5 Ways to Encourage Outdoor Play


Outdoor play is great for the mind and the body. The greens relax the eyes, the fresh air rejuvenates… playing outdoors with your children is super fun!

Play Outdoors
My son encourages me to go outdoors more.

Kids gravitate towards the outdoors. Every minute spent on outdoor play is a minute away from being glued to the TV! That’s a huge benefit already as once my son is outdoors, he has a hard time coming back into the house. He loves outdoor play. I’m sure your kids enjoy it too! Here are some tips on how to boost outdoor playtime with the kiddies. Come read and share your tips too!

5 Ways to Encourage Outdoor Play

1. Look for child-friendly surroundings outside your home.

It would be awesome if you have a backyard or a front yard. There may also be a neighborhood park or playground near you.

2. Give them tools and toys to discover the outdoors.

My son loves rocks. He’ll grab a rock from the ground and haul it with him everywhere he’d go.

Rocks and little boys, well, rock. My 3-year-old goes on top of a slide and lets the rock slide down, amazed at how it sometimes topples over, and how other times it just slides on one side. He taps trees and benches with the rock, making different sounds (and some dents).

Sometimes it’s dried leaves. He loves the crisp sound the leaf makes when he presses them between his fingers. Other times it’s twigs. Sometimes he brings his kiddie plastic shovel with him and scoops little rocks up from the ground.

Give kids tools to encourage outdoor play. They’ll be amazed by so many wonderful things with these discovery aids.

3. Let them take the lead in exploring.

Stay near your child to be safe, but let him go ahead and decide which paths to take. If faced with a slope, let him go ahead and navigate it on his own. Be there when he asks for help, otherwise encourage him to explore on his own.

4. Spend at least 15 minutes outside everyday.

Enjoy the sun. Enjoy the fresh air. If 15 minutes in the playground will drive you nuts, take a walk around the neighborhood.

5. Play with your child.

If he asks you to join in, join in. My son enjoys the big slides, and enjoys it when he sees me slide too. Playing with my son is great bonding time.

I can do this!
My rock and I will go first, Mommy!

Taking my kid outdoors is something I know I have to do more often. Outdoors play helps my child be smarter, healthier — I should always keep that in mind. It doesn’t hurt to think too that since I’ll be running around, I’m getting some exercise as well. Best of all, my son and I have a great time together. That’s one of the best ways to encourage this parent to play outdoors more!

Outdoor play

How do you encourage outdoor play with your kids? C’mon and share tips!

3 Comments on 5 Ways to Encourage Outdoor Play

  1. rowsterr
    July 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm (11 years ago)

    By spending a lot of outdoor time ourselves, every weekend! 😀 That’s harder to do during the workweek, of course, but having a tricycle (when he was younger) and a bicycle (now) makes Rafa excited about going outdoors most afternoons. Also, he often goes running/walking with his dad when it’s exercise time. :)

    • Toni
      July 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm (11 years ago)

      Hi Rowie! That’s so true. We should spend a lot of outdoor time ourselves! That’s great that Rafa’s into biking. He must have a blast exploring the neighborhood!

  2. A Gracious Life
    October 21, 2013 at 2:28 pm (10 years ago)

    Crayola’s sidewalk chalk is such a helpful aid. Who doesn’t love writing on the walls or the roads with colorful,chunky chalks! Even I was sprawled on the sidewalk doodling away. =>


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