When we were looking for homes in the Atlanta area, we were stunned by the beauty and size of the homes. In our hunt, my ideal neighborhood had sidewalks for running/walking, a local Catholic Church (plus a Trader Joe’s) and ample space for our kids to play.
We finally settled on a lovely home so spacious it could easily fit our quaint Falls Church, VA townhome inside. The bonus was the large walkout backyard (uh-oh no basement for teenagers) and a garage to store lots of stuff we continually talk about donating or selling.
Our first few weeks in suburbia the temperature reached record highs up to 108 degrees. It was awful.
Once it cooled off (99 degrees), we stepped outside to play and were surrounded by empty yards and quiet streets. (!)
Where the **beep** were all the kids we saw in the real estate brochure? (No, there wasn’t really a brochure, but still!)
Naturally, not much deters our family from going outside, so we stayed and played. Every day a little more, eventually connecting with our neighbors. Turns out Hotlanta is a thing. And for most people, the 108-degree temperature was their kryptonite, understandably so.
In my research of outdoor play and it’s unending benefits, I happened upon the 1,000 Hours Outside Challenge, a brilliant idea that involves tracking the time our kids spend outside. “The entire point of 1000 Hours Outside is to attempt to match nature time with screen time. If kids can consume media through screens 1200 hours a year on average then the time is there and at least some of it can and should be shifted towards a more productive and healthy outcome.”
I love this idea and the mission of 1,000 Hours Outside. As an advocate for all things play, I implore families to step outside together in the rain, wind, snow, and sunshine and celebrate the fleeting time we have together.