Saturday, March 31, 2012

Challenge: 365 Days Outdoors!



Becoming a mother has led me to think/ponder/question several things. As a mom, I think about how I can be there for my son when he needs me and teach him values he will be able to relay upon when I am away from him.  As an educator, I wonder how to go about teaching a toddler in a way that will nurture his unique, God given talents.  As an individual, I question the ways I can better myself so that I will be the best role model I can to help my son become a productive, positive, and happy member of society.

I know that kids are like sponges.  They model everything that their parents say or do and eventually that leads to decisions about how they will live their lives as they get older.  When I think about my hopes for Grady, I wish for happiness, joy, independence, and a zest for life (among other things).  Now that I realize how fast time does fly, I want to savor every minute that I have with him and focus on enjoying our times together as a family.  In pointing myself in that direction, I have been trying to kick the habit of watching too much TV.  It eats up that precious time we have together.  As a SAHM,  I have the good fortune of being able to spend so much time with my toddler day in and day out. This has challenged me to try and keep our days fun and entertaining for the both of us, while also allowing him time for independent play at his own pace.  What better way is there to keep both Mommy and toddler alert and energized than by going outside?  Being the avid reader I am, I picked up Rebecca P. Cohen's book, 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids.


 

This book is a must-have if you are a mom that loves to be outdoors, or aspires to be.  It challenges the reader to spend at least 15 minutes outside with your children each and every day.  It is divided by seasons and contains useful tips, along with structured and unstructured activities to do during those times. 

Ms. Cohen's book has inspired me to begin a challenge, along with my son, for the next 365 days. Beginning April 1, 2012 I pledge TO BE OUTSIDE FOR AT LEAST 15 MINUTES EACH DAY WITH MY TODDLER.

Why should we do this?  Think of the long-term benefits!  If you are outside playing, running, and having fun with your children, you are teaching them to naturally incorporate physical fitness into their everyday lives.  You yourself will be taking the time to enjoy nature and all she has to offer. Children will learn to be inquisitive, creative, and aware of what is around them.

Why is that a challenge?  The challenge is being ready to taste each season and embrace all types of weather.  Trying to find the fun in the raindrops, wind, fog, slush, and sunlight.  Allow your child to appreciate the day as it begins at sunrise, winds down at twilight, and goes to sleep with the stars.

So, why not join us? Throughout this next year, I will chronicle our time spent experiencing the outdoors each day on this blog.  My goal is to incorporate educational activities, everyday routines that can be taken outdoors, special events, and the spontaneous moments that grow from being surrounded by nature.  

Come on! Let's go!
Let's connect with nature and each other! 

You can catch up with all of the fun we've been having outside by visiting our 365 Days Outdoors page filled with activities that you can try this summer with your little ones!

Thank you so much for stopping by! If you enjoyed this post, please join us on Facebook. You can even explore our boards on Pinterest if you are looking for more ways to foster family connections through play and inspiration.

19 comments:

  1. I've had this book on my "wish list" for over a year now! I love your idea and we will definitely be joining you on this challenge. :) This is going to be so much fun!

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    1. Wonderful! The book has so many great ideas and I'm sure everyone will be coming up with some more exciting ones to add to it! I'm so glad that you'll be joining us! :)

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  2. What a great idea - I love getting outdoors and have seen this book mentioned but didn't know whether it was worth getting or not.

    Thank you so much for sharing with Tuesday Tots and I look forward to reading about your outdoor activities over the next 365 days.

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    1. Thanks! I've had this book on my wish list for some time, and I'm glad I picked it up!

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  3. I'll join up as going outside goes AGAINST my nature. When I was little, my mom could put me on a blanket outside and I wouldn't move from that spot b/c I didn't like the feel of grass. I've only gotten minimally better since then, LOL.

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    1. I know exactly how you feel! I'm not what you would call "outdoorsy", but I'm hoping this will get me to try more things outside of my confort zone. :) My son will not get off the blanket either, if he is barefoot!

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  4. I'll have to look for that book! I don't know if we'll make it out every day with a baby due in August, but it's certainly a goal of mine!

    Thanks for sharing at Mama Smiles - this is a fantastic goal!

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    1. I'm sure it will be difficult for us too, even without another addition coming. :) Especially when the rainy and cooler days set in. Hopefully, we'll be able to power on!

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  5. I love this post so much and the ethos of it that I'm featuring it on Tuesday Tots this week. Thank you so much for sharing it with us and also encouraging me to get the book.

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    1. I'm so excited that you are sharing our challenge! Thanks so much for you kind words. So far, we are enjoying our time spent outdoors and are looking forward to keeping up with the project!

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  6. This is a great challenge. I always try to get the kids out every day. It will be hard this summer. Central Texas had over 100 days of temps over 100 degrees last summer, but I think if we get out early enough or late enough we can get our time in. Thanks for stopping by my blog. We would love to join you.

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    1. That is hot! That was our problem when we lived in NC...now that we're in PA, the temps aren't as sweltering. Glad you are joining us!

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  7. What a great idea! Look forward to reading about all the fun you have!

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    1. Thanks! We're enjoying it so far! More activities to come!

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  8. Great idea. We are outdoors almost everyday even in some pretty awful weather, but sometimes it is very much get my daughter on my back and under the brolly! We will join your challenge and try to let my daughter be properly outdoors whatever the weather.

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    1. I'm so excited that you are joining us! I've really been stopping to enjoy the sights outside, since I often check to see what the weather is like. So far, we've been having a lot of fun!

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    2. Thought I'd add my first week's post http://elsiesnortherngarden.blogspot.com/2012/04/outdoors-all-year-round-this-weeks.html :)

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  9. We love to be outdoors everyday now. Lately, my daughter has been the one to suggest going out since she started her own flower garden, and she wants to make sure to get her plants watered each day.

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    1. That is so sweet she wants to be responsible for her own flowers! My son tries to open the door himself when he wants to go outside...melts my heart!

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Thanks for commenting! I love hearing your thoughts!

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