Six ways to encourage your children to play outdoors

Six ways to encourage your children to play outdoors

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Kids today spend around 55 hours a week indoors using electronics, so it’s important to get them outdoors to experience the wonders of nature.

And, with temperatures slowly climbing, it’s time to get outdoors and get some fresh air. Put on some wellies, take a picnic and go exploring together to help improve mood and well-being.

Why not go on a treasure hunt, skip a stone, make a daisy chain, jump in a pile of leaves, go berry picking, climb a tree and let your imagination run wild. Plus, invest in some outdoor toys like skipping ropes, footballs, trampolines, swingball, a pogo stick and chalk to play hopscotch. Or, on your walk home from school, why not count the number of snails you see along the way? There’s so many free things to do outside.

We’ve put together some further ideas on ways to get your kids outdoors…

  1. Camp outdoors – set up some tents in your garden or go to a designated camp site to spend some quality family time together, and remember to unpack and set-up camp while you still have light. Take a disposable BBQ and toast some marshmallows. If it all sounds a bit too adventurous, why not get some blankets and have a backyard movie night?
  2. Dig in and do some gardening together – most kids love helping with gardening tasks, especially digging with soil. Planting can also help them have a responsibility for seeds and plants, and planting their own vegetables may get them eating them!
  3. Create a nature table at home – get little ones competing to find the best treasures from nature to display, such as feathers, shells and dried flowers
  4. Climb the highest hill near your home - race to see who can get to the top first and children will get a real sense of achievement from completing it. Just remember not to be too ambitious with very little children, as you can guess who will be called upon to carry them the rest of the way when they get tired!
  5. Build a den together – you don’t need much more than some old blankets and something to make a sturdy frame, like chairs and tables, bamboo canes, poles and fallen branches. Just remember to respect the environment, and look after living trees and plants
  6. Make a stick man – read the book? Then your kids will definitely want to have a go at this. Go and collect some sticks for this activity (preferably ones with a Y shape for the legs) and some leaves and pinecones. Plus get some brown pipe cleaners, glue dots and googly eyes, and then dress your stick.