As a brand, Rudie Nudie definitely encourages people to get outdoors as much as possible, which is why we’ve really taken on the concept of #1000hoursoutside in recent years.
We asked one of our followers, Rudell, who is challenging herself to spend more time outside, for her top tips. Not only does she have a newborn, but she also lives in southern Australia (where it’s not always particularly warm!), so we knew she’d have some great advice.
If you’ve got children of any age, you’ve without a doubt heard about the benefits of being outside and felt the pressure to switch off the screens and send the kids out the door. But it doesn’t always seem that simple! Not all kids (and adults!) are free range, and not all climates are warm enough for long days of blissful play either. Research tells us that being outside has loads of benefits, including a reduction in stress and anxiety, improvements to sleep, it benefits your immune system and is overall a positive boost for your mood. So how can we get the family outside and keep things simple? I’m here to share my easy peasy tips.
1. My favourite is to take your meals outside. It sounds too easy because it is! In the warmer months, aim for one meal outside each day, breakfast in the driveway waving at cars, lunch in the backyard or dinner at a local park. In the cooler months, try for one meal outside a week, or on the days the weather is great. Our family frequently visit the lake in our town and take our gas camp cooker to cook burgers or a BBQ. Friday night takeaway is also a winner (especially for parents as there’s no planning or clean up!) One time we even took a box of fruit loops and ate that for dinner, no need to overthink it. We also eat in the wild by having snack times at the playground, meeting Dad on his lunch break at a park, breakfast in the pram during a morning walk or afternoon tea on the front porch. Our Rudie Nudie mat is our extra family member and always joins us for our outside meals too.
2. Another way we like to easily get outside is to simply take some toys out onto the back lawn. We pop our Rudie Nudie mat down and enjoy the change in scenery. We take drawing tools outside, our favourite toys, the bubble machine, playdough or board games. Sensory play is always outside on the back lawn with sand, water play or messy play on rotation. If our mat gets too messy, I simply peg it to the line and hose it down; that’s a whole extra fun experience for the kids! Again, sounds too easy but the change in location means toys often get played with differently, the play usually lasts longer and we all soak in the sunshine.
3. Don’t feel like organising anything? Try and find a playgroup to attend, see what events might be happening nearby or organise a play date at a playground. You could also park a little further away from where you need to go and take a walk to get there. See if your local information centre hires bikes for free and be a tourist in your own town, or create a bucket list of outside adventures and take turns choosing or pick one at random. Our family like the idea of a ‘Sunday Funday’ and try to do one enjoyable thing outside each Sunday. Why not involve the kids too; ask them, ‘Lets get outside! What would you like to do?’
4. I can hear you asking, ‘But what about the weather?’ I’ll be honest, I live in Mount Gambier and if I let the weather keep me inside, I’d be housebound for at least six months of the year. I read a great quote once along the lines of, ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothes’, which I don’t totally agree with as we get our fair share of miserable weather, but I also don’t let the cold or wet hold us back. The colder months make outside a sensory playground too, as the gardens change, animals and bugs are more active and what child doesn’t love jumping in puddles? We’ve invested in waterproof clothes (life saver for crawlers!), gum boots, beanies and jackets. My tip: get a size or two up so you can layer with warm clothes underneath and hopefully get more than one season's use. Our Rudie Nudie mat also means we can always find somewhere to sit as it keeps our bums dry. Quick note: research tells us exposure to cold weather doesn’t cause sickness and being outside helps the immune system! There are loads of healthy benefits from a daily dose of fresh air and sunlight so don’t let the weather keep you indoors.
Hopefully there is a fun and sunny day in your family plans soon! Or if you’re like us and can see winter just around the corner, plenty of puddles to jump in and snails to explore… followed by a hot chocolate, for the kids and the adults!