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How to get your children to play outside more

One of the toughest challenges that parents can face is getting the kids off their digital devices and to play outside.

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Let’s face it, all the video games and television shows that are available nowadays can be pretty tempting and entertaining, and something that the outdoors can’t compete with.

However, to play outside can be just as entertaining for the kids, and it’s great for their physical and mental wellbeing. So, the big question is, how can you get the kids to play outside more?

Here are a number of tips and strategies that parents can use to finally get the kids to put down those devices and head outdoors.

Start with small increments of outdoor time

One way to get them outside is to start out small. Don’t tell them they need to be outdoors all afternoon; instead, set a smaller amount of time they need to be outdoors for. This creates a schedule and an expectation so they know for that amount of time each day they will be outside. You could start out with 30 minutes and then build from there.

Put a time limit on screen time

At the same time, it can help to put a time limit on their screen time. If they don’t have screen time left to use, they may feel more inclined to head outdoors so that they aren’t bored inside. The screen time limit can be based on their age and attention span.

Encourage them to play outside by helping with outdoor chores

Toddler is encouraged to be playing outside by watering the grass

Finding something for the kids to do while they are outside is essential in keeping them happy. So, why not get them involved in chores? One of the best chores for them is to take part in gardening. They can help with watering, weeding, pruning, and planting. You can even buy them their own set of garden tools and gloves.

Buy them the equipment they need to learn a sport

Encouraging kids to learn a new sport is another way you can convince them to head outdoors. Sports will get them moving of course, but it can also lead to joining a sports team which gives them the opportunity to socialise and meet other children with similar interests. One of my twins is convinced he is destined to be some sort of champion on his scooter, so we’ve looked into buying him a stunt scooter and he can’t wait.

Or let’s say for example your child shows an interest in baseball. Be sure to shop for quality baseball gloves for kids that will help them to learn the basics of the game and build their self-confidence. Having the right kind of equipment that fits properly makes a huge difference for kids learning a new sport.

Make the back garden entertaining and fun to play outside in

Three brothers sitting on the top of a wooden climbing wall and slide in their back garden

It’s also important to take a little time and think about how you can make your back garden entertaining, fun, and kid-friendly. What would entice them to head outside? You may want to pick up some backyard games like lawn darts, lawn bowling, badminton, or other games; maybe you want to install a water feature like an above-ground pool; or perhaps something like a swing set or sandbox. These can all be great ways for them to engage with friends that they invite over as well. Things like chalk, and bug races are also healthy and green games for kids to enjoy.

My boys love their swings and climbing pyramid we bought them last year. It’s got a den for them to hide away underneath, a climbing wall, ladder and rope net which they love. They’re also on about a rope swing in a tree, so we might be having to look at rope for sale soon! And I’m even thinking of getting a hammock for a bit of fun too!

Don’t forget a place to relax

The final tip is to create a place for them to relax, sit down, and get out of the sun. This could be a covered patio, an outdoor dining set with an umbrella, or even a gazebo. These are the perfect areas for relaxing, cooling off, and having a little snack or meal.

By following each of these tips, you’ll be well on your way to helping your kids to get outdoors more, and they’ll also enjoy and look forward to their time outside. 

Little blonde boy inside a pop up tent in the garden as a way of getting children outside more

How did I do?

Did you enjoy this post? You’ll also enjoy 4 Ways To Have Quality Outdoor Play Together With The Kids. And why not read a few from my Mum Life section whilst you’re here. You might like this one 10 Reasons Going Out Is Easier Than Staying Home With Young Kids. Or if you’re looking for days out and family holiday inspiration, head to the Travel Section.

If you like a bit of social media madness, pop over to my Facebook page where you’ll be able to have a laugh at what ridiculousness goes on in my house with three very small boys on a daily basis. Warning – there is often sarcasm, and usually swearing. There are also great travel reviews and some AWESOME giveaways. Feel free to join my Twins, Tantrums and Cold Coffee – Shits and Giggles Parenting Group too, where everyone shares their hilarious stories.

And if you want to work with me, feel free to give me a shout here or at helen@twinstantrumsandcoldcoffee.com and I’ll get back to you.

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