Take the HHNM 31 Day nature Challenge:
“An Hour a Day in May”
This May, we challenge you to spend an hour outside every day, playing and exploring in nature. We’ll share tips and ideas for activities and projects to inspire you on our Facebook page, and you can also find some below. Make the pledge and take the challenge!
The Benefits of Nature Play
Why make time for the 31 Hours Challenge? For a child who spends time in nature, the benefits are immediate.
Better school performance. Time spent in nature improves cognitive function.
More creativity. Outdoor play uses and nurtures the imagination.
More friends. Children who organize their own games and participate in unstructured group activities are less solitary and learn to interact with their peers.
Less depression and hyperactivity. Time in nature is soothing, improves mood and reduces stress. It can also increase kids’ attention span, because things move at a slower pace than they do on the screen.
Stronger bones and healthier bodies. Exposure to natural light helps prevent vitamin D deficiency, making outdoorsy children less vulnerable to bone problems, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other health issues.
Better sleep. Exposure to natural light, and lots of physical activity, help reset a child’s natural sleep rhythms.
A longer life span and healthier adult life. Active kids are more likely to grow into active adults.
And the best part, all of these benefits — especially those related to health and well-being — also apply to the adults spending more time with their children outdoors.
Do think you can make 31 days straight of outdoor play?
Taking the 31 Days of Nature Challenge is simple:
Go outdoors to play, every day for 31 days straight
Every outdoor play session is a minimum of 1 hour long
If you like, share your pictures with us on social media using #HHNM31Hours
Keep and eye out to see if we feature your photo on our Facebook page!
Here are few ideas to get you started!
Enjoy a picnic by a river or under the shade of a tree
Go on a walk through the forest, listening for and spotting wildlife along the way
Create a nature bracelet. Loosely wrap a strip of masking tape around your wrist (sticky-side out) and attach things like flowers, leaves and grass from the garden
Go on a feather hunt. How many different feathers can you find?
Put on a Parade - Grab your friends and all decorate your bikes, scooters and strollers and ride around the block to show off your fancy floats.
Poet-Tree. Choose a tree or trees for observation. Spend time observing the tree(s) from various perspectives; sitting against it, lying underneath it, walking around it, etc.
Write down adjectives, ideas, and impressions. Remember to use senses (touch, smell, sight, and sound… but not taste) to generate more words to describe the tree. Finally, convert the thoughts into a poem!
Make a Splash on a Rainy Day. Enjoy spring rain showers to the fullest when you put on your rain gear and head outside to play. See who can make the biggest splash in the puddles!