How to Motivate Toddlers to Play Outside


Unlike how most of the parents and grandparents grew up, today’s generation tends to never spend time outside. Even when they do, they have their heads stuck to a smart device, either watching a video or playing online games. 

Here are a few tips that might help motivate your toddlers to spend time outside. 

Organize Outdoor Play Dates

Kids are mostly influenced by how other kids and adults act around them. A very good way to motivate your child to go outside is to plan weekly hangouts for them and their friends outside in nature. You can let them choose between the park, a playground, and the beach, among many places. Allowing them to choose where to go will definitely get them feeling excited and you can try planting the idea inside their head that they are choosing to go outside. So instead of saying “do you want to go to the park or stay home?” try to ask them “do you want to go to the park or the beach?”. This way, you’re actually giving them the choice but they can’t choose to stay inside.

Camp Outside

One of the most fun experiences that kids enjoy and get excited about is camping. You can try having annual camps with your kids at the end of summer. You can also camp in your backyard every month with your kids, or you can have them bring their friends over and camp together. You need to make sure that you pick a safe environment so that your kids don’t face any situations where they get scared to go camping again.

Limit Screen Time

One of the main reasons, or the only reason children refuse to spend time outside is that they want to watch TV, watch online videos, or play video games. A very simple and easy way to change this particular attitude is to limit their screen time and actually stick to the time you set. Eventually, toddlers will get bored and will go to the backyard or ask you to go to the park or the beach. It is preferable that you limit screen time to two hours a day. This limit should apply to all devices, this means that even if they spend two hours watching TV, they can’t look at any screen for the remaining hours of the day.

Organize Outdoor Activities in Your Backyard

Most of the time kids don’t like spending time outside because they simply get bored. A good way to help defeat this boredom is by giving them outdoor activities they can enjoy. Professionals at Katherine Rosman believe that sand and water tables are one way to encourage fun and imaginative outdoor playtime. The main reason why you’d want to add these tables to your backyard is to give your kids an outdoor-at-home fun time. It is very hard to take your kids to the park or any other outdoor place to hangout 3-4 times a week so you will want to give them a fun activity to do in your house’s backyard and the previously mentioned tables are the best way to go.

Have Picnics

Picnics are something that almost everyone gets excited about. Not only for the picnic itself but also for the preparation process. For the picnic location, try to choose a place that is close by because long rides can result in a cranky child. You should also engage your toddler in the preparation process by asking them to choose their favorite juice and let them decide on the picnic menu. Take the dull out of the normal sandwiches by cutting them into your kid’s favorite shapes. Try to always add one of their favorite desserts to the picnic basket.


Teach Them How to Ride a Bike

Riding a bike is not only a great activity as a sport but it is also a great way to get your toddler to spend time outside. Getting them to know how to ride a bike means that you can go cycling with them to most places nearby which means extra outside time together.

The previously mentioned activities are only a few tips compared to the various ways you can get your toddler outside. They are ways that will help you change your kids’ attitude from always asking for their smart device to always ask you when you are going outside again. Try to take them for short walks and point out the beautiful things in nature, like flowers, butterflies and fresh air. Try as well to limit your own usage of mobile phones, iPads, and TV because toddlers always try to copy their parents.