How To Encourage Your Child to Be More Physically Active and Spend Time Outdoors

Spending time outdoors and having a physically active life is highly beneficial for individuals, regardless of their age. To support healthy development, kids should be encouraged to do this from a young age.

climbing frame

There are more distractions these days than they used to be, distractions that can keep children indoors. High-quality video games, digital devices and gadgets like smartphones and tablets keep children inside rather than outside with other kids playing football or other games. At the same time, these video games and game consoles have their advantages, such as helping children become tech-savvy from a young age and developing their technological and analytical capabilities. This can help them later in life, especially in today's world that has become almost entirely digital with technology embedded in personal and professional life. Therefore, video games and having access to technology while they are still so young can help them improve problem-solving skills and logical thinking.

However being outdoors and having a physically active life as a child is also highly beneficial, and parents should help and encourage their children to move more and connect with nature. When it comes to the benefits of physical activity and outdoor activities for children, these are as follows:

  • Improves overall physical and mental health; the risk of depression and anxiety can be reduced.
  • Better bone and muscle strength;
  • Developing and maintaining a healthy weight;
  • Better heart, lung and brain health;
  • Better academic performance, given that the child’s attention and memory are improved;
  • Builds mental and emotional resilience and physical endurance;
  • Improves communication and social skills and helps kids be more self-aware;
  • Greater appreciation for the environment and nature, which can lead to the adoption of sustainable behaviours.

As it can be seen, there are many benefits to spending time outside and being physically active from a young age. Therefore, parents should support their kids and help them get to safely know what the outside world has to offer through play. For example, if you have a backyard garden, you should create a playground corner with safe equipment from Fatmoose, such as swing sets of various designs and sizes.

Choosing the right activities is of the utmost importance. It is crucial to pick the ones that are suitable for your child’s age, align with their preferences and likes, and are interactive and fun enough to catch their attention and encourage them to take part in them. Children won’t be interested in something they don’t regard as entertaining and aren’t in line with what they like doing. For this reason, it is crucial to listen to your child and see what their likes are and find activities that could be appealing to them. Whether you install a playground space or sign them up for volleyball lessons, for example, the important thing is to listen to their needs.

Here are some of the ways you can encourage your kid to spend more time outdoors and be more physically active from a young age:

Set up a playground in your garden with exciting activities

So, how can you get your kids outside? Set up a playground in your garden with interesting features and activities that will appeal to them.

For example, you could install a climbing frame with slide, swings, and other features children can have fun with either by themselves or with other children. This way, not only do they spend time outside, but they also increase their physical activity which will improve their health and when they play with others, develop social skills.

And if you have a backyard or front-yard garden at home, you could enjoy this playground from the comfort of your home and use it to spend more time together as a family.

Host outdoor parties and playdates where they can gather all their friends

Another great way to encourage your child to spend more time outside and increase their physical activity is by hosting parties or playdates outdoors. Whether you have a yard or not, you can still organise and host this, given there are many outdoor public places properly decorated and designed for playdates and children’s parties you could book.

If you host such activities, your child has the opportunity to gather all their friends and spend time with them. Through play and activities, such as crafts, playing sports or playing board games, for example, they get to spend time outside and learn how to take turns and the rules of gamesmanship. Not to mention that they can run around and be surrounded by nature simultaneously.

Incorporate physical activity within the family’s routine

Leading by example is highly effective. If you incorporate physical activity within a healthy family routine, children see this and recognise it as something they should do as well. Whether you take walks in the park, go cycling, play a sport together, or go hiking, it is up to you and your lifestyle.

Regardless of the physical activity, you decide to do as a family frequently, the important aspect is to do it with your children so they can learn the benefits of this from a young age. This way, when it comes to encouraging your child to play outside, they will be even more excited.

Emphasise the fun aspect of being and playing outside

You should never underestimate the importance of emphasising the fun aspect of spending time and playing outside. 

Therefore, to make this aspect more appealing, you should show your children how exciting it can be. During summer, if they meet their friends outside, they can run around freely and even play with water, while during wintertime, they can make snowmen or have a snowball fight. No video game can ever beat that. So, the secret is to show them the appeal while listening to them and being aware of your child’s likes and dislikes.

*Collaborative post

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