Playing outdoors isn’t just for fun for children, it is essential for their overall health, well-being and development. With spring here and the evenings getting longer read about the benefits of playing outdoors!

There are a range of reasons why children today have fewer opportunities to play outside such as concerns about traffic, strangers or less green space, yet running around outdoors is one of the most natural ways that children get physical exercise.

It is advised that children aged 5 to 18 should take part in moderate to vigorous activity for at least one hour a day, and up to several hours. Whatever the weather there are many advantages to spending time outside and the benefits far outweigh the risks.

Benefits include:

  • Improving physical health and fitness

  • Improving mental health and well-being

  • Developing independence and self-confidence

  • Letting off steam and gaining a sense of freedom

A recent publication produced by API, A Movement for Movement, reported that, “British children are spending the highest ever amount of their discretionary time in front of screens, and young children have never moved so little … More than 90% of British children aged 2-4 years now fail to meet even the bare minimum recommendations” for physical activity.

Read the full report which examines screen time, physical activity and sleep at:

For more on the benefits of outdoor play and tips download the Playing Outdoors Information Sheet:


PlayBoard NI is the lead delivery agent for the Play Matters initiative in collaboration with the Department of Education’s Children and Young People’s Strategy Team. The programme is funded by the Early Intervention Transformation Programme (EITP).