It seems like there’s a new buzz challenge every year, powered by social media. Can you remember the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge‘ for charity back in 2014? or the ‘Keke Challenge‘ in 2018?
The clue is in the name this year, as the 1,000-Hours-Outside Challenge aims to encourage families to do just that; to spend 1,000 hours out in nature this year.
The challenge was created by Ginny, mum of 5 and her husband Josh. They did some research and found out the ideal amount of time children should spend outside is between 4 and 6 hours PER DAY. They’ve been trying to achieve this goal themselves with their large family, and have found many benefits in doing so. Ginny now writes a blog where she explains more about the challenge and how to go about it. You can find it here.
Do you think 1,000 hours are quite a lot? I certainly did at first. To achieve 1,000 hours outside in one year, you would need to complete on average 19.2 hours per week, or roughly 2.8 hours per day. As the mum of a 4-year-old and a 6-year-old, I find this number quite high, particularly given our British weather.
On sunny days, we might spend the entire day outside, but most weekdays we rush from school to after-school activities, and we only have enough time for a quick bath, dinner and stories before bedtime.
But reading further on this challenge, I realised there’s a reason behind this big number. Ginny claims ‘the average American child spends 1,200 hours a year in front of screens’. The idea is to match the number of hours that kids spend in front of screens, with the number of hours they spend outside. I would imagine this figure is very similar for British children.
Although it makes sense, I don’t think families should feel under any pressure to achieve this target every week. As with anything else in life, everybody is different and every family’s day-to-day varies massively. So a blanket rule won’t fit everyone.
Instead, the challenge can be used as a fun target to aim to, without losing sleep over it. For example, it may help you chose after-school activities that take place outside or plan your weekends to explore the great outdoors. We are certainly spoilt for choice in Poole with many parks and beaches around us. You can find our favourite choices here.
But if you’d like to join the challenge, there’s a UK-based Facebook Grouphere. You can also download a tracker sheet here.
Some Members of Poole Mumbler’s Communityare also doing the challenge. Please join us and share your photos with us. We’d love to see them!
Join local families taking the challenge by following @dorsetwildexplorers on Instagram.
Do you love spending time out and about with the kids? Would you like to write a blog for us? Please get in touch here.