Since beginning the #150hoursoutside Project at the start of this year, I’ve received tons of questions asking me how to gather a group of families and get a nature group or Forest School group meetup started. This is something I’ve done in the past, and recently started back up again in my local community (we’re just getting ready to start our Summer session!). So I figured I’d share my tips and tricks for getting a local group off the ground in your area in the easiest way possible.
Welcome to the #150hoursoutside Weekly Log! This is where we log our hours outside for the #150hoursoutside Project! This isn’t necessary for you as an individual to participate in the project, but it helps us keep track of our community totals, which is motivating and inspiring to us all!
You’ve probably heard about some of the amazing benefits of letting your children climb trees. In our #150hoursoutside Project, we even had a tree climbing challenge one week to encourage everyone to get out into the forest and give it a try. Unfortunately, over the past few decades, not only have we seen an epic decrease in the average amount of time our children are spending outside in free play everyday (4-7 MINUTES on average! Yikes!), but along with that, the enjoyment of tree climbing has all but disappeared.
If you’ve been following along with my #150hoursoutside Project this year, or if you’ve just been around the natural learning world for awhile, then you’ve likely heard the phrase: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, only bad clothing.” And while I believe that to *almost* always be the case, the reality is that sometimes… there IS such a thing as bad weather.
Sometimes – we just can’t go outside safely. And that is perfectly ok.
SO… what do you do when you’re used to spending time outdoors and for whatever crazy weather reason, you’re stuck inside?
I recently shared inside the #150hoursoutside Facebook Group about this little Pocket Bear that I made for my sons for Christmas to take on their adventures throughout the year, and the feedback was immediate: YES, WE WANT THEM! I believe these adorable little bears will become our “official” #150hoursoutside mascots, and I cannot WAIT to start seeing these little creatures pop up in photos all around the world!
The other incredible thing that happened in this moment is that Charlie had a tangible reminder of a memory. You see, young children have incredibly short attention spans and are very quickly moving from one moment to the next and one emotion to the another. Because of this fluid movement of our thoughts as young children, we have few memories that we carry from our early childhood for the rest of our lives. However, what this seemingly worthless crab shell did in this moment was give Charlie a tangible object that he could feel and see and hold, to bring the memory of that adventure back to life in a very vivid way.