Playing Outside: Why It’s Important for Kids

No matter what the weather brings, playing outside is good for kids!

There is scientific evidence that playing outside improves health, and children all ages love it. Nature is all around us. We don’t necessarily need to travel far to enjoy nature. Your family can connect with nature in a school playground, backyard, table-top garden, or virtually.

There are also many ways to find out what parks are nearby based on zip code, including some that you can get to by walking or taking public transportation. Many public green spaces have features and programs for all ages and abilities.

Playing outside and exploring nature is for all ages:

Bringing baby outside. The earlier you share nature with your baby, the more likely they will develop a life-long love of the outdoors. Even infants and toddlers can play and learn in nature.

Explore with preschoolers and younger children. Young children are developing and learning from every experience.

Outdoor playdates. Meet up with friends outdoors to build social connections for children and adults.

Challenge older children & teens. Stay engaged with the outdoors as a family. Take advantage of this time to bond over games and activities you all enjoy or challenge yourselves with something new.

Healthy benefits of outdoor play:

Getting outside provides more than a fun break for children and teenagers. It is also good for their physical and mental health and development. Children and teens who spend time playing outside and enjoying nature can be:

Physically healthier. Children play harder outdoors than indoors and need daily opportunities to do so. Safely getting some sun also helps us make vitamin D that our bodies need to stay healthy and strong.

More engaged in learning. Playing outside promotes curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking. Studies have found that children who spent more time exploring nature had improved learning outcomes.

More positive in behavior. Research shows that children who spend time in natural settings have less anger and aggression.

Mentally healthier. Stress and depression are lower for all people who spend time in nature.


Take advantage of the healing power of play in nature—near your home, neighborhood, or wherever you feel comfortable. Remember to dress appropriately for the weather. It’s also a good idea to wash hands or use hand sanitizer during and after your adventure.

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By chwmag

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