1000 Hours Outside Challenge

We love to be outdoors – we always did, but since we had Wyatt, we have increased the amount of time that we are outside. We learned that it is so good for your brain and vision and just your whole health and body and healing to be in nature, and we were determined to take every available route to aid him in his journey. Sometime last year I learned about the 1000 hours outside challenge, but it was too late for us to attempt to make the 1000 hours. So, this year we are trying. I don’t think we will get there – we have our own challenges that we have workarounds for. But, I am curious as to how much time we WILL spend outdoors. I think just by trying we will achieve more outdoor time than if we hadn’t attempted this challenge.

The 1000 Hours Outside Challenge was the brainchild of a couple, Josh and Ginny, from the state of Michigan, actually even my own part of the state. We love the outdoors here in Michigan! They had read that the average child spends 1200 hours a year on a screen, which is crazy when you think about it. They hope to balance some of that screen time with time outside, and aim for about twenty hours a week. Right now, we are nowhere near that, but we hope to increase our time as the weather improves.

So this January, we were off and running, and have done three different hikes, and a small little walk in the snow. Our time spent isn’t much added all up, but the time spent meant more than just the minutes themselves – we had all that time together, soaking up the fresh air, the snow, the birds and trees, and all the goodness that lives outside. And all that family time!

We hiked through a lonely, cold marsh, where we were the only humans. When we stood silently, we could hear the wind rattling the bones of these marsh grasses and trees, and the din of the waterbirds, which lined the rails of the decking and dotted the gray waters. We were surprised to see no real ice, it was all open water pretty much still – it’s been such a mild winter!

We took a quick snowy walk around our neighborhood, and then another short jaunt through another marshy area. The pond here was just starting to gain a skim of ice, but it was utterly silent there, except for the lapping of the water onto the shoreline. This is where I found my turtle shell!

Then this past weekend we visited yet another more marshy type spot, which was weirdly snowy, icy, and muddy. We tried to be more observant of the small things we could spot here, and I found some air-breathing freshwater snails, while Billy spotted some bits of green and icy swirls. There is something to be said for being the only people in a cold woods – everything feels different, the quiet is just so big!

So, while we have not racked up lots of actual time on the clock, we have had many family adventures already. I can’t wait to see where the rest of the year takes us! And, it looks like my son is ready for whatever it brings!


18 thoughts on “1000 Hours Outside Challenge

  1. This is amazing! We lived in a warmer climate when my kids were small and we were always outside. Now as a retiree in colder climate I don’t get out that much, but why? Just a heavier layer of clothes and good to go! There’s a book out there that I remember the title of, but not the author: There are no Bad Weather Days, lol. Have you seen this one?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I did read that book, and I loved it! It really inspired me when Wyatt was around a year old, to get out with him more. πŸ™‚ And clothes do make the difference. Depending on the length of time I plan to be out and how cold, I wear different layers. But always a warm hat, gloves, and socks!


  2. Oh, I do love the idea behind this challenge – how fun. I think even if participants don’t manage the 1000 hours, it is wonderful for encouraging others to get outside!

    Any & all family time is wonderful, but I will say family time outdoors is definitely my favourite. It sounds like you’ve already managed a great number of explorations in January, and it is only mid month!

    Lovely captures, in both words & photos.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do too! I think that is what I am hoping to get ; even if I don’t make the 1000 hours we will end up having spent more time outdoors regardless. πŸ™‚ We love our outside time – I think we are less distracted out there. At home and inside, we have our phones, and tv competing with us, even when we don’t have them out or on.

      Thanks Jade. πŸ™‚


    1. So far it has been so mild! Michigan – you never know what you are going to get. I am crossing my fingers we don’t get that winter storm this weekend, we have an owl prowl we are planning on going to.

      And anytime outside is good! I don’t like driving in heavy snow or ice, so that does deter us somewhat, but I am trying to work around that somehow. πŸ™‚


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  4. He is such a darling. You go on this challenge. My brother and his ohana are outdoorsy. They go camping and skiing during the winter and are always off to Legoland and Disneyland or the zoo or the Discovery museum which I know Wyatt would like.

    Liked by 1 person

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