our time outside as a family has brought us closer together. They notice more beautiful details around them, head outside on their own and with friends every day, and even write about their outdoor experiences in school. Now, my children not only learn about nature and wildlife from text, they experience it first-hand, developing their curiosity and interest in the world around them.
Even if you don't know how you'll possibly achieve time outside every day with your children given your family's busy schedule or your children's different interests, take the Be Out There pledge. Starting with as little as 15 minutes every day, you can give a gift to your children that will last a lifetime. And, time outside may also improve your health and well-being too.
Rebecca P. Cohen is the author of the upcoming book, 365 Days Outside: A Mother's Journey to Improve the Well-being of Her Family and Founder and President of Rebecca Plants LLC, a gardening and outdoor lifestyle company that inspires families to be outside and improve their well being. For Rebecca's Curiosity Cards, a set of 50 portable question and activity cards for fun family time outside, visit http://www.rebeccaplants.com.