Do you find it hard to get your kids away from the screens and get them to want to be outside? It can be a challenge, especially in today’s digital age. There are days when I can tell that my kids just need to get outside, even if just for a few minutes.

Benefits of Outdoor Exploration

Playing outside offers numerous benefits for children’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. First and foremost, outdoor play provides opportunities for physical exercise and the development of gross motor skills, such as running, jumping, and climbing. It also exposes children to natural elements, which can improve their sensory development and boost their immune system.

In terms of physical benefits, outdoor play is a great way for children to get their daily dose of physical activity. Running, jumping, and playing in a variety of outdoor environments can help children develop their gross motor skills, which are important for their overall physical development. Additionally, exposure to natural elements such as sunshine, fresh air, and dirt can help to strengthen their immune system, reducing the likelihood of developing illnesses.

When it comes to cognitive benefits, outdoor play provides an excellent opportunity for children to explore and learn about their surroundings. In an outdoor environment, children are free to use their imaginations and engage in unstructured play, which can lead to increased creativity and problem-solving skills. For example, playing with sticks and rocks can spark children’s curiosity about the natural world, leading to an interest in science and the environment.

In terms of social benefits, playing outside with other children can help to develop important social skills, such as communication, teamwork, and conflict resolution. Outdoor play provides a unique setting for children to practice these skills in a natural, unstructured environment. This can be especially beneficial for shy or introverted children who may feel more comfortable engaging in play that is not as structured as some indoor activities.

Lastly, outdoor play can have a positive impact on children’s emotional well-being. Spending time in nature can promote a sense of calm and relaxation, leading to improved emotional regulation and mental health. Additionally, outdoor play provides children with a sense of freedom and independence, which can boost their confidence and self-esteem.

Overall, playing outside offers a wide range of benefits for children’s physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development. It is important for parents and caregivers to encourage outdoor play as part of a child’s daily routine, and to provide opportunities for children to explore and learn in a natural, unstructured environment.

Screen Free activities: Explore New Places Together

Spending time together as a family without screens and going to new places can be a rewarding adventure. It can be hard to jump out of a normal routine, especially if we just finished a long week but exploring outside together and has numerous benefits for everyone. When we unplug from our devices and get out there exploring, we can really connect and create some special memories. It’s also a great way to learn and grow as we discover new things and gain new perspectives. Plus, all that walking, hiking, or biking is a fantastic way to get some exercise and fresh air, keeping us healthy and feeling good. My favorite part of seeing new places as a family is the expressions on my kids faces as we explore. It is an amazing feeling watching their excitement!

Some examples of places you could go are, a new hiking trail, a new playground, visit a botanical garden, or check out the local nature center for a new class.

Screen Free activities: Camping Trips

Most kids have a love-hate relationship with camping. But with the right approach, you can most definitely make it a love-relationship. The first thing you should do is set appropriate expectations. You’re not going to have a luxurious experience on a camping trip. You’re probably not even going to have a shower. So, start by talking to your child about what they think camping is like. Then, start setting expectations. Make it clear that you’re going to be roughing it for a few days. Let them know it’s not going to be easy — that everything is going to be more challenging. Camping is a great way to challenge your child and get them out of their comfort zone. Plus, it’s a great way to spend time together as a family. If you can, try to camp in a place with easy access to water. This will make it easier for your child to take care of their hygiene needs. Plus, it will make the experience more pleasant for everyone.

Screen Free activities: Nature Hikes

Explore your local nature trails. These are great ways to get your kids outside, while also giving them a chance to learn about nature. Let your child lead the way as you talk about what you’re seeing. Ask them questions like, “What do you think that is?” or “Why do you think that has that color?” Let them have their own experiences while also guiding them to discover their own world. The trick is to be patient and to let them explore on their own. You can also use nature walks as a way to teach your child about science and biology. Look up facts about the plants, animals, or insects you see on your walks, and teach them to your child as you go. This is a great way to expand their knowledge base, while also getting them excited about science.

Screen Free activities: Beach or Lake Trips

These trips are great for warmer weather. Head to a nearby beach or lake for a day of exploration. Let your child collect seashells, walk along the shoreline, or play in the sand. You can also bring along a simple water toy, like a bucket and shovel, or a cheap inflatable water slide. This is a great way for your child to be creative and make their own fun. It’s also a great way to get your child excited about learning, while also giving them some screen-free time. You can use this time to look for critters, talk about the water cycle, or learn about beach safety.

Screen Free activities: Garden or Yard Exploration

Head to your local garden or yard to explore and collect. This is a fun way to get your kids excited about gardening, while getting them outside and exploring the world around them. Whether your yard is full of flowers, vegetables, or other plants, there’s something for your child to discover and collect. They can look for bugs, flowers, leaves, or anything else that catches their eye. You can also use this time to talk with your child about gardening and how plants grow. Or, you can use this time to teach them about gardening, like how to plant seeds or care for certain plants. This can be a great way to get your kids excited about gardening, while also giving them some screen-free time.

Screen Free activities: Stargazing

This can be done on its own or with one of the other activities listed above. Head to a nearby park or somewhere with a clear view of the night sky. If you’re lucky, you might even be able to see a shooting star! Let your child explore the night sky, talking about the constellations and stars they see. Or, you can use this time to teach them about astronomy, using books about the night sky to expand their knowledge. This is a great way to get your kids excited about exploring the world around them. It’s also a great way to get them excited about science. This is a great way to get your child outside and away from screens, while inspiring their curiosity.

Screen Free activities: Outdoor Games

There are tons of outdoor games you can play with your child, whether you’re indoors or outdoors. Here are some examples: Badminton – Badminton is a great game to play outdoors. You can play with a group of friends or make it a family activity and play against each other. Badminton is a great way to get your child active while also having fun. Cornhole – This is a fun game to play outdoors. It can be played as either a competition or just for fun. A lot of people play cornhole at tailgates or other outdoor events. You can easily make your own cornhole set at home. Volleyball – Volleyball can be a great game to play outdoors, especially if you have a backyard court. You can play with a group of friends or make it a family activity. This is a great game for kids because the ball is slow moving and easy to catch.


Getting your kids outdoors is a great way to both inspire their curiosity and encourage them to be more active. It’s also a great way to spend time as a family and create memorable experiences together. There are plenty of ways to get your kids excited about outdoor activities, no matter their age or interests. From outdoor scavenger hunts to gardening, there’s something for everyone. With the right tips and tricks, you can make outdoor exploration a part of your family’s routine. So, why not give it a try?

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