Why is Outdoor Play So Important

The Importance of Outdoor Play

Outdoor play and nature activities are good for kids. But dragging them away from TV, computer and video game screens long enough to enjoy the great outdoors is a parent’s challenge.

outdoor play

According to recent research, a lack of direct contact with nature is leaving our children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, performing poorly in school and more stressed than a generation ago.

Breaking a child’s habit of time spent watching TV, playing video games and using a computer is not easy and doesn’t have to be done suddenly. Turning off electronics cold turkey and pushing a child out the door won’t allow him to enjoy the outdoors to full potential.

Parents can offer fun, outdoor alternatives to an electronic screen and gradually increase the time spent outdoors. Here are some ways to get your children to spend more time outdoors.

Walk Instead of Drive

Instead of driving to your child’s extracurricular activities, errands and shopping, make the journey getting their part of the outdoor fun. Leave early, wear sneakers or good walking shoes and walk to the things you normally drive to.

If all of your errands are too far from home, park your car several blocks away and trek over to where you’re going. Even city or suburb walking can be a nature walk or outdoor adventure. Point out interesting architecture, flowers, landscaping, and insects to your child.

Take Indoor Activities Outdoors

Who says breakfast has to be eaten at the kitchen table and crafts have to be done indoors? Set up a picnic table in your back yard and start enjoying meals, snacks, arts and crafts, and other projects outside.

outdoor play

Plant a Garden

When children get interested in something that simply must be done outside, they’ll want to get out there, regardless of what’s on TV. Turn over a corner of the yard to your child to plant with whatever he wants – flowers, herbs or vegetable plants. Help him learn how the plants should be cared for and encourage him to tend to his garden every day. Kids’ gardening projects are a great way to teach about the science of nature.

Offering a child a space for their very own garden also helps raise their interest. Growing your very OWN garden is exciting enough but then when you ad a fairy or two, well, that brings it to a whole new level. My Fairy Garden is not just a garden, it is a garden where imagination takes place! Providing a connection with nature, enchantment and nurturing… it’s a win-win!

New Toys

Inside each My Fairy Garden Kit, comes a Tree Hollow that is a multi-level planter with soil, quick-germinating seeds, a bunny, a fairy, gardening accessories, and tools. The tree hollow has opening doors so the fairy can go inside the tree hollow to “play” (and be stored). You can purchase an additional fairy or two to play along! 

outdoor play

Start a Neighborhood Outdoor Playgroup

There’s strength in numbers. Parents having a tough time dragging their kids outside might have an easier time if all the other kids are outdoors. Start a neighborhood playgroup in which a group of children and parents meet in a back yard, playground or neighborhood park once a week or more.

Take the Kids to the Community Pool

A trip to the pool can be a load of fun plus children are typically extremely active when in water. One way to get older children active instead of just sitting on the edge of the pool to soak up the sun is by providing them with toys such as the PlayMonster Aqua Diver. Throw the squid in the water and as soon as it hits the water, a timer will begin. Kids (or even adults) can race to see who can find the squid from the bottom of the pool, hit the timer and beat either their own time or compete against each other’s time. 

New Toys

Play Some Nature Games

Give your child a list of things found in nature – an ant hill, a spider web, pine cone, reddish-brown rock – and see how long it takes him to find everything on the list.

Ride-On Toys

There are many types of ride on toys. Riding outside allows your child to get fresh air, step away from screen time, and soak up some vitamin D. Ride-on toys such as the PlayMonster, Free Wheelin’ Rider Convertible Balance Bike allows children to enjoy being outdoors even more but it also has other HUGE benefits.

outdoor play

The balance bike does just that. It allows children to increase their balance by starting out with three wheels and then move to two wheels once they have mastered balancing on three wheel. Since children are pushing the bike with their feet, they are also getting a good bit of exercise. 

outdoor play

The Free Wheelin’ Bike is available in green, blue, pink, grey, red and orange. The mama of these two (almost three) year old boys sent me a message that speaks volumes of these bikes! 

When I say “all day” I mean ALL day, since 7:50am, before eating breakfast, we’ve been on “motorcycles”😂 Thanks again. They love them!

outdoor play

Parents can offer fun, exciting alternatives to indoor play that will soon have their children begging to go outdoors.

FREE Wheelin is available at Amazon – https://amzn.to/2PMFOkL
For more information about PlayMonster please visit www.playmonster.com 

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13 thoughts on “Why is Outdoor Play So Important

  1. We are totally sold on outdoor play here whatever the weather. It is so good for kids development and allows them the freedom to move and be active much more than indoors. An appreciation of nature comes from the outdoors too.

  2. I grew up playing outdoor and doing all the outdoor activities. Yes i agree with you, it is so important especially it allows the kid to be in touch with nature. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks for sharing so many tips on how to spend time outdoors. I love the idea of having breakfast outdoor instead of having it indoor at the kitchen table. The bonus is we don’t have to clean up the floor when children drop their food in the garden. The birds will come and pick up the food. LOL

  4. I agree, outdoor activities are so important, breathing in a fresh air and having our skin touch by the morning sunlight is good for body.

  5. I’m not surprised that children are more stressed compared to some years ago as playing outside seems to be quite rare. I try to ensure that my kids go and play outside as often as possible.

  6. Love these tips!! We definitely strive for outdoors time and sometimes it takes us getting out there with them, and then they just want to keep playing and exploring more!

  7. I agree with you that taking them away with those electronic devices is really hard but I think it would be easy if I am going to follow these tips of yours and will start doing outdoor activity tomorrow. Thanks for sharing!

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