1,000 Hours Outside
The average child logs a disturbing amount of screen time these days – some 1,200 hours a year. To counter that, Ginny Yurich, a Michigan mom of five, founded 1000 Hours Outside. Research supports the mental and physical value of children being outdoors. “We simply need to remember to prioritize it and make it part of our daily and weekly rhythms of life,” she says.
The goal is 4-6 hours per day to get to 1,000 in a year (with wiggle room to allow for those winter days stuck inside), and Yurich’s site features free trackers. How best to make the activities happen? Invite friends, says Yurich. “We always talk about the three Fs to a successful outing: food, friends and a first-aid kit. Some of our greatest friendships have been forged out-of-doors, and many times they have started with a simple invitation to join us as we head out to explore.”
Kids Guide to Outside
Hey kids, check out this printable guide to outside just for YOU!
Carry Those Kids
Tot totes vary widely in features, including overall weight, frame durability and fabric. You’ll want well-padded shoulder straps and hip belt, and full adjustability to match the body size of both the carrier and the carried. More considerations: adequate sun shading, ventilation where the frame meets your back, easy-access pockets for essentials and snacks, and a kickstand for when you need a breather. Starting at $120.
Here, you want to consider comfort and security, durability of frame and fabric, ventilation and your target terrain – paved paths might not merit the upgrade for better suspension. And be sure to check the weight capacity, as some only go up to 80 pounds. Prices (and quality) start at $100 and go up. Upscale models ($1,000+) can do double-duty, readily converting to trail strollers.
Jogging strollers have a locked front tire that make them a nuisance on a winding trail. This variation still has three air-filled tires, a suspension system and a harness to keep the precious trailmate secure, plus a front tire that can be unlocked as the course demands. Prices $399+.
Note: Generally, a baby needs to be at least 6 months for these activities, but check with your pediatrician.