Outdoor Play: Parenting Tips

By having your child engage in more outdoor play you can strengthen his/her mental health. Many of the children and adolescents I see in my counseling practice are play-starved. Some are pent-up and frustrated, and they need an outlet for their energy.

Does your child need a little help? More activity may be the solution! And you may want to play with your child.

Children who are undergoing stress may need more play than others, and a child whose parents are having problems will need more time to run and jump outside. It's a great way for kids to de-stress.  

Outdoor Play Improves Your Child's Mental and Physical Health

Here are a few tips on how you can bolster your kid’s mental and physical health and make him stronger and more resilient: 

Tips To Improve Your Kid’s Mental and Physical Health Through Outdoor Play

Tip 1. If your kid is overweight, or is play-starved, if he or she is growing up on video games and living life with cell phones plastered to their ears, you should create more opportunities for physical activity. Physical activity is good for body, mind and soul . . . and by giving your child the gift of the outdoors you will see immediate improvement.

Play-starved kids want and need more time spent in the great outdoors, especially kids with emotional issues. The average child spends less than 10 minutes a day outside. That’s not enough for them to grown and develop normally. Yes, outdoor play is essential for their healthy development and maturation.

Give time for unstructured enjoyment of the outdoors, such as sitting on a blanket, watching the clouds, skipping stones, rolling in the grass, listening to waterfalls and playing tag. Nature is healing and restful, challenging and stimulating. i>Kids who are nature-savvy are healthier and happier than others. So get those play-starved kids up and running in the great outdoors! What a wonderful way to boost their brain power and fight childhood obesity!

Tip 2. Go with the kids to the local, state or national park, and be a good role model. Show them you care about the great outdoors and show them how much fun they can have enjoying it. Nature can enhance your kids' mental health. but it is up to you to show them the way. You can be a great role model. Turn off the TV or put down your electronic gadget and go outside! You can take an early morning walk. Play tennis, fly a kite, toss horseshoes or go for a bike ride.

Tip 3. Show your children how to enjoy nature in skillful ways. In other words, take them canoeing and golfing, fishing and rowing, bird watching, hiking and skiing, target shooting and rock climbing. Get them gardening and butterfly watching! Arrange for them to get good, safe instruction and supervision, and frequent practice, so they can develop the skill set needed for each activity.

And they will learn to love being outside engaging in their favorite sport or activity. You'll find their self-confidence and happiness index growing with each activity they master! ADHD kids need to be involved in outdoor activities and benefit from running off excess energy.

Get friends, family and other kids involved, too. You can take your group to the park today and your neighbor can take them tomorrow. Draw upon your support system, consisting of relatives and friends, to help you get your children and adolescents out of the house and into the sunshine. You can find creative ways of setting up an environment for fostering health, success and well-being in your young family members. Outdoor play will fight childhood obesity, too.

Learn more about how The Secret to Happiness can help you to lead a great life and enjoy true and lasting relationships.  


The benefits of outdoor play include greater self-confidence, better attitude, improved mental and physical health, enhanced cooperation and teamwork, opportunities for spiritual growth, a deeper understanding of and respect for wildlife, a healthier brain, improved problem solving skills, and greater happiness, to name a few! Why not bring the family together and reinforce all-important family values to guide and protect your child throughout his/her life?

Outdoor play can give ADHDers will gain valuable experience stretching their legs, building their muscles and gaining coordination.

Parting Thoughts

Bring more time for actual play out-of-doors in your child's life and you will improve his or her mental health and bring the family closer together. So help everyone and give your child more time for outdoor play! Learn other parenting techniques you can use to go along with outdoor play here.

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