Given that I spent the majority of my childhood free time toy-free and playing outside, I have always been concerned about curbing material excess in Laurel's life, and aware of how important it is for her (and us) to be active outdoors. I thus was happy and honored to be invited to be part of the National Wildlife Federation's Founding Mothers, a group of women writers who will work to mobilize families outdoors in partnership with the NWF's Be Out There campaign.
There are a lot of reasons why it's important to be out there; I admit that I was more than a little horrified to see the statistic that these days, many kids spend only 4-7 minutes outside in contrast to 6-7 hours per day in front of electronic media. This, despite findings showing that outdoor play leads to increased creativity during play, enhanced concentration, and less aggression. It seems like a no brainer to be out there, right?
But I get it. It can be hard to motivate to get outside with your kids. It is easier to have your kids play video games or watch TV so you can deal with household minutia or catch up on work. But I hope you will think about change and sign the pledge to spend time outside with your kids. There's nothing formal or binding about the pledge; it's simply a solidarity type thing.
And given that: a) we enjoy the gift of living in a city where both urban and more bucolic outdoor adventures are within reach; and b) you may need a little inspiration for April vacation week, this week I will be sharing an idea each day to inspire you and your kids to Be Out There. (And fear not fantastic readers outside of Massachusetts: though there will be a local spin to each post, otherwise, the basic ideas will be applicable regardless of location.)
I hope to see you out there!
I'm honored to be in the company of these talented fellow National Wildlife Federation Founding Mothers. I hope you'll visit their sites.
Amie Adams (Mamma Loves)
Holly Ambrose (Tropic of Mom)
Kristin Brandt (Manic Mommies)
Leighann Calentine (D-Mom)
Veronique Christensen (Little Elephants)
Asha Dornfest (Parent Hacks)
Anna Fader (Mommy Poppins)
Ashley Gaddy (Fletcher and Lola)
Tracey Henry (Suburban Diva)
Jennifer James (Mom Bloggers Club)
Rachel Matthews (A Southern Fairytale)
Kim Moldofsky (Hormone Colored Days)
Cooper Munroe (The Motherhood)
Emily McKhann (The Motherhood)
Debi Pfitzenmaier (SA Busy Kids)
Liz Thompson (This Full House)