I wrote a NWF “Be Out There” Summer E-Book (Life List/Menu Item: Published Author) post back in June where I shared my excitement about being compensated as one of the contributing authors for the National Wildlife Federation’s (NWF) “Be Out There” upcoming summer e-book. I’m happy to report that the “Be Out There” e-book is published! The official title is “Be Out There: Cool Outdoor Ideas for Hot Summer Days”. It is FREE and now available to view online (in ISSUU form). See below:
I appreciate the way that the e-book was put together – merging the various ideas of the 15 contributors. (You can find my contributions on pages 30 – 32.) Just in case you want to see what my contribution looked like in one section, below is what I originally submitted…
“Outdoor Time in Everyday Life”
One of the things that I appreciate the most about my kids is that they keep me on my toes and teach me new things daily. Enjoying the outdoors in our daily life is simply one of the many areas that they teach me how to be spontaneous and make the time to relish life “on the go”.
Most of our outdoor family adventures begin with a walk. During the school year, I walk my sons to and from school every day. It is one of my favorite parts of each day, because it gives us time to connect. Like many boys, my sons Michael (9) and Sean (6) tend to open up and be more expressive about their thoughts and feelings when they are in motion. Since the summer is a lot more unstructured and warmer, I have to be more deliberate about our daily walks. No one in my family is a big fan of hot weather, so we try to stay in the shaded areas. (You can also check the hourly local weather page of Weather.com to see an hourly forecast of each day to help plan your outings for the coolest portions of the day.) Whether, it’s walking to one of the kids’ summer activities or simply having them run errands with me, we still try to make the most of our walks together though…even in the summer.
I also tend to bring a “fun tote” with us when we go out for the day during the warm weather months. The bag includes simple things like bubbles, Frisbees, a ball, swim trunks, sunscreen, flip-flops and towels for the boys. That way we can take a little time to explore if we happen to run into a fun-looking new park or playground. (We live in NYC where there is so many different outside spaces that are hidden gems. Several of them include sprinklers – which the kids love.) It really depends on each day’s “to-do” list though. Since my husband is a teacher and often takes the summer off from work, we try to keep the months of July and August as loosely structured as possible. However, I try to factor in what I call “wiggle room” (15 to 30 minutes) between planned items to allow for these spur of the moment times of outdoor exploration…even on my busiest days.
So, in sum my 5 tips for enjoying outdoor time in everyday life this summer are the following:
1. Go outside.
2. Take a walk with your family.
3. Keep a “fun tote” ready.
4. Give yourself some “wiggle room”.
5. Whatever you do…appreciate this outdoor time that you get to spend with your kids.
In regard to tip #5, I’m often reminded that I will probably only get 18 full summers which each of my sons. That is why it is so important to enjoy as many moments as possible and to be deliberate about creating special ones. The great thing though is that even if we parents aren’t especially creative (indoors or outdoors), our kids usually you are. We just need to take a step back and follow their lead!
Summer is still going strong, so be sure to check out the e-book. It contains a lot of helpful tips…and I’m not just saying that because I’m one of the contributors! ☺ You can also take the NWF “Be Out There pledge” to spend more time outside if you are so inclined.