Outside in 30

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Get fresh air and sunshine by spending time out of doors with your children. We’ll make it a new habit together.


Earlier this year I started reading Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder by Richard Louv. I find it interesting on a number of levels. Not only does the author talk about his experiences living in both San Diego and Overland Park, KS — both places where I’ve lived for a considerable length of time — but he also addresses the fact that we as a culture and our children are falling away from a relationship, understanding, or even comfort in the great outdoors.

Though I live in the Land of (Almost) Perpetual Sunshine, I know that I still spend too much time indoors, as do my children.

I made a goal early in the year to make getting outside a daily habit. Well, that fell by the wayside. While we didn’t have the frigid weather that many of you have had this winter, it was still colder than normal, even here in the Land of (Almost) Perpetual Sunshine.

beach hotel

Instead of ditching my goal altogether, I decided to focus on finding ways that were easy to get the kids and I outside. I’ve made an extensive list of easy and affordable ways to spend time outside. I’ll be sharing them throughout the month of April.

Hopefully, after thirty days of making the great outdoors a priority, it will become a regular habit.

If you struggle with spending too much time inside, this series is for you!

If you are a natural (pun intended), it’s for you, too. Because we need your help! As we go along, please share your experiences and expertise in enjoying the great outdoors with children.

  1. Take a Walk
  2. Build Something
  3. Fly a Kite
  4. Go For a Bike Ride
  5. Play in the Water
  6. Draw with Sidewalk Chalk
  7. Go Bird Watching
  8. Hang Out in the Hammock
  9. You Belong at the Zoo
  10. Hiking with Children
  11. Camp in the Backyard
  12. Go Fishing
  13. Eat Outside
  14. Play at the Park
  15. Visit the Botanical Garden
  16. Go to the Farmer’s Market
  17. Find a Petting Zoo
  18. Go Berry Picking
  19. Plant a Garden with Your Kids
  20. Visit a National Park or Forest
  21. Walk Around the Lake
  22. Letterbox
  23. Play Hopscotch
  24. Climb a Tree
  25. Where’s the Water?
  26. Go Swimming
  27. Go on a Nature Scavenger Hunt
  28. Splash in the Puddles and Play in the Rain
  29. Watch the Sun Set
  30. Watch the Stars

Are you an in-y or an out-y?

About Jessica Fisher

I believe you can get great meals on the table -- and still keep that pretty smile on your face.

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  1. Michelle K says

    So excited for this series! We’re just about an hour north of you so we have the same amazing weather. However, with hubby and I at work all day, we have a hard time finding the time (or energy) to make a trip outside with the kids. Looking forward to reading the suggestions.

  2. I used to be very much an in-y! I’m mostly reformed, though. 😉 We spend a lot of time outside as a family. It took me awhile to learn, however, that I am NOT the kind of person who can just relax/do nothing outdoors. Lying on a beach? No thanks. Sitting on a bench? No way. Standing by a playscape? Not gonna happen. But I LOVE to hike, garden, walk, climb, jog, explore, etc. I just have to be DOING something! As simple as it sounds, that was an important discovery for me.

  3. I am really looking forward to this series. I don’t have children yet, but this past weekend I noticed my husband and I just completely addicted to all things technology. Now I know why we don’t have cable…but laptops and iphones are just as bad!

    • Jessica Fisher says

      We didn’t have TV before we had kids — or even for a long time after. It can be really hard to unplug. You have to be so intentional about it.

  4. What a great series idea! I’m excited for ideas. I am a naturally indoors person, too, but my kids all flock outdoors and love it. It’s almost time to break out the “park bag” and the “swim bag” for this season (a little trick I learned from you, Jessica).

    • Jessica Fisher says

      Yay for bags on the go! THAT is a life saver for me. (I’m an indoors person, too.) We’ll figure it out together.

  5. Jennie says

    I’m an inside girl. My kids aren’t. I want to be more outdoors type. Finding things we both enjoy is a little difficult. I can’t wait for this series.

  6. Jessie says

    Outdoors! However, I’ve found it difficult to get outside with my now 17mo old so this series will hopefully provide more ideas than our typical playground or puttering around the yard:)

  7. Charyse says

    My family is KING of indoor and technology…but we have been trying to spend more time doing Fun, Family, and Fresh Air…so, we stumbled upon what I think is the GREATEST idea EVER…

    Geocaching! A modern day treasure hunt! This is a GREAT activity for families to do! My family began geocaching just before the New Year and it is my daughter’s favorite activity! All you need is some form of a GPS device (there are free apps for smartphones if you don’t have a GPS, we use the geocaching app on our Android), cache information from geocaching.com, a pen, and some small trinkets (think cereal box prizes) to put in some of the geocaches.

    1. Determine where to look (geocaches are in over 180 countries around the world…I’m sure you live near simply hundreds of them. Just in our small country town there are more than a dozen within walking distance.

    2. Use geocaching.com to locate and write down coordinates and hints on caches in the area you plan to look.

    3. Follow your GPS device or smartphone to the location of the geocache and…look! There are many sizes of caches, larger than a five gallon bucket, smaller than one section of my finger.

    4. Sign it…most geocachers pick a handle (we are hillcachingfamily) maybe you can go by your fish names from your blog?? Also, if it is big enough for trinkets, you pick one, leave another. There are also travel bugs and geocoins on traveling missions around the country or the world…those must be placed in other geocaches and cannot be kept.

    5. Put it back…this is IMPORTANT!! Other people cannot find it if you don’t put it back!

    It’s a Treasure Hunt is a great book and there is also quite a bit of explanation on geocaching.com if you need more information.

  8. This semester I have an “outside” job 1 hour a week while my kids are in coop classes. It has reminded me how much I need to make sure we all get outside more. I’m looking forward to some inspiration from this theme! Thank you.

  9. rhian says

    I’m more of an in-y person but now having 3 boy’s has sent me on a steep learning curve. The UK weather is very unpredictable and we are all still wearing winter clothes. It snowed again today!! My boy’s are like puppies, they need a daily run and we always try to achieve it, even if it’s a quick walk around the village. Wellies, scarves and hats feature a lot in our house!

  10. Daniela says

    thanks so much for this series…it takes a lot for me to engage my kids outdoors…but this is just the inspiration I need!

  11. Shari Orce says

    I am an in~y. I live in Florida. Two of my children are very active, but their sports are indoors, gymnastics and dance, the other has tons of homework, and when he is done, he just chills at the computer. Outdoor heat quickly gives me migraines! Any suggestions?

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