How to Get Your Child to Play Outdoors

If you’re like many parents, you have trouble finding ways to get your children to play outdoors. Studies show that just 20 minutes walking in nature makes a difference in a child with ADHD’s ability to focus and attend. Being in nature seems to slow down time, encourages children to engage in imaginative and exploratory play, and is healthy all around. But what do you do when it feels unsafe to get them playing outdoors, or they resist your efforts? Here are some fabulous tips.

I love the one about “half hour media time has to be counteracted with an hour outdoors.” I’m going to try that!

Also, I think it’s a great idea to go on walks with the whole family, along a bike trail or at a nature center. Challenge your child to find as many different types of flowers as he can, to find poison ivy (she probably won’t but it feels exciting to look for it!), to find evidence of animals and birds (holes pecked by woodpeckers, nests left by squirrels, and so on). Make “boats” from leaves and sticks to float down a creek, and practice skipping stones or just throwing big rocks into the water to make a satisfying “plunk”!


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