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How do you encourage your children to play outside? Tell Persil for a chance to win a £300 voucher! NOW CLOSED

(426 Posts)
PoppyMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Mar-16 05:58:00

A new global study of 12,000 parents reveals children are spending on average less than an hour outdoors per day - and in the UK specifically 1 in 5 children never play outdoors.

In response to this, Persil is launching the Dirt is Good campaign, encouraging children to spend more time playing outdoors.

Here’s what Persil has to say: “We believe that children need plenty of outdoor play because climbing trees, building dens and just being in nature are essential for their learning and healthy development. That’s why we say that #dirtisgood. However, parents have told us that it’s getting more difficult to find time and places for their kids to play. So, in partnership with parents, educators, and other leading child development experts, we want to investigate ways to help children play and explore more so that they can learn and develop to their full potential.”

Persil wants to hear your top tips for encouraging your children to get out and play. Do you feel they have fewer opportunities to play than you did? What are the main obstacles to outside play and how do you overcome them? What, if anything, would you like to help you facilitate outdoor play for your children?

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread will be entered in to a prize draw where one winner will receive a £200 Love2shop voucher.

Thanks & good luck!


Standard T&Cs apply

FurbysMakeSexNoises Mon 04-Apr-16 12:07:20

I think children of this generation are used to being entertained so my main tip is to refuse to be their entertainment officer! They often then head out and find a way of using their imagination. They also love helping in the garden- especially if you them the responsibility of planting and watering.

LifeIsGoodish Mon 04-Apr-16 12:10:00

I often make my dc earn screentime by first doing 200 skips on the trampoline. They rarely come back in straight away!

Ricksheadtilt Mon 04-Apr-16 12:15:39

I just open the door!!! First hint of sunshine and they're begging to be let out!! Sorry not much of a tip. We just like being outdoors. We have a puppy too so walks to new places are always exciting.

sharond101 Mon 04-Apr-16 12:15:55

Waterplay is the favourite here as s football, one mention and its outside all day!

BellaVida Mon 04-Apr-16 12:22:22

My DC are out doing sport and exercise with school 4 days a week and then again at the weekend. Their last school did forest school which was great for outdoor fun and skills- they built dens and fires, did whittling and really enjoyed it.
This weekend we went to a local abbey which has an outdoor adventure area with wooden bridges, straw bales, a treehouse, outdoor hammocks etc. and we had to drag them away from making their own den.
Sometimes it's a job to get them out at the weekend when it's so easy to 'plug in' to keep themselves entertained. Once we are actually out, they love it!

CurlsLDN Mon 04-Apr-16 12:31:11

There's no bad weather, only bad clothing.
Make sure you always have wellies, sandals, raincoat, jumper, woolly hat, sun hat all ready to go. British weather is so unpredictable so it's easy to stay indoors, but with all the right gear at your fingertips there's no reason not to go exploring

Ntinyn Mon 04-Apr-16 12:36:14

Wellies and water proof trousers on and promise of muddy puddle hunt

chubbymummy Mon 04-Apr-16 12:54:46

Get a dog.
DS was reluctant to play out due to being bullied. He found family walks in the countryside 'boring' and just wanted to play on his x-box all the time.
Since getting a rescue dog in September he has a new found love of the outdoors. As well as enjoying family walks he's now spending more time going out on his bike or playing football with friends.

stealthsquiggle Mon 04-Apr-16 13:05:41

My DC have the good fortune to do lots of outside play (including den building, tree climbing, fire lighting, etc etc) at school so it's really in holidays that I need to force the issue. And then it is mainly by making other options less attractive. 9yo DD is currently sulking because DH got to work and blocked a number of American teen nonsense channels on Sky last night, but she has already moved from out and out sulk to helping DS with a craft project, and I fully expect to see her heading outside any time now...

In summer we practically live outside anyway, including eating most meals at the table in the garden.

targaryen Mon 04-Apr-16 13:21:01

For mine it's just open the door!
They love being outside and en it's tears when they have to come in and the door gets locked sad

CopperPan Mon 04-Apr-16 13:38:31

Make sure they have decent rainproof clothing and wellies, then they can't use wet weather as an excuse! We also love taking a picnic out, some nice treats to look forward to always helps.

AngelBlue12 Mon 04-Apr-16 13:46:52

We have a huge garden and generally when the baby naps they have to go outside so they don't wake her up!

They are never bored, we have a trampoline, two tire swings, trees to climb, two playhouses and a slide.

They also love helping with the veg beds.

I like providing plenty to do and then step back and let them make up their own games. smile It's hard getting them indoors sometimes!

OSETmum Mon 04-Apr-16 14:08:05

Limit screen time to 1 hour a day. Listen to what they really like to do and provide opportunities to do it outdoors. DS (6) loves bikes and motorbikes so he has both and is never indoors!

CMOTDibbler Mon 04-Apr-16 14:18:57

Get outdoors with them - Saturday we went walking with the dogs and ds could run freely on the hills, Sunday he and I cycled the long way to meet dh at a cafe (dh cycled 70 miles, we did 22)

purplepandas Mon 04-Apr-16 14:46:00

Be weather prepared. If they have comfy shoes and decent coats for the weather then they are more likely to stay outside and enjoy themselves. Snacks too!

IonaAilidh11 Mon 04-Apr-16 14:54:27

turn off the wifi, and they will go out and play!

sulalovesbing Mon 04-Apr-16 15:12:47

Go with them!

2pandasandapig Mon 04-Apr-16 15:27:00

I open the door, hand them their coats and tell them to go out! They usually pop in and out but will play out with the neighbours kids til it's dark quite happily just as I did as a kid!

chrismse Mon 04-Apr-16 16:19:34

We just say lets go to the park and they are happy. Playing on the swings, looking for fairy mushrooms, or fishing for tiddlers in the stream. Feeding the ducks is a great favourite.

TrixieBernadette Mon 04-Apr-16 16:29:12

DS is ASD and at his age (year 5) I was off out on my own on my bike or seeing friends. He just can't do that - so we do a lot of family stuff. Best things are the muddy ones - old clothes, wellies, sticks, climbing, and he's happy for a few hours. English heritage memberships and knowing all the country parks in the 30 mile radius helps us!!

TheCookingMonster Mon 04-Apr-16 16:39:08

When my dcs were younger I used to give them both an empty matchbox or small container and they would have a competition as to how many tiny (non living) things they could squeeze into the matchbox. That was very effective in getting them outside, Also putting your wellies on and going for a walk in tjhe rain and splashing in puddles is very good. Now they are older - we go for a walk and the longer the walk the longer amount of time they earn to go on electricals (to a point!!).

PaulineFowlersGrowler Mon 04-Apr-16 16:42:39

Each child is different, so use your child's interests and hobbies to get the outside! My daughter loves crafts, so she loves a trip to the beach collecting sea glass and shells to decorate craft projects!

Theimpossiblegirl Mon 04-Apr-16 17:03:20

Start them young- walks in all weathers, puddle jumping, climbing trees, it's important to get them out there.

Don't just go out and expect them to know what to do, join in, climb, play hide and seek, look for nature's treasures, build shelters, eat picnics, enjoy being outside with them.

asuwere Mon 04-Apr-16 17:06:38

Another one who just needs to open the door. My DC love being outside. We also have a large shed/playhouse so when in the garden they still have a bit of shelter if needed.

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