Begun as a lark in 2011 by homeshooler, Ginny Yurick, the 1000 Hours of Outside Challenge was birthed from a Charlotte Mason teaching which encouraged kids to get outside 3-4 hours per day. She found that spending as many outside hours as possible made her children sleep better, play better, behave better, and made her feel like a good mom for the first time ever.

My family was trying to spend 1000 hours outside this year, but keeping logs of the time was tedious and stressful. We took the work out of the equation and now there’s only play!

Here are our tips to get outside more and love every minute of it!

Change the Way You Think of Time

Time is money. Technically, as an adult, you understand this more. However, children trade their time like money all the time without realizing it. What if you said to them “yes, you can watch that show, but you’re trading tv time for bicycle time.” Wait? What? Now when they ask for one thing, they’re really giving up another thing.

Change the Way You Think of Outside Time

In your family, make going outside a job, you can’t skip it even if it’s not the best weather. Make it your medicine, that you can’t skip even if you’re on a trip, and especially should continue when you’re feeling bad. Make it your school which is important for development and intellect. Make it your routine, and you won’t fight it.

Make a Plan and Follow It

We all do better to get things done when we write them down. The old saying “where there’s a will, there’s a way” should actually be “where there’s a plan, there’s action”. Maybe you want to follow someone else’s plan.

Here is my checklist. It can be used weekly or monthly:

___Visit a park/playground

___Take a hike

___Download the Geocaching app and find a cache

___Visit a new Conservation area/refuge/national or state park/historic site

___Play in some water (stream, river, lake, pool)

___Draw or paint outside

___Take pictures of flowers, trees, clouds, etc.

___Sit on your porch or in your yard and watch the sun come up or go down

___Take flowers to a memorial or gravesite

___Plant a flower or tree

___Try an outdoor workout

___Take a hike around the neighborhood

___Cook/eat a meal outside

___Plan a nighttime bonfire

___Climb a tree

___Play in the rain (safely)

___Kayak or canoe in a nearby lake/pond

___Read or study your Bible outside


Obviously this is a big list and only includes things we’ve done and enjoyed. You may like to do other things, like surfing. Other outdoor activities that many people enjoy are mountain climbing and birdwatching. What do you like to do outside? Can you move anything you like to do indoors outdoors? This would be a smooth start to getting outside more.

Just Do It

The best way to do anything is just to do it. You can plan a thing to death and then never enjoy the thing you spent the time planning. My advice? Go outside and start with no plan. You’ll figure out things that you enjoy.

Start this Sabbath. If there’s no unsafe weather, and you have some free time, head outside.