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.

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!

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.

12 Comments

  • Claire February 20, 2020 at 5:55 pm

    Treasure hunts are our favourite! The kids adore them in and out of the house.

    We even hid clues round a ruined castle once to reveal that they were going to Disneyland!

  • Joanna February 20, 2020 at 6:34 pm

    Treasure hunts are such good ways of entertaining the children outdoors. They are so much fun and involve quite a bit of physical activity as well, such as running and moving around the find clues. It’s also a great way to develop communication, when children are split into teams.

  • Sarah Bailey February 20, 2020 at 8:53 pm

    The outside is such a magical place, I can’t imagine my childhood without being up trees and messy. There is so much fun to be had when you look for it.

  • Laura February 20, 2020 at 11:25 pm

    I’m lucky that my three absolutely love being outdoors, if we had a bigger garden don’t think I would see the middle one indoors at all!

  • Samantha Donnelly February 21, 2020 at 9:20 am

    When mine were little I was a great believer in outdoor play 2 of them loved being outdoors, but one used to hate it and would rather sit in front of his game. I could get him out for walks in the wood where we would look for different things x

  • Bella at Dear Mummy Blog February 21, 2020 at 11:56 am

    Bringing the indoors outdoors sounds like a great idea and I love eating outside (when the weather is better).

  • Janet Robertson-Peverley February 21, 2020 at 3:59 pm

    My son and I have been desperate to get out and about this half term, but the weather has played a major part in not being able to go. That and hurting my shoulder. I’m so glad he’s so keen to enjoy being out, he loves getting his wellies on and facing whatever we find. You have some great ways of encouraging outdoor adventure, and it really is worth it.

  • Lilinha February 21, 2020 at 4:35 pm

    The boys love exploring outdoors, especially the little one, the is obsessed with jumping in muddy puddles. It’s so important to encourage the children to spend time outdoors in the fresh air.

  • Rhian Westbury February 21, 2020 at 5:18 pm

    I used to love treasure hunts when I was a kid, but it must be so much harder to encourage kids outdoors now when there’s so much technology they can be using x

  • Melanie February 23, 2020 at 4:34 pm

    This is fab…there are some really good idea’s here. A treasure hunt is a great one xx

  • Jess Howliston February 23, 2020 at 9:16 pm

    Great tips! I think it is so important we allow and encourage our kids to spend plenty of time outdoors exploring nature, getting muddy and just being outdoors. My two love treasure hunts, water fights and of course mud too lol! My little girl also loves making daisy chains that we both can wear in our hair too!

  • Tash February 27, 2020 at 4:41 am

    Oh some really fantastic ideas here, we love getting outside, but being in Australia/Bali makes this all the much easier to just get out. Great to see you aren’t letting the great British Weather put you off!

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