When the winter finally shifts it feels great to get out and enjoy the fresh air. But for kids, they often need a little more persuasion. The temptations of being indoors, with TV, video games, books, the fridge and more, can dissuade children from venturing beyond the front door. So we have put together a host of ways to encourage outdoor play for kids.
Getting out into the wide world is great for both mental and physical health and can lead to some fun family memories. Try some of these and see what works for you and your family. Hopefully, you will soon be out there in the big wide world, enjoying a host of adventures.
Tips to encourage outdoor play
Play their favourite sport
It’s obvious, really, but one way to tempt children into the the fresh air is to play their favourite sport. Whether they enjoy football, basketball, rollerskating or any other type of game, you can find some space outside to play it. Turn it into a challenge – can you score three goals in a minute, how quickly can you get from one place to another, and so on – and get them to keep trying to break their records.
Set a target
Simply telling children that you are going out for a walk sounds less enticing than if you give them a reason for heading out. Set a target for them to achieve, which can be anything from climbing to the top of a mountain to reaching the ice cream shop for a hard-fought Calippo. Having this goal in mind helps them focus on the task and enjoy that sense of achievement once it is complete.
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Give them a task
Another way to encourage outdoor play is to give your children an alfresco job to complete. Ask them to help in the garden, wash the car, clean their bike or any other task there is to complete around your home. Big or small, anything that gets them out of the house helps them make the most of the fresh air.
Organise an outdoors playdate
You will likely know from experience how much easier it is to persuade children to do something if their friends are doing it as well. So, invite their friends and organise a playdate out in the countryside, down by a river, in a park or wherever else you can find some fascinating nature activities. Take a picnic and make a day of it, exploring everything the great outdoors has to offer.
Create a scavenger hunt
Encourage outdoor play with a scavenger hunt where they have to spot and collect (by taking photos) a host of natural items. Not down the items they need to find, including types of tree, plant and insect, and then head off on your mission to tick them all off.