NATIONAL PLAY OUTSIDE DAY
If it’s the first Saturday of the month, it’s National Play Outside Day. So, no matter what month it is, everyone put down their electronic devices and get outside!
All year long, we are given numerous opportunities to get outside and play. But sometimes, life, responsibilities, and distractions keep us from spending time in the fresh air as we should. National Play Outside Day is a reminder to stretch our legs and expend some energy in the great outdoors.
Benefits of Outdoor Play
Why is playing outside so good for us? Besides getting us off the sofa or away from the desk, it also gives us an opportunity to explore our neighborhoods. While it’s impossible to list all the benefits of outdoor play, we do have a few to share.
- Playing outdoors is a freeing activity. It frees us from routines, enclosed spaces, and frames of mind.
- The outdoors fills us with energy. Whether it’s the fresh air, sunshine, or physical activity, we perk up and become motivated to accomplish things.
- It clears the cobwebs from our brains. We sometimes get stuck on a topic, project, or issue and are unable to resolve it. A change of scene often brings clarity we didn’t have before.
- Outdoor play provides terrific physical activity for our bodies. Our hearts pump fresh oxygen to our limbs and brains.
- We experience new sights and sounds. Children get to experience the world around them.
- As a social activity, playing outside encourages positive interactions.
- When you play outside every month, it becomes habit-forming – and this is one good habit to have!
- It stimulates the imagination. Outdoor play almost has no boundaries. Your yard can be a kingdom or the playground can be a mountain to scale.
We’ve only scratched the surface of the benefits of outdoor play. There are so many more! So, be sure to get outside with the family on the first Saturday of every month – or even more often than that!
HOW TO OBSERVE NATIONAL PLAY OUTSIDE DAY
We know the seasons change, so what we were able to do outside last month will be different this month. However, that shouldn’t stop you from celebrating the day. This is your monthly reminder that it’s time to get outside and play. We have suggestions for every season that we’re sure you’ll enjoy!
- Explore hiking trails near you.
- Visit the local swimming pool or even take swimming lessons.
- Check out every park in your neighborhood and climb, slide or swing on every playground set.
- Start a game of catch, kickball, tag, or Frisbee or make up a game.
- Go to the beach.
- Run through the sprinkler.
- Go camping.
- Go fishing.
- Fly a kite.
- Jump in a pile of leaves.
- Build a fort – of leaves or snow or whatever is handy.
- Walk around the block.
- Go for a bike ride.
- Build a snowperson.
- Go sledding.
- Identify the constellations at night and look for meteors.
- Visit your favorite state or national park.
- Check out these 9 Fun Winter Outdoor Activities.
What’s your favorite way to play outside? Introduce some of the games you used to play to your children. Whatever you do, be sure to get outside and play! Use #PlayOutsideDay to share on social media.
NATIONAL PLAY OUTSIDE DAY HISTORY
In 2011, Aaron Wiggans and Rhonda D. Abeyta founded National Play Outside Day as a reminder to explore and play in the world outside. The day encourages healthful habits that will last a lifetime.