As technology gets more intertwined in our lives, it can sometimes be challenging to inspire children to get off their screens and play outside. Parents, grandparents, and other caregivers may wonder what they can do to encourage kids to play outside. Spending time outdoors has many benefits to children and adults alike, like getting fresh air and encouraging use of the imagination. There are many ways people can be encouraging kids to play outside, including water activities, blowing bubbles, installing a playset, and more.
The Importance of Spending Time Outdoors
Encouraging kids to play outside is essential. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, childhood obesity affects 13.7 million children in the United States. The CDC also recommends that children ages six to 17 be active for at least 60 minutes a day, and children ages three to five be active to encourage growth and development. Spending time outdoors is a great way to promote physical fitness.
In addition to being physically active when encouraging kids to play outside, kids will also get fresh air and plenty of Vitamin D from the sun. While you should remember to apply sunscreen to children before playing outdoors, the Vitamin D absorbed from the sun helps keep bones healthy and prevents heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.
Beyond the health benefits of spending time outdoors, children also develop much-needed social skills they can’t get from playing on an electronic device. The endless possibilities of things to play outside will ignite their imagination, particularly if you have a play space like Backyard Escape’s Space Walk playset or The Captain’s Castle playset. Kids can play for an endless number of hours on these high-quality, Amish-built playsets for years of fun.
Encouraging Kids to Play Outside
While you may realize the importance of kids spending time outdoors, getting them outside can be a challenge. However, there are several ways you can encourage kids to play outside to reap the many benefits of being in the great outdoors. Depending on the children’s age, some activities may inspire them to play more than others.
If you want to encourage kids to play outside rather than on their electronic devices, you could simply hide their electronics. Putting the electronics out of sight will force them to seek alternate play methods, including going outside.
A high-quality vinyl or wood playset will also encourage kids to play outside. Backyard Escape offers 20 different base models of vinyl playsets, customized with ten different options. With various color selections, durable construction, and no maintenance, vinyl playsets provide endless possibilities of imaginative fun and physical activities for your kids and grandkids.
Backyard Escape’s wooden playsets come in 30 different models and 13-different oil-based stains or water-based paints. With all of these options, our wooden playsets will encourage imagination for years to come. For tips on selecting the right playset, read our playset buying guide.
Another way to encourage kids to play outside is to lead by example. Go out and play with your kids. You can even regularly schedule outdoor playtime and hide the electronics until the kids have been outside for a certain length of time. You’ll also benefit from the positive aspects of being outside, like fresh air, physical activity, and Vitamin D from the sun.
To encourage kids to play outside who are toddlers, think of activities like blowing bubbles. Toddlers love watching the bubbles form and chasing them around the yard. It will help them get fresh air as well as exercise their lung capacity.
Another idea to get toddlers outside is to buy a sandbox. Many of the Backyard Escape playsets have sandboxes built-in. Consider buying sand toys and having them available for toddlers to encourage outdoor play.
Similarly, buying sidewalk chalk and letting your child decorate your sidewalk or driveway in colorful patterns brightens your outdoor space and encourages the use of their imagination.
Preschool-aged children can do activities outside that are more stimulating to their brains. For example, they love to help in the garden or rake leaves in the fall. Giving them simple tasks to help outside encourages them to play outdoors.
You can also encourage kids to play outside by offering them messy treats, like ice pops, ice cream sandwiches, or ice cream cones. This way, children will go outdoors to eat them, and the mess stays out of your home.
Another idea for preschoolers to get outside is to hook-up a sprinkler in the yard. This technique encourages children to run around, getting them the physical activity they need. It can also spark their imagination.
Preschoolers could also bring indoor activities outside, like reading in their favorite playset, crafting, or playing board games. Doing so will encourage kids to play outside by doing some of their normal indoor activities outside in the warm weather.
School-aged children can be encouraged to play outside by having more stimulating activities available. For example, create a scavenger hunt to find items outdoors, like a red leaf, a brown rock, a bug, or any other creative ideas. Depending on how many things are on the list, your children may be outside for a long time doing a scavenger hunt.
Other alternatives to get school-aged children outside is to invite their friends over. Not only will this task improve their social skills, but it encourages them to play outside. It may also help use their imagination as they play imaginary games together outdoors.
Having a picnic for your children can also encourage them to be outdoors. Having a simple picnic lunch full of nutritious lean protein, fruits, and vegetables will improve their nutritional health and be a fun activity for you all to enjoy together. Simply spread a big blanket on the ground and eat some delicious food together.
Encourage Them to Play
Encouraging kids to play outside can be a tricky, but not impossible task. Being outside provides many health benefits, like increasing Vitamin D consumption and getting fresh air. It also promotes physical activity, helping to ward off childhood obesity. Using age-appropriate activities, like a sandbox for toddlers, reading outside for preschoolers, and having a picnic for school-aged children, will also encourage your child to play outside.
The best part? Many of these activities can occur right on your vinyl or wood playset, making memories for years to come. All children can benefit from an outdoor playset, which allows them to use their imagination, improve their social skills, and safely be active outside. Check out our vinyl and wood playsets now to encourage kids to play outside more often.