Updated: Dec 8, 2020
There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather: A Scandinavian Mom's Secrets for Raising Healthy, Resilient, and Confident Kids (from Friluftsliv to Hygge)
by Linda Akeson McGurk
Hardcover, 304 pages
Published October 3, 2017
2020: the year we were all sent home. After half-a-school year with more commitments than I could really handle, when the initial grief and disappointment wore off, I started to look toward this next school year. On one of our many neighborhood hikes this summer, my oldest had an idea. Several years ago we had done a library tour in which we visited as many libraries as we could, documenting with pictures and noting how each reflected the neighborhood it served. Caley's suggestion: "Mommy, what if we did a thing where we went on a bunch of hikes this year, instead of libraries?" It sounded like a good idea to me!
Imagine my delight when, within a few weeks of figuring out how to add regular hikes to our school year routine, I discovered the blog 1000 Hours Outside and this amazing book! The concept is pretty basic: spend more time outside. The book, not necessarily affiliated with the blog, supports similar concepts.
There's No Such Thing as Bad Weather is written by a Swedish woman transplanted to Ohio, where she married and had two small children. The book outlines her surprise at raising kids in America, reflecting on the comparative laissez faire technique of her Scandinavian culture. In particular, despite the frigid temperatures in Scandinavia, children spend a substantial amount of time outside. As the title suggests, their cultural motto is, "There's no such thing as bad weather, just poor clothing choices."
McGurk gives a lot of compelling reasons for spending time outside, especially for small children. Reasons such as, exposure to germs helps build immunity,
I enjoyed this book, but ended up skimming the last third. I agreed with everything the author had to share, and instinctively knew it all already just from watching my kids interact with the outdoors. When we are having a hard day and the kids are arguing or teasing one another, usually spending time outside in a structured or unstructured manner cures the ails. Even the grumpy ones, resistant to a hike in the woods, usually perk up once a stick becomes imagined as a sword or a spear, a lightsaber or just a regular walking stick.
I would recommend this book and the mentioned blog wholeheartedly!
As for our hike challenge, we'll see how it goes this year.