15 Creative Ways to Get Your Kids Outdoors

Sometimes, it can feel impossible to get your kids away from the screen and out the door, no matter how hard you try. We believe the trick to really getting them out there (and encouraging them to stay there!) lies in intrinsically motivating them to want to play outside.

Here are 15 creative ways to encourage your kids to get outside and find their own passion for the outdoors at a young age!

  • Walk them to school each morning. Although it can certainly take more time to do so, walking with your kids to school is a great way to form the habit of getting outdoors as a mode of transport and daily habit. Plus it’s a great time to bond with them and make time for them each morning, five days a week!

  • Set a challenge for them. If your kids love to compete, creating a sort of challenge for them is a great way to turn their activity levels into a game. Whether it’s a competition between siblings, or a rewards system for the amount of time spent outside, you can create a system that will cater to both their passions and your needs simultaneously.

  • Buy them activewear they’ll love. It’s the same for anyone – if they like what they’re wearing, they’ll wear it more. Pick out some cute sneakers or active wear accessories for the kids and surprise them as a treat! They’ll be so eager to wear them and show them off that they’ll be begging you to go outside before you know it.

  • Carefully select the TV shows they watch. As crazy as it sounds, TV shows at all ages for your kids can motivate behavior. Find shows that are set in outdoor environments, have active characters or positive messages about the outdoors, and encourage them to enjoy those shows when they’re treated to some TV time. 

  • Gift them experiences for their birthday. Whether it’s a surfing lesson, a soccer ball or a trip to summer camp, there are countless ways to gift the great outdoors to your kids in a way that makes them seize the opportunity and dash out the door.

  • Go on weekend adventures. Making some time in your own schedule for the family each weekend is a great way to ensure that your kids get to see as much of nature as possible. Whether it’s an overnight getaway to a beautiful campsite or a day spent at a nearby hike, making it a family event ensures you're setting an example and getting active yourself!

  • Set an example. In order for your kids to truly see activity as a part of a lifestyle, not a punishment or a birthday gift, it’s important that your kids see you participating in and enjoying your own outdoor adventures.

  • Invite them to play. Whether you play basketball on the local courts or throw a baseball in the back yard, joining the fun with your kids will elevate the activity and also give you more control over how long they stay outdoors.

  • Make the most of summer. A large part of getting your kids out there is simply letting them enjoy nature and the sunshine in any way possible. If they’re not feeling up to an activity or adventure, build a sandcastle at the beach, set up a crafts table outside or head to the local zoo for some relaxed but valuable outdoor time.

  • Take them on a picnic. Instead of serving up their much-anticipated after-school snack at the kitchen table, pack it up in a basket and take them to a local park to have a picnic instead! For a bonus adventure, throw in a ball or Frisbee for everyone to throw around after.

  • Have a family scavenger hunt. Split your family into two teams, or team up with another local family, and compete in an outdoors scavenger hunt! Whether it’s city wide or just around the block, there are so many creative scavenger hunt ideas online, and most don’t cost any money at all.

  • Learn something new together. Perhaps you can’t surf, and neither can your kids – what could be better than taking a surfing beginner’s class together?! It’ll be fun, entertaining, and a great experience that they’ll cherish forever as they develop the skill.

  • Take them sightseeing in your own city. Whether it’s walking across the bridges, feeding ducks in the local pond, going on a food tour of unknown cafes or hopping from museum to museum, there are countless parts of every city just waiting to be discovered.

  • Camp out in your backyard. Camping is a great way to experience the outdoors like no other, but it’s often difficult to find the time and make it happen. Instead, pitch a tent in the backyard, set out the sleeping bags and torches, and have a night camping out under the stars!

  • Take their favorite activity outside. The beauty of all this technology is that it’s actually incredibly portable. Whether you take them to an outdoor movie cinema or makeshift your own one at home, you can keep them happy with their favorite activity without the stuffy indoors confining them.