My family and I are like bears. We are not a huge fan of the winter months. My husband often jokes about how he doesn’t understand why I continue to want to live in a place that is so cold most of the year. It’s true, winter and I are not friends. Honestly like the bears, the kids and I hibernate all winter long. We take as many classes as we can close to home, and bunker down waiting for the snow to pass. My kids do like the winter a little more than me, since they took up snowboarding, but I think it’s more the adrenaline of whipping down a run than it is enjoying the freezing on their face. However, once the snow melts and the snowboards are put away until the next season, we start to come out of our cave. Groggy, and a little grumpy, trying to shake off those long winter blues.
At first it was just a faint sound in the distance, and then louder as the geese declared that they too were back for the warm summer months. Then we noticed a ladybug, and another. You see, where I live these can be signs of spring, but they can also be trickery to make you think that the spring is coming, but yet a second winter is just around the corner. We Calgarians are a skeptical bunch. However, the signs just keep coming, and the days are getting warmer and warmer, so I am starting to think that maybe spring is here after all.
Recently, I read the book The Last Child In The Woods by Richard Louv. It made me really think about how my kids and I spend the majority of our time inside. Sure, we go for walks, and go to the park every so often, but we don’t spend as much time just appreciating nature as I would like. Life gets in the way. We are busy. We have cleaning to do. We have the science and art projects, and Lego builds that need to be done. There are a million excuses.
I want to stop with the excuses. The dishes will still be there. The laundry will always pile up. My kids will grow and move on. These days are so fleeting. So this year I made a goal to make the most of all the good weather that is coming our way. I don’t feel that my kids get enough outside time. I don’t feel that they get as much hands on learning in nature as I aspire to. So for the month of April I have created a Instagram challenge for my family. I am calling it The Outside Everyday challenge. I would love for you to follow along and/or join us! I have created 30 prompts to inspire myself (and anyone who joins us ) to get outside every single day. They don’t have to used in order, anyone can jump in at anytime. You don’t even have to do every one of them, but if you are following me on Instagram you can see what we do with these prompts staring April 1st.
To help inspire you even more, please take a minute to watch this TED talk. I love how at the end of this video there is a short film that speaks on gratitude. I really believe that our children need know nature, and be grateful for their place in it, in order to save it.
So I say, leave the dishes. Ignore that laundry, and make time every single day for the month of April to get outside and enjoy the weather (rain or shine). As my mother used to say, “Fresh air never hurt anyone”.
Please feel free to share my challenge with your friends, I would love to see the pictures and outings that people come up with.
And, if you really enjoy your time this April maybe it will become a habit that continues through the whole year.
I also have a Giveaway for you! One lucky participant is going to WIN a copy of the My Nature Book by Linda Kranz. All you have to do is Follow Me on Instagram, Tag me in your photos and use the hashtags #outsideeveryday, #reallifehomeschooling, and #learningfrommykids. I will count these up and the person with the most will be the winner. If I have a tie, I will do a simple draw. Good Luck!!