By Tamara Goyette

Each spring David Suzuki presents a 30×30 Nature Challenge. The challenge asks if you want to get healthier, happier, and smarter? To do so, it is suggest you add a daily dose of nature to your routine. The David Suzuki Foundation is challenging Canadians to get outside.

In some ways I am sad to see that something like this is needed to encourage people to get out into nature, or even just get out their front door and go outside. Do we really need this? However, I also understand why it has come about. We live in a society where many of us work indoors for 8 or more hours a day. Then we go home, and it is more time spent inside. We also live in a time where many of us are often constantly looking at, or somehow connected to a screen. All these devices are beginning to rule how we spend our times, both as individuals and as families.

I actually really appreciate that this is being brought to the attention of many people, including all us parents. This challenge has proven to be a great source of encouragement for everyone to get out and explore. Besides, what kid doesn’t like to get outside to play and explore? I have yet to meet one.

Since the weather started to turn for the better in spring, and now that it has been incredible with summer arriving my family has found their way outside on a regular basis. My daughter is the happiest when we go out, even if it’s just out playing in our own front yard. Going to different places like outdoor petting zoos, on hikes at different trails, or even to pick berries at a local farm have all added to her love of the great outdoors. I want my daughter to love being outside. There are days when she wakes up and the first thing we hear her ask for is her shoes. She is letting us know that she wants to be outside.

Now I know some days it can just be overwhelming as a parent to get out. You start thinking of all the different things you may need to bring with you, and it can seem like you will never get out the door. Getting outside doesn’t have to mean you travel far. Just get out. Go into your yard, or on your balcony. Walk to the nearest park. There are so many benefits to doing this, both for yourself and your kids. I know I always feel better after spending time outside. It soothes the soul, and does so much good. I find myself more relaxed after being outdoors. With getting outside and enjoying the nice weather, I have also noticed that my daughter is sleeping even better both at nap time and at bedtime. Her dad and I are actually getting to sleep in! That in itself has been a great bonus. Has anyone else’s kids just crashed in bed after a fun day at the beach?

Have you seen this challenge? Will you be trying to get outside more as a family? Let’s all make this challenge no longer necessary. Who says going outside has to stop when the weather eventually changes. Bring on puddle jumping when it rains.

Tamara Goyette is a loving wife, and mother to a very determined little girl. The Fraser Valley area of the Lower Mainland in British Columbia has always been home. She loves reading a good book while curled up in a blanket, and sipping a cup of tea. Her blog is about her family, and the adventures, and activities they get up to at Discovering Parenthood.