Have you heard of the “1000 Hours Outside” challenge? The premise is simple: spend 1000 hours outside in one year. I found their Instagram page in late 2021. It seemed like it would be a great fit for my kids and a fun challenge for us all!
On January 2, 2022, we started our first timer. I do not like to call it a New Years Resolution, I do not make them because I do not like to set myself up to fail! I was quickly amazed how much fun we had with intentionally spending time outside. I am not going to lie, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the outdoors but this challenge changed me. My kids thrive being outdoors. They are happier, they get along better *can I get an amen* and they sleep better! Nature, dirt and exploration enrich all of our lives!
Fast forward to January 2, 2023, we ended the year with 945 hours! We were 55 hours “short” but our experience was anything but short. We talked about trying again for a second year and there was no question, the answer was a resounding “absolutely!!”
As I write this blog post on September 2nd we have 829 hours and 46 minutes in the books! It has helped that the weather has been beautiful this year and that my parents have a pool, conveniently right across the street from us, but it’s been EASY to wrack up the hours. My kids ask within the first 10 minutes of every morning when they can go outside to play. My boys can almost always be found digging in the mulch. I honestly quit trying to keep it looking nice, one day I will have grown kids and beautifully mulched beds but for now, they dig. All three of my kids love riding their scooters, jumping on the trampoline, playing make believe and exploring to their heart’s content! I truly do not think they could love it more.
Spending time outside has absolutely enriched our homeschooling experience as well. We have completed fun unit studies about the outdoors, taken some amazing field trips and learned so much about the outdoors throughout our time outside. I have some fun plans too for this new school year for my 3rd grader, Kindergarten and preschool, all taking place outside.
As it stands now, I’m not sure how we will not complete our second attempt at this fun journey! In just 169 hours we will have spent a cumulative 1000 hours outside in 2023! It has been a great experience and you can better bet that we will be starting year three on January 2, 2024!