A group of people walking down a dirt road

7 Tips for encouraging your child to discover outdoor play

February 20, 2020

You’ve heard it often! Your children need less screen time, and they need to spend more time outdoors. You know that. But that’s easier said than done right? Our lifestyle habits and digital dependency has made it difficult to get ourselves and our kids to step outside.

If that’s what you’re struggling with, here’s some help. Keep reading to discover 7 simple and actionable ways to encourage your kid for some outdoor play (and possibly you too). 

Follow their Interests

The worst thing you could do in an attempt to get your children outside is dragging and pushing them to take part in activities that they don’t enjoy. Instead, allow them to explore their interests outside. It could be anything from building a fort, gardening or even painting with bits of nature (stones and twigs). Allow them to get creative and take the lead, and do what they like to do outdoors.

A little girl standing next to a tree

Gear Up for outdoor play

What’s the surest way to get your child to put down their smartphone or tablet, step out and engage in some outdoor play? An introduction to something that’s even more exciting than what’s on their screen. Right? And that’s exactly what you need to do! Invest in some good quality outdoor activities and toys for your kid (think trampoline, a pogo stick, swing set, bubble machines and Hula hoops). 

Bring Indoors Outside

Oh yes! This little trick can really make a difference, and can encourage your kid to spend more time outdoors. Get your kid’s meals or homework outside in the garden or even on the patio if that works, and keep those moments a strict no-phone time. It’s a win all the time – your child gets a breath of fresh air, and they’ll probably want to get up and play around in the garden to take a break from the homework. 

Challenge Time

Challenging your little one is again, a super easy and creative way to get them outdoors. It could be a simple bike race with them around the block, or a game of football in the backyard or even just crossing an obstacle course you set up for them. Toddlers tend to have a lot of energy, and this is an excellent way to put that to good use!

A little girl standing in front of a counter

Encourage Independent Play

If you find yourself being lazy with the idea of getting your kid to go out and play because that means you’ll need to go along as well, this trick can help. Explore different ways your little one can play independently even when they’re out. For instance, they could get their crayons and paints outside to be artsy out in the open, or download and print a bunch of activity sheets for them to work on outside on the patio – you get the drill! 

Invite Friends for outdoor play

Believe it or not, your child will be more likely to get out and spend time away from the screen if they have playmates. Sure, that does mean you’ll need to watch over them for a while, or even a few extra minutes in the kitchen to whip up some snacks and refreshments for them. But hey- it’s all totally worth it right? Encourage them to invite their school friends over to play. You’ll be amazed at how effortlessly it works in your favour. This is indeed one of the best ways to get your little one engaged in outdoor play.

Try Treasure Hunts

The prospect of hunting a buried treasure is just too good for any kid to resist, and if your little one just doesn’t want to step out, this is exactly what you can do! Set up a little treasure hunt game for them (and possibly their friends too) in your garden, and get them on it! Look for some cool ideas online and you should be sorted! 

Loved our tips and tricks to get your little one to indulge in some outdoor play? Here’s helping you take it up a notch! Click here to discover some tips and tricks to help your child get his first scooter.

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