Being active outdoors is hugely beneficial for children’s physical health and mental wellbeing. When children are outside it normally provides them with a much larger space in which to be active that they wouldn’t have indoors, which makes it easier for them to run, climb and crawl and get the exercise they need to maintain a healthy weight. As well as this, the outdoors enables children to be closer to nature and provides a healthy exposure to natural sunlight, both of which are proven to help improve children’s emotional wellbeing. With so many benefits to being outdoors it is vital to encourage children to be active outdoors as much as possible and the best way to encourage children to be outside is to make outdoor fitness fun.
Here are some simple ways to make outdoor fitness fun for children of all ages:
Creative fitness equipment
An easy way to make fitness fun is to install creative fitness equipment in your school playground or public park. Themed equipment is a great way of encouraging children to use their imaginations while also being active. Our Butterfly Climber, for example, is one of our most popular climbing frames as its bright colours and butterfly shape appeals to children, while it also provides helps to improve their strength and fitness.
Mixing play with fitness
Multi play units are a great way of encouraging young children to have fun while being active outdoors. Themed multi play units are popular with this age group as it not only enables them to be active by climbing, crawling, jumping and sliding; but also enables them to use their imaginations and create stories around the unit’s theme.
A traditional way of making outdoor fitness fun for children is though outdoor sports. Children will often naturally gravitate towards outdoor sports and often just need a ball to start a game of football; but installing outdoor sports equipment will make it even easier for children to play sports outdoors. Along with traditional sports equipment such as football goal posts, netball nets and tennis courts, alternative sports can help to encourage children of all fitness abilities to have fun while playing sports. Concrete table tennis tables, for example, are a fantastic sports equipment to install in school playgrounds as they are a great way of encouraging older children to play sports outdoors.
Fitness trails for children
Over the last few years children’s fitness trails have become extremely popular. Fitness trails are suitable for children of all ages and abilities. They have become popular as they provide a fun way for children to test and challenge their strength and fitness through a wide range of different types of workout stations, from balance beams to rope bridges. These help to make the trail varied and interesting for children, as well as ensuring that children can have fun on the trail irrelevant to their fitness skill or level.
Daily mile challenge
Often walking is overlooked as a fun outdoor activity for children, but the recent popularity in the daily mile challenge shows how effective it is in encouraging children to enjoy being active outdoors.
Schools across the country have been setting up a daily mile challenge route, which can be as simple as paths painted on school playgrounds to trails that incorporate fitness activities as children make their way around the mile long route. If your school hasn’t yet set up a daily mile challenge route, it is an easy and fun way to encourage children to be active outdoors.