One of our favorite goals to focus on at the beginning of a new year is working towards a more unplugged childhood for the kids in our care! The research is clear that more outdoor time has significant health benefits for all including; assisting with mood and energy levels, promoting quality sleep and a balanced circadian rhythm, and creating self-care rituals. Also, allowing children to move freely in nature and explore serves as the perfect environment to test boundaries, learn, create, and dream! Time outside is always time well spent! With that in mind, we are sharing our top five tips for promoting an unplugged childhood outdoors!

Participate in 1000 Hours Outside: Are you interested in promoting an outdoor lifestyle with children, but are unsure where to begin? We love the framework of 1000 Hours Outside! This program includes a tracker sheet to note hours, tips and adventure ideas, a podcast, an outdoor curriculum, and even a community through social media to help support you in your goals! One thing to keep in mind is that the goal is progress not perfection!  

Explore museums, aquariums, zoos, or other attractions that have outdoor exhibits and play areas: Who doesn’t love a field trip to someplace new?! Switching up our environment and learning can feel fulfilling for the whole crew! Some of our personal Los Angeles favorites are: The Skirball Center, The Getty, LACMA and the Tarpits, KidSpace Children’s Museum, the LA Zoo, Travel Town, and the Aquarium of the Pacific! If you can find a weekday to go and avoid the crowds, even better. Explore, learn, and have fun in the sun!

Head to the beach: A day at the beach cannot be beat! Pack up the kids, toys, and gear and head to the coast! Explore new beaches with playgrounds, interesting environmental features like dunes, sand hills, or creeks that flow to the ocean. Explore favorite beaches at low-tide or after big storms to see what treasure you can find! Take a day trip to Palos Verdes and explore the tide pools! We are so lucky to have nature’s beauty at our fingertips and between our toes 🙂

Opt for screen-free family meals outdoors: Meals are a great time to connect with one another. What better place to do that than in fresh air?! Grab smoothies, coffee, and breakfast bagels and head to the playground for breakfast! Pack up a picnic and head to the park or botanical gardens for lunch. Enjoy dinner al fresco at home. Seek out family centered restaurants in your area that have ample outdoor space for all! 

End the day with a walk or bike ride: Grab the dog and go for a walk! Take the evening by wheel and grab bikes, a scooter, or a stroller. Breathing in fresh air and gentle movement at the end of the day is the perfect way to wind down, connect with one another, and set us up for a peaceful night of rest!

What ways do you love to promote unplugged outdoor exploration and activities with children?