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Freeport, ME, August 20, 2021

It’s hard to imagine that the school year is back in session or just around the corner. The long summer days will be replaced by long days in the classroom – or behind a laptop – so it’s important to carry some of our best summertime habits, like spending time outside, with us into the back-to-school season. Especially after navigating the last 18 months of increased stress, anxiety, and screen time.

There’s plenty of evidence to show that time outside impacts outcomes for students in and out of the classroom. From improving their lifelong learning skills to increasing prospects for career success, children who play outside are more likely to thrive later in life. More specifically, time outside is associated with an increase student motivation and enthusiasm to learn, it improves classroom behavior with fewer discipline referrals and related problems, and it helps mitigate behaviors associated with attention deficit.

This is just a short list – there’s more than enough evidence out there to suggest that time outdoors has lifelong benefits. The real challenge is in making time outside a priority, especially when homework and indoor activities start to compete for our time.

Last year, we partnered with the National Wildlife Foundation to help raise awareness around Green Hour – a program designed to encourage kids to spend an hour per day to play and learn outdoors in nature. In honor of Green Hour, we curated a list of our favorite all-season outdoor activities, from backyard games to camping tips and tricks, to help inspire you and your family to prioritize outdoor time together – so you and your children can experience all the goodness time outside has to offer.

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