It’s official. Spending time outdoors in nature is good for us. It makes us feel happier, healthier and able to concentrate more.
In fact, in countries like New Zealand and Japan, doctors can prescribe a green script - a personalised nature plan to help get you back on track.
And for our kids it’s even more important - as building these healthy habits early on will help them for life!
The stats show that we spend over 90% of our lives indoors - so taking the step to get outside is something we need to make time for.
Three Minute Read
6 Creative Ideas to help you get outside more.
ONE: Take The 1000 Hours Outside ChallengeCan you match screen time with green time? The stats show that kids spend over 1000 hours in front of screens every year (adults spend 3x that), and as little as 25 to 40 hours playing in nature.
1000 Hours Outside is a world-wide movement that puts real-life experiences and nature play first and screen time second.
By setting a goal and tracking your progress, it gives you something to celebrate along the way.
Their website is full of ideas to help get you outside, and there are fun tracker charts to colour in as you go (there’s also an app).
This challenge is less about reaching the magic number of 1000 hours and more about changing habits and forcing us to think differently about how and where our children spend their time.
TWO: Think Small, Bigger And BIGWe don’t need to get too hung up on re-working our whole routines. Linda McGuirk shares how we can slow down and embrace nature every day in ‘The Open-Air Life.’
Think about what you can do during the week (SMALL), the weekend (BIGGER) and on your holidays (BIG), and how you can make each of these really count.
A SMALL activity might be going for a 20 minutes’ walk on a tree-lined street, or a quick mid-week visit to a local park or simply having your lunch under a tree. It’s about finding those moments to refresh and keep your family grounded even when you’re busy (and a reason to leave your phone at home).
The weekends are the time to venture further afield for a BIGGER outdoor adventure with family and friends.
t might include a 2-day camping trip or a creative adventure in a local park with Gumnut Trails!
The BIGGEST escapes may only happen a few times a year (holiday season😊), so dream BIG!
This is when you might head to Gariwerd (the Grampians) to climb a mountain, the Peninsula for endless beach days, or marvel at glow-worms on the Great Ocean Road.
These BIG wild trips are really important as they will re-charge your family for longer.
THREE: Schedule family time outside into your routineOur children’s days and afternoons are filled with organised activities during and after school (swimming, sport, music and more).
Why not allocate time for outdoor nature adventures every week as well?
You could have a mid-week dinner on the beach, go for a weekly bush-walk or family bike ride. Invite friends along and make this an event!
Spending time outdoors together (away from screens and stresses), will help everyone re-charge and re-connect.Follow Gumnut Trails on Instagram or Facebook for weekly ideas and inspiration.
FOUR: Get ready for a Microadventure!Now it’s time to make our time outdoors memorable! Try something new, go somewhere different, and maybe even make yourself a little bit uncomfortable - before you know it, you’re on an adventure!
Alastair Humphreys, a lifelong adventurer, is challenging us to have microadventures as often as we can. Microadventures are small, local, affordable and rewarding. They are something we can do anytime (he suggests between the hours of 5pm and 9am weekdays).
How about hiking a local hill overnight, camping under the stars and being back at your desk (and school) by 9am? That’s an adventure you will never forget…Or why not have a cup of coffee up a tree? Go camping on the night of the Blue Moon? Or dance at dawn in June (Winter Solstice)? See more ideas.
FIVE: 7 Adventures In 7 Days - What We DidThese summer holidays we set ourselves the challenge to have 7 different adventures over 7 days. We were spontaneous and weather appropriate (this is Melbourne after all) and we had fun!
It gave us the chance to try out things we hadn’t done before, from rowing a boat down the Yarra to swimming in a beautiful creek to cool down.
We played pirate games under incredible red cliffs and swam with shore crabs in a secret beach.Where did we go? What did we do? … Find out!
It was amazing how it made our time outdoors a priority and the week incredibly fun. We all suggested ideas and our 4-year-old daughter voted on what we would do next.
This was a great idea for the holidays and let everyone get involved. Plus, we spent 22 hours outside!
SIX: Go on a Gumnut Trails adventure!
Our Outdoor Adventure Guides are the perfect excuse to get outside and explore your local area or venture further afield.
They’re filled with creative ideas and hidden gems to make getting outside easy and your adventures extra fun! Some of the shorter trails could even be done mid-week!
4 guides = more than 50 hours outside!