As a culture I feel we are collectively developing an interest returning to a more conscious way of life. We have rediscovered the value of healthy living, and are striving to make cleaner, green choices for our families- from the food we consume and products we buy, to how we spend our time. Most of us believe that it is important to unplug from technology and spend time out in the fresh air communing with mother nature, and we want our children to spend time exploring the outdoors untethered by modern distractions. However, between the hustle and bustle of daily life, it is easy to slip into a comfortable routine at home and put these adventuresome ideals on hold. Despite how it may appear on social media, my family struggles with all these same issues, and sometimes we just stay home in pajamas all day. But for the most part, we are pretty good about getting outside most days, and I thought I would share a few tips of our tried an true tips on how to implement more outdoor time into your own family’s daily life. The more you do it- the more it’ll become part of your routine too.
- Just do it!: This is the most important one. Quit making excuses & go outside! Here in Joshua Tree, there are several months of the year where the only time we can really go hike is at sunrise or sunset- not the most convenient hours for the toddler crowd. So a lot of time, dinner and bedtime are pushed to weird hours, or we just pack a little picnic and eat on the go.
- Find your favorite spots: I know, I know, that’s easy for me to say- I practically have a national park for a backyard. But everywhere, even large cities, have fun green spaces to explore.
- It doesn’t have to be epic every time: Going on backpacking trips and long hikes are awesome, don’t get me wrong! But so is meandering around for a mile or so and stopping to throw rocks. Or grilling on a campfire under the stars. Just an hour or two in the fresh air will do wonders for your peace of mind (and your kids’ peace of mind too!)
- Don’t bring toys: Does this sound totally nuts? A lot of times our instinct as parents is to distract our kids so we can go do something without them whining the whole time, lol! And don’t me wrong, sometimes a little distraction / bribery can go a long way. But for the most part, I like to leave the toys behind and witness the magic of my daughter making up her own fun with things she discovers out in mother nature! Just trust me and try it once, k?
- But do bring snacks: My daughter is totally snack motivated. (So am I, so is my husband, so is … everybody?) So I always save the real good treats for outdoor time. She associates snacks with hiking so much that she has been known to refer to the National Park as the “Snack-tional Park.” Seriously. I can’t make this stuff up. We recently got hip to the organic deliciousness of PRANA and now their trail mixes and coconut strips are our hiking snack go to. My favorites are the sweet and tangy Machu Pichu & the sweet and salty Annapurna blends, because they have a mix of seeds and superfood berries. But Prairie & Andy love is the Kilimanjaro blend because it has chunks of chocolate mixed in with nuts and dried cranberries!
That’s it! Easy peasy, just start with small outings, wear appropriate clothing, bring plenty of snacks & water, and you are good to go! I hope your family enjoys making lotsa magical outdoor memories together!
Thanks to PRANA for sponsoring this post and for producing the most delicious snacks!
* all opinions are my own*