15 fun ways to encourage your child to play outside

15 fun ways to encourage your child to play outside

The sun is finally due to come out next week! After a far too long winter leaving us shivering from the moment we stepped outside we can now make the most of the outdoors.


What better time than spring to explore what nature has to offer? As adults this is what goes through our minds, however, children may have other ideas; ideas which involve a lot of screen time, making it difficult for parents to encourage outdoor activity.

It's time to take advantage of those long evenings and warmer weekends using these handy tips and ideas to change the groans into cheers:

  • Go on a nature walk, run or bike ride. There is so much to be discovered in nature; write a list of natural treasures your child must find or let them explore and collect for themselves.
  • Play with water. Weather permitting get the hose pipe out, sprinklers on and paddling pool filled; both cooling and great fun!
  • Go camping. Whether it’s on a camp site or in your back garden, children will be excited about the change of scenery and new experiences.
  • Climb a hill and roll all the way down. See who can run up and roll down the quickest, watch out for the dizziness though!
  • Play Pooh Sticks. Who doesn’t love a game of Pooh Sticks?
  • Have a picnic. Switch it up for breakfast, lunch or dinner by eating outside.
  • Plant flowers. Children will enjoy watching their flowers grow and could create a worded or picture diary documenting the different stages of growth.
  • Build a den. Use an old sheet, sticks, rope, cardboard box or anything you can find to build an outside fort.
  • Incorporate nature in play. Nature offers so much opportunity for play; trees, sand, boulders, water, it can all be made fun, all that’s needed is a little creativity. Enable your children to find this fun in nature.
  • Organise outdoor play with friends. Rather than having a friend over to the house, why not suggest going to the park?
  • Have your own Sports Day. Ask your children to invite all their friends over and run Sports Day events in your garden or in the park for extra space.
  • Do typically indoor activities outdoors. Whether it’s reading a book or playing board games, moving outside can give an activity a different level of enjoyment.
  • Create a nature diary. Encourage children to observe what’s happening around them by drawing what they see, noting down anything of interest and doing leaf rubbings.
  • Explore new places. Visit different areas, parks, forests and playgrounds, locally or farther afield. The change of environment will spark interest and excitement.
  • Swim outdoors. You never know, it might one day be warm enough to brave the outside swimming pool (we can dream!)


Time to breathe in the fresh air and get that much needed Vitamin D!