Exploring the outdoors, playing on playgrounds and being around other kids will help your child explore the natural environment and have adventures. Playing outdoors will give your child the chance to build their:1,2

  • Imagination
  • Physical skills like crawling, walking, climbing
  • Social skills like sharing, being polite, leading and following others
  • Language skills like learning the names of different things
  • Confidence by trying new activities, such as going down a slide for the first time

Playing outside gives your child more space and freedom for big movements, like running, jumping and throwing. Physical activities like these are important for your child’s physical development. A bit of safe play in the sun can also help boost your child’s vitamin D levels.1

Getting your child into outdoor play

Outdoor play does not necessarily have to be a big thing. At times all you need to do is take them outside and let them come up with their own games.

Playing ‘help’1

Kids love to ‘help’. This means that outdoor play can include letting your child help you with simple everyday tasks like watering the plants.

Visiting a local park or playground1

Your child will have more room to run around and meet other kids in a playground. If you walk to the park, you can teach your child about road and pedestrian safety on the way. Walking together shows that you value and enjoy outdoor activity too. You could also encourage them to identify different colours by looking at cars, street signs or traffic light signals.

Active play1

The best way for this age group to get moving includes:

  • Throwing and chasing balls
  • Wheeling, pushing or pulling different toys and objects
  • Walking, running and jumping over stones or cracks in the footpath, into puddles or towards their favourite objects
  • Blowing bubbles and chasing them as they float away
  • Playing in sand, mud or small amounts of water – but make sure you always supervise water play to prevent accidents.


  1. Outdoor play [Internet] [Updated Jun 24, 2019]. Available at: https://raisingchildren.net.au/toddlers/play-learning/outdoor-play/outdoor-play. Accessed on Feb 25, 2020.
  2. Toddler’s First Steps-A Best Chance Guide to Parenting Your 6- to 36-Month-Old [Internet]. Available at: https://www.health.gov.bc.ca/library/publications/year/2019/TFS-3rd-edit.... Accessed on Feb 25, 2020.