10 sneaky ways to get your kids outside

Getting kids to go outside is a parenting win. Kids are more curious in natural spaces, leading them to move more, sit less and play longer. Playing outside after school, for instance, can lead children to take 2,500 additional steps each day.

The trouble is that there are a lot of fun things to do inside these days, and with only 9% of kids currently getting the 60 minutes of heart-pumping movement they need each day, it’s clear that the indoors are winning over the out. It may be time to get sneaky.


1. Eat dinner on your porch, in your backyard, or in a park.

If there’s one thing that’s certain to get kids outside, it’s dinner. Once they’re done eating, guaranteed they’ve noticed something on the sidewalk or in the yard they’re dying to play with.

2. Don’t be in a rush to get home. 

If you hang around outside after school or daycare for a while they’ll spend half an hour or an hour playing just in the act of “leaving” to go home.

3. Get them into insect collecting.

The thing about insects is that, with any luck, they’re almost exclusively found outdoors. You can pick up an insectarium at the dollar store and send them out to collect new friends.

4. Set out in search of treats.

Whether it’s a walk to the toy store, a bike ride for stickers at the dollar store, or a hop, skip and jump down to the local ice cream shop, you have to go outside to get there.

5. Make a boat to float down a stream.

Once created, they’ll be eager to test it out. Little did they know, you have to hike to get to the stream! Man, you’re getting sneaky.


6. Hand them a gardening shovel.

Spending time together in the garden can be an absolutely fantastic way to spend an afternoon. Plus, with all their youthful energy, your spring beds will be turned and ready for planting in no time!

7. Give them a bottle of bubbles.

Only one rule, no blowing bubbles inside. So sneaky.

8. Let them be independent.

Depending on how old they are, kids should be allowed to play unsupervised and even walk or bike to the park with a friend by themselves. They love the freedom of doing whatever they want (within reason of course!).

9. Start a game of “eye” spy.

Because everyone knows the best things to spy with your little eye are outside.

10. Put on their rubber boots.

Walking around the house in rubber boots isn’t fun, but do you know what is? Splashing around outside in the puddles! Walks are even more fun when Mom or Dad join in too!

ParticipACTION and the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador are working together, with the support of Recreation Newfoundland and Labrador, to inspire families to make physical activity a higher priority in life.

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While you're at it, sneakily meet the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines too!

Getting kids outdoors is also a sneaky way to help them meet the 24-Hour Movement Guidelines. Kids who get the right balance of sweating, stepping, sleeping and sitting, are happier and healthier as a result. Check out what a healthy day should include and some helpful tips for making it happen!