While I usually review children's books, here is one for the adults! I've been telling everyone I meet about this book, so I figured it's finally time I tell you, too. Happy reading!
If winter and spring kept you inside more than you’d like, you will love the inspiring and insightful book There’s No Such Thing as Bad Weather by Linda Akeson McGurk. In this book, Swedish-born McGurk reflects on her six month trip back to Sweden with her American-raised children, analytically comparing childhood in the two countries. The result is a truly optimistic read for parents concerned about screen time, over-testing, over-scheduling, and the hurried American lifestyle. It offers a refreshing alternative: friluftsliv or an “open air living” culture that describes a way of life centered on enjoying nature in a noncompetitive way.
In her American town in Indiana, playgrounds were empty, she was scolded for exploring off trail, and parents were afraid to let their children explore outside. In Sweden, outdoor time is the norm: the public has the right by law to enjoy nature on private property, babies nap outside, and children make the forests their home away from parents. McGurk’s children played outside much of the day at school while living in Sweden—with Swedish preschoolers spending an average of 1.5 hours a day outside on a bad weather day in the winter and 6 hours a day outside on a nice day in the summer! With the meager 30 minutes of outdoor recess canceled due to snow or cold in many American schools, you can see where the title of the book originates!
Sweden is among the most sustainable, literate, and happy countries in the world, and this book offers some ideas about why. Spending time in nature may not fix all of our problems, but it’s certainly a simple gift we can all give to our children to help them grow into healthy, resilient, and confident adults—no matter what the weather.
You can follow Linda Akeson McGurk on Facebook, Instagram, and on her blog www.rainorshinemamma.com.
What are you reading this summer?