How to Encourage Children to Play Outdoors

Encouraging children to play outdoors never used to be a challenge. Before the days of tablets and smartphones, children used to race outside every day to play in the sun. They didn’t care about their knees being scraped, the scabby elbows, or the messy clothes. But what has changed?

Getting Children to Play Outdoors – Why the Fuss?

Kids literally smelt the sunshine and got their daily dose of vitamin D. Every child used to be excited and eager to enjoy adventures out on the streets and different trails. Calling them back for meals was one of the biggest challenges of parenthood.

Nowadays, the signature scent for childhood can only be the smell of electronic chips and wires, or anything related to the technology that confines them at home. Staying inside is making children miss out on so much, while leading to an unhealthy and sedentary lifestyle.

Parents should realise that kids need to go outside to get sunshine, fresh air and just be in touch with nature. Studies show that children who enjoy frequent, unstructured, and regular playtime in natural settings tend to be calmer, smarter, happier, and more cooperative and self-disciplined than those who don’t. It helps them nurture a relationship with nature.

How to Resolve the Problem?

Here are some suggestions of what you may be able to do to help resolve this problem.

  • Parents scheduling time each day to take their children to the park or for a walk will build some regular outdoor exercise into their routine. An hour a day should be plenty and it can stretch to longer at weekends.  This helps children to expect and look forward to outdoor exercise, instead of trying to persuade them to stop something else they enjoy. It also makes it easier to set limits for their screen time too.
  • Parents can check with their local community centre if they have any fun activities going on for the children that can be incorporated into the schedule as well.
  • Customise your backyard with playground equipment if you can. You can add a swing, slide, catapult, hammock and so much more. There’s no need to take them to the park so often if they have a mini playground at home!
  • Challenge the children by giving them tasks or fun activities to do outside. This will help them to show their strengths and outdoor skills to further develop. They will be more accustomed to the world outside and be in touch with nature. A good playground has all the equipment necessary to challenge them for all the physical activities. From running to climbing, it has it all. Make them run round in the park, go on a slide, climb ropes, etc.
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We all know the importance of a stable job and income to provide for your family, but don’t forget to put time aside to play with your children. These are their formative years and without a strong parental presence around, there may be problems sprouting up in the future. Parents need to build a good connection with their children through fun play activities.

The Role of Schools in Getting Children to Play Outdoors

Most schools realise the importance of playgrounds, knowing this may be the only opportunity for regular outside activity that some children get. Schools should install quality and safe playground areas so children can be active during their playtime, getting their needed activity without knowing it!

For a fun, safe and creative playground installation in your school or community centre, contact the Playcubed team today.

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