One of my aims for this year is to get outside a little more. To help motivate me, I’ve decided to take on the #1000hoursoutside challenge again. This is a challenge that aims to balance the average amount of screen time children get with time outside in nature. It’s a great way of encouraging families to spend a little more time outside.
This will be my second time taking on #1000hoursoutside, having managed to do it in 2020. Having done it once before, I know that it’s an achievable target, but I also know that it does take quite an effort to get those hours in. It works out at an average of 2 hours 45 minutes outside every single day. That’s easily doable in the summer but much harder to manage on a cold wet winter’s day!
One of the main things I learned from doing the challenge two years ago is that it was harder than I thought to catch up the hours in the summer. I’m determined to get off to a better start this time around. My average daily outdoor time in January and February last time was just over an hour. This time, I’m aiming for at least 1.5 hours outside each day in the winter months.
I’ll be focusing on logging my own outdoor hours this year. The aim of #1000hoursoutside is to encourage more outdoor time for children, but as I won’t be able to track all their outdoor time, it makes sense just to focus on my own. They’ll be with me for a significant proportion of that time anyway!
How I’ll be increasing my outdoor time
Here are some of the ways I’ll be getting those outdoor hours in:
- Walking to school and preschool each day. With Sophie now at junior school and Thomas at preschool, the school run has got longer. On preschool days, I get an hour outside just doing the school run. Mondays is a particularly good day for getting in outdoor hours through just doing the normal routine as walking Sophie to and from her drama group that day means I clock up 1 hour 45 minutes of outdoor time without doing anything else.
- Signing Thomas up for Tots Go Wild forest school sessions. Having a regular outdoor activity to go to each week, whatever the weather, is a great way to encourage us outside!
- Taking my laptop out into the garden (weather permitting) and working outside. I got lots of outdoor hours in last time doing this!
- Getting out for an afternoon walk each day with Thomas before school pick-up time.
- Taking Thomas to the park while Sophie is at her evening dance classes once the evenings get lighter again.
I might not manage the full 1000 hours, but having that target will encourage me to get outdoors more. There will be times when it feels like an additional pressure to get outside, especially when indoor jobs are calling me, but I know from last time, that I will always feel better for having made the effort to take a break and get outside for a while.