5 Tips to get your Reluctant Toddler Outdoors

As a family we love getting out and about and exploring nature but even my outdoors, adventure loving daughter has days where she’s reluctant to head out. Now, there’s nothing wrong with the old pyjama day ( we are big fans of those!), that’s not what this post is about. It’s about those days where you know both you and them would benefit from some time outside but your little one wants to watch the same Disney film for the hundredth time instead. You know they’re going to love it as soon as you’re out but trying to get them out is just not happening. So, if you have a little one who would rather stay in all day every day or you just need some ideas to encourage your toddler outdoors sometimes then here are five for you:

Mother And Toddler Outdoors

5 Tips to get your reluctant toddler outdoors

1. Walk with a destination in mind

Sometimes it’s hard to find enthusiasm for a generic walk especially when your children are young, they can’t picture what they’re going to do or if it’s going to be fun. If I suspect that this is the case with Lyra I try explaining what we’re going to do or explain where we’re walking to. It’s usually just a walk to the park or the shop but it suddenly becomes an adventure for her. And if your little one is anything like Lyra once you’re out and exploring they often forget the purpose of the walk and just enjoy themselves. But even if that doesn’t happen, well a quick walk to the shop and back is better than nothing.

2. Give them a camera

Lyra received a VTech Camera for her second birthday and although her hands were a little small to use it straight away she got the hang of it well before the recommended age of three. I don’t know if it’s because she’s a bloggers daughter but she absolutely loves taking her camera out and taking her own pictures. It’s so fun to see what she chooses to take photos of and often sparks some great discussions. I’ve also found packing the camera in my bag and then bringing out when she’s starting to tire on a walk to be really effective. She gets a second wind and then we don’t have to carry her or cut the walk short, although walking anywhere takes a lot longer when she’s taking photos!

3. Plan an Activity

Sometimes there are days when a walk just doesn’t sound that appealing. Especially if, like me, you can’t drive or your environment is limited in any way so you feel like you’ve walked around the same area a hundred times before. One way to freshen up your routine and make it feel like you’re discovering a new place for the first time is to plan an activity for whilst you’re out. One of our favourites is a colour scavenger hunt, but it could also be something as simple as hunting for bugs or taking a leaf or bird book out with you. Anything that forces both you and your toddler to look at your surroundings in a fresh light.

4. An ‘adventure’ bag

My daughter is obsessed with her rucksack, she loves it, and will take it out on almost every walk we go on. I used to pack a few things to keep her entertained into the changing bag but now that she’s older we pack it into her bag. We try and pack it together before heading out and it builds up the excitement for some time spent outside. There’s always a different combination of things inside but it usually includes items such as binoculars, a magnifying glass, bug catcher, her camera, snacks, and a little toy that can ‘explore’ with her. The bag also has the dual benefit of being able to hold any treasures that she finds whilst outdoors which means my pockets don’t become full of stones, seeds, pine cones etc.

5. Combine it with another activity

So your toddler doesn’t really fancy heading outdoors? They want to be doing some crafts or baking or something instead. There are lots of outdoor resources that you can use for crafts and things. In the Autumn we can head out for a walk and collect loads of leaves and then make leaf hedgehogs or use them for painting once home. In the spring or summer you could collect things for a botanical suncatcher and in winter you could do bark rubbings to turn into pictures when you’re back in the warm.

Wild Toddler Having Fun Outdoors

I hope that at least one of these tips help you get outside with your reluctant toddler this week. I hope that the excitement for getting out of the house grows once more and that you don’t have to fight to get your child in the correct weather appropriate clothing to enjoy your adventure.

Five Easy Tips To Get Your Toddler Outdoors More




You Baby Me Mummy



  1. 3rd March 2017 / 11:51 am

    Great tips! You’ve reminded me to shop for a waterproof all in one for my youngest today so we can get out in the rain! We really need to get out more, I just hate the cold weather! 🙂

  2. 3rd March 2017 / 3:12 pm

    My toddler definitely has days where she’s reluctant to get out of the house (and yet goes stir crazy if we don’t). I love the idea of an adventure bag. Definitely going to get some bits together to make one with her.


  3. 5th March 2017 / 10:14 pm

    Great tips. My daughter just discovered her brothers old vetch camera, she’s most,y just taking pictures of her own forehead at the. Knute but taking it out on walks sounds like a great idea x

  4. 7th March 2017 / 2:01 am

    Some really lovely ideas here! We love being outdoors but sometimes lately it is a chore convincing Dil to get dressed and get outside. I think I need to make it more exciting, LOVE the adventure bag idea! #thelistlinky

  5. 7th March 2017 / 7:40 pm

    Great suggestions. We love geocaching as our kids like a ‘treasure hunt’. Giving them the camera is a really good idea – keeps them going for ages! Thanks for sharing with #TheList

    • 8th March 2017 / 10:35 am

      Yes, geocaching is a great idea and hopefully something we can get into as a family this year x

  6. 9th March 2017 / 8:55 pm

    Amy, I love it. I can’t help but wonder why on earth I didn’t think of getting little one a camera of her own?! Genius. It means no fussing with Mummy and Daddy’s 😀 I also will be stealing your adventure bag idea once she’s up and walking (she likes to take her time with these big millstones it seems). Katie x

    • 10th March 2017 / 5:01 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it! Definitely get her a camera, Lyra absolutely loves hers and it’s so fun to see what she’s taken pictures of although there are definitely a lot of random patches of floor. x

  7. 10th March 2017 / 8:03 am

    Great tips. I especially love the idea of giving them a camera. Finn already tried to take pictures and I think he’s love this!

  8. 11th March 2017 / 6:40 am

    Lovely tips – I love the idea of the adventure bag!!! We love spending time outdoors, but we all have those days where it’s difficult to get out of the house. I always find having a destination, or plan in mind really helps. Little M loves going on a ‘treasure hunt’ outside – which usually means collecting leaves, acorns, bottle tops and other random things, but he seems to love it and it gets us out and about! xx
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  9. 16th March 2017 / 9:46 am

    I love the camera idea! Why haven’t I thought of that before??? My son has something like your adventure bag, but he calls it his spy backpack. He keeps notecards and pencils in it to write down clues he finds along the way. It’s super cute. (Except that he keeps stealing all my pencils.)

    • 16th March 2017 / 10:37 am

      The camera is so successful for us. A spy backpack? That is so cute! x

  10. 25th November 2017 / 11:14 am

    Outdoor activities are really helpful means of gauging physical skills especially among children. Great post!

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