Outdoor Play

The benefits of outdoor play are recognised but there is a concern that today's children are becoming more accustomed to indoor activities rather than playing out. The reasons for children playing outside less than previous generations are varied ranging from stranger danger and increase in traffic to dirty and unsafe spaces. Under the Health and Social Care Standards (Scottish Government, 2017) services will need to ensure that children have regular opportunities to play outdoors: “1.32 As a child, I play outdoors every day and regularly explore a natural environment.”

Weather should not be a factor in deciding whether children go outside, unless of course there are extreme conditions which could potentially put children in danger, or a child has a specific individual needs. Of course some children (and staff) do not want to go outside when it is raining (but others do!)- good quality services will ensure that children have appropriate footwear and clothing which keep them dry. If parents are unable to supply the appropriate clothing then some services have a stock of wellingtons, waterproof trousers etc. Shelter, warmth and shade should always be available to children outside either through permanent or temporary structures. In hot and sunny weather children should wear hats and parents should have given consent for services to apply suncream to children.

Outdoor activities often provide the opportunity for children to be more physically active but remember 'indoor' activities can also be brought outside.

last updated: 07/07/2023