Rimu Loop Track, Otanewainuku, Tauranga with the tamariki

25 Hours Outside these School Holidays
We’re taking up Celia Hogan’s (from Little Kiwis Nature Play) 25 hours of time outside these school holidays. You may like to check out her website, full of inspiring and worthy challenges about NATURE PLAY, and all the wonderous benefits.

Benefits to being Outside
We know being outside:
– improves focus (significantly helps those with ADHD concentrate)
– reduces obesity
– reduces stress, anxiety, depression
– lowers screen time and therefore builds connection (and therefore probably builds self-esteem)

Last Child into the Woods
I’m currently reading ‘Last Child into the Woods’ by Richard Louv:

“Progress does not have to be patented to be worthwhile. Progress can also be measured by our interactions with nature and its preservation. Can we teach children to look at a flower and see all the things it represents: beauty, the health of an ecosystem, and the potential for healing? ”
― Richard Louv, Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature-Deficit Disorder

1000 Hours Outside
You may like to visit 1000 hours Outside, an American website which shares our young people should be outside for 1000 hour each year. 1000 hours divided by 356 days = 2.7 hours every single day.

The Outdoor Kids Project
A beautiful instagram page is The Outdoor Kids Project, providing cinematographic and everyday-chomp-sized ideas for G E T T I N G   O U T S I D E   M O R E.

Walk the first 10 minutes of ANY walk
And for now, some inspiration. Karen from ‘The Outdoor Kids Project’ suggests going to any walk (rather than hunting out the short loops) and simply walking 10 minutes in, and playing, and then walking 10 minutes out. I like her strategy, as we both agreed (during a Nature Play session at Bottle Lake Park in Canterbury) that being close to the carpark is a real winner (especially with kids younger than 5 years, and especially in colder/rainier weather). It’s wise to make things as manageable as possible, then we will want to continue to get our selves and our young people outside for at least 2 hours everyday.

A little is better than none
But don’t let that be your yardstick. Go as much as you can manage. Continue to be encouraged even if 2 hours feel too hard for you. As a lovely friend Fiona Lavin says, “Be as Vegan as you can muster.” Instead of saying, it’s too hard to be plant-based, especially with three meat-enjoying children, reduce reduce reduce, as much meat-consumption as possible and C E L E B R A T E when you do.

Celebrate what we do manage
Same same for G E T T I N G  O U T S I D E. Get into Nature as much as you can, and C E L E B R A T E it when you can.

Putting stress on young bones grows them
Husband has also recently studied Personal Training, and did you know kids NEED to be running and jumping to put stress on their bones, so their bones continue to grow strong – this prevents osteoporosis later in life. So, there’s another reason to high five, jumping in those muddy puddles.

Otanewainuku
Here’s a section of the serene Otanewainuku, which actually has kiwi.
A helpful link for all the ins and outs: https://www.doc.govt.nz/parks-and-recreation/places-to-go/bay-of-plenty/places/otanewainuku-forest/things-to-do/otanewainuku-walking-tracks/

Where’s your favourite place to walk, run, jump, explore with young people?

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