Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Your Green Hour Success Stories


Today’s post is part of “Your Green Hour Survival Guide,” a series which I hope will provide you with inspiration to make getting outside every day a habit.

If you haven’t joined the Go Explore Nature fan page on Facebook yet, you should. It’s a great place to meet other like-minded people who are willing to share ideas and inspiration for getting outside and connected to nature every day.

Here’s a great example. A couple of weeks ago, I posed the following question: 

If you've set a goal to get outside at least 15 minutes a day this month (or before), how is it going?

Here’s what some of you had to say.

“We've been trying to get outside 15 minutes (or more) per day. It was going really well until this week. It's already getting uncomfortably hot here in San Antonio, and I'm a total wimp when it comes to that! We've got a picnic planned for tomorrow though, and we ate lunch outside today, so we're forging ahead the best that we can.” – Sarah V. of Wandering Off

Yay, Sarah! If you need some advice for getting outside when the weather turns hot, check out these tips for staying cool during the heat from Michele at Fun Orange County Parks.

“At this point we are working on [getting outside] twice a week. As it warms up, it will increase.” – Gayla K.

Gayle is on to something here. Setting small, achievable goals is a great way to make sure you’ll stick with a new habit. You're setting yourself up for success.

“We recently moved from the city of Sacramento to a very rural area in New Hampshire. One of the most important things for us was to provide our kids with as much open space for them to explore. Now that our snow is gone, we are getting them outside every day for a minimum of one hour. They didn't have this opportunity in CA because our yard was literally a 10x10 space that was mostly designated as the dog’s space. Now they run our 5 acres with such joy and I am so happy we made this move.” – Cassie V.

Wow, Cassie! How exciting for you and your kids! I know firsthand how challenging it is to have a yard that’s small or more concrete jungle than nature. Congratulations on your new space.

“I work for the YMCA after-school program and this week the kids came up with an idea that has encouraged us to go outside even in crummy weather. We created a nature bin [...] we've been collecting pine cones, pine needles, rocks, sticks and whatever we find that is interesting and different. We also keep a daily log of the weather. Yesterday it was pouring but everyone wanted to go outside for ... yep, 15 minutes. On our brief nature walk we found night crawlers in puddles – these wiggly worms might not have been so easy to find on a sunny day! Today it was gorgeous and our nature walk turned into a game of tag and a whole bunch of running around – but then again, we stayed outside for 2 hours and found half a dozen different colored rocks.
This new activity has united the children. Even a week ago we had so many behavioral and social problems that it was challenging to spend too much time outside. Now the children (ages 5-12) want to work together and be creative.” – Shannon B. of Backyard Mama

How inspiring is that?! Not only did the kids come up with an idea on their own, it’s one that gets them outside no matter the weather! I love hearing how the kids are working together now – something I could use more of in my own home!

Thanks to all of you who share your comments, ideas and support – whether it’s here, on Facebook, Twitter or by email. It’s wonderful to know you’re out their reading – and getting outside with your kids!

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for including my comment in your post! I'll definitely read the warm weather tips you mentioned.

    This week, we've been doing a new outdoor activity: water gun fights! We pretend to be secret agents and act like the trees and bushes in the yard are enemy agents dressed in costume. We shoot (water) them. It's a blast!

    Thanks for inspiring me to get outdoors more with my daughter!

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  2. Loved hearing the success stories! It is also so neat how you connect your Facebook page back to your blog in such a direct way. I need to do more of that.

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  3. @Sarah: Thank YOU for sharing your story with us. Love the water gun idea! I just bought the boys water bottles & can't believe how much fun it brings them.

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