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Active Children

Get Outdoors and Explore

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Do you remember playing outdoors a lot when you were a child? Things like being with friends, looking for bugs, riding your bike, or walking through puddles? For many people the best childhood memories are of being outdoors.

You probably didn’t know it when you were young, but playing outdoors helps build healthy bodies and minds. Being out in nature and with other children while playing outdoors helps your child:

  • be more curious and creative
  • build the ability to observe, problem solve, and have better social skills
  • be more confident and have better self-esteem
  • to “unplug” from technology

Children naturally want to play outdoors. Being outdoors gives your child the chance to jump, run, climb, swing, balance, and roll. The outdoors allows for a place to be creative, practice skills, and explore! Your child can connect with nature by exploring playgrounds, throwing rocks into streams, jumping through tall grass, or inventing new games. When your child is outside, they’ll usually find many ways to play.

Here are some tips to encourage outdoor play.

  • Keep it simple and fun – go for a walk, look for different shaped rocks, or play tag.
  • Keep it local at first – visit a garden, park, or patch of green space in your community.
  • Do it together – invite your family and friends to get everyone involved and outdoors.
  • Set clear boundaries and let your child play freely and safely.

Playing outdoors is enjoyed by people of all ages and is a great way to enjoy fresh air, and be more active.​

Current as of: September 7, 2018

Author: Healthy Children and Families, Alberta Health Services