Wow, winter in Canada with three little ones makes it hard to get outside. Even with our trip to Cuba, we only accumulated 136 hours outside during the first three months of the year. Then something wonderful happened. Spring arrived! This month, not including today, we have spent 107 hours and 15 minutes outside. Not too bad considering that we spent the better part of our rainy week last week inside. I can't wait for camping season, spending entire weekends outside. How about your family? Are you meeting your screen free/ outdoor time goals for the year? If your struggling, why not brainstorm at dinner with your family and come up with ideas on how to spend more time outside this year. Here are a few questions to get you started:
What activities do we do inside that we could do outside instead?
How much time are the members of your family spending on the computer or watching TV? Is it more than the amount of time spent outside? What could be done to restore the balance?
What are your favourite outdoor activities to do together as a family?
What is something that you enjoyed doing outdoors as a child that you would like to pass on to your children?
After you are done brainstorming, try to come up with a plan and figure out a way to stick to it. Sticker charts work great for kids. Place special events like outdoor festivals and camping trips on the calendar with countdowns to important activities. Delegate tasks to every family member when planning and preparing for outings. Oldest to youngest, everyone is more likely to have fun if they played a part in making a successful outing happen. Don't sweat it if the magic isn't always there, it takes awhile to find a system that works for each family.
This is all a great idea in theory you say, but in real life, it's hard getting the kids out the door. I know. I really do, I live it everyday. One great suggestion I've heard is to have a few pre packed bags in your closet, ready for different destinations, beach, park, forest, picnic... And to have pre made snacks in your fridge, freezer and pantry, ready to grab and go, as soon as your hear "Mommy, what do birds eat?" Let's go find out sweetie...