Friday, April 7, 2017

Outdoor Life Challenge: Week 1 Log

I'm writing this on the first truly warm spring day! It's +16!!! I feel giddy! Maybe the winter will finally end!

Here's a log of our outdoor time this week.


It was sunny, but with a strong north wind, it was a rather miserable day to be outside! Nevertheless, we made an effort. It was way too windy for the baby, so I went out with the older two while she was napping. First we discovered buds starting to open on our big old Manitoba Maple beside the house. We walked down to the river to check out some other trees. The little Sugar Maple's buds were still tightly closed. The kids noticed that underneath the half-frozen hillocks of last fall's long grass there was new green grass growing! They were pretty excited. I was in and out for a bit, checking on the baby, putting supper in the oven, taking the mail inside. When the wind got to be too much, we sat on the sunny side of the house where it was sheltered. The kids wanted to do a rainbow scavenger hunt, so we tried to find a few colours along the side of the house. The most interesting find was a red ladybug. :)

Kids: 30 min in the morning
All together: 60 min in the afternoon


Another chilly day. We went out for about 40 min after lunch, and headed out again later while the baby was sleeping. This time, we got to talking with our neighbour, and invited her in for fresh banana bread! So while our outdoor time was cut a little short, being outside gave us opportunity for a much-welcomed visit.

Kids: 30 min in the morning
All together: 60 min in the afternoon


Wednesday afternoons we go into town for gymnastics. By the time that was over and we had gone grocery shopping and run errands, it was almost supper time! So we didn't get out together. I'm thinking I'll have to be creative on Wednesdays if we're going to be outside much, at least in the afternoons.

Kids: 30 min in the morning


We had a field trip to a local museum! We left the house first thing in the morning. The kids were pretty tired when our tour was finished after lunch. But we decided to take the scenic route home to get a view of the ocean, and stopped at a lookout for a few minutes where they scrambled on a big rock while I drank my coffee. :) When we got home, everyone needed naps! (We are also still recovering from sickness around here, so I've been noticing the kids are a little extra tired.)

All together: 15 min or so


I thought today was going to be a write-off. I woke up this morning with a sore throat, headache, and general aches. It was raining. It was a Magic School Bus sort of morning... But then the sun actually came out this afternoon, and when I looked at the thermometer, that's when I noticed the amazing warm temperature! So I rounded up the kids to at least send them out. It was so enticing though once I felt the warmth, so I brought a blanket to the bench on the back deck, and there I lay, still feeling sick but also happy! The kids, on the other hand, have been running and laughing and discovering all the things that they left out last fall. They've got their bikes out, and are now digging around the sandbox, which is basically a giant mud puddle! And after my little nap, I'm typing this log up from the backyard. I'm not really sure how long we've been out here... maybe an hour? I could have laid on the couch, but I'm glad I came out!

All together: 90 minutes and counting


1. Spend a portion of our day together outside
While we didn't do this every day, we did it more days than I would have, had I not been challenging myself! I probably wouldn't have stopped for an outdoor break on Thursday, or made the effort to go out myself on Friday.

2. Have a snack or lunch outside
We had our afternoon snack outside on Friday!

3. Nature journaling 
I made an entry, but the kids didn't. (Between our field trip day and a sick day for myself, we didn't get to do all the things I had planned on this week.) I drew the tree across the road from our house. I don't know what kind of tree it is! I'm starting with observing the shape of the branches (a good winter activity) and the nature of the bark.

4. Make outdoor play our default play
On Friday, I had hope that we might actually be able to move in this direction!

5. Continue my own nature education
I got some books out of the library on fish. I read up on getting a fish for a pet. I'm also curious about the tree I drew in my nature journal. I might have to wait till the leaves come out to be able to identify it!

Lessons Learned:

  • It's much easier to get outside when we are actually home! (Unless we are going somewhere for the purpose of being outside, which we didn't get to this week. But with a field trip already, I didn't want to add another outing.) 
  • Being outside opens us up to interact with our community. 
  • Even though we didn't get outside together every day this week, we still made progress, and that's the main thing. There's the ideal, and then there's real life. Just because they don't match, it doesn't mean I give up the ideal, or that we failed. We're moving in the right direction!

I'll leave you with this piece of wisdom from my 6 year old:

"When you get told to go outside, you don't want to go outside, but then when you get out there you start having fun, and then you want to be outside!"

Yes, that's exactly it.

~ Lindsey


  1. That's what I tell my kids- you may not want to go out, but you'll be glad you did. They may fuss initally, but minutes later they're playing, running and exploring. They are 7, 11, 13 and still need daily outdoor time; it's just good for the soul!

    1. Yes, and good for us mama souls too! I'm always glad when I make the effort to go out!


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