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How do you make outdoor play safe for preschoolers?

Wondering how do you make outdoor play safe for preschoolers? Here are tips to ensure that your kids are safe while having fun playing outside!

I love to let my kids play wild outside. It’s a chance for them to be loud and get messy and – within reason – run the show.

However, they can’t go completely wild or they will end up getting hurt!

It’s essential to ensure that your little one’s outdoor playtime is both safe and engaging.

We want to provide you with some valuable tips and suggestions to create an environment that fosters exploration, creativity, and, most importantly, ensures the safety and well-being of your preschooler. Let’s dive in!

tips for creating a safe environment for preschoolers outdoor play

Tips for Creating a Safe and Engaging Outdoor Environment for Your Preschooler’s Playtime

Here are my top tips for outdoor safety with kids!

Choose the Right Play Area

Select a designated play area in your backyard or a nearby park that is suitable for your preschooler’s age and abilities. Ensure that the space is free from potential hazards such as sharp objects, dangerous slopes, or bodies of water.

If you have a patio or firepit, that might not be the best place to play. Choose a space that has things to entertain them – swings, toys, or a water table – and teach them that that is their zone.

Sun Protection

During outdoor play, protect your child from harmful UV rays by applying sunscreen with a high SPF, covering exposed skin with lightweight clothing, and providing a sun hat and sunglasses.

If it is super sunny, consider adding an umbrella or sunshade overhead for extra shade.

Don’t forget to schedule playtime during early morning or late afternoon when the sun is less intense.

fishing a baby hat out of the mud
Fishing a kid’s hat out of the mud

Stay Hydrated

Encourage your child to drink plenty of fluids before, during, and after outdoor play to prevent dehydration.

Keep a water bottle handy and take regular water breaks to keep them hydrated and energized.

Age-Appropriate Equipment

Ensure that the outdoor toys, equipment, and play structures are suitable for your preschooler’s age and size.

Check for any signs of wear, loose parts, or broken pieces. Securely anchor larger equipment to the ground to prevent tipping.


Always supervise your child during outdoor play, especially when they are exploring new areas or engaging in more challenging activities.

Be present, attentive, and ready to provide guidance, support, and encouragement.

pouring water into a dirt sensory bin

Establish Rules and Boundaries

Set clear rules and boundaries with your child regarding where they can play, how far they can wander, and what behaviors are acceptable.

Reinforce safety guidelines such as staying away from roads or bodies of water without supervision.

Encourage Sensible Risk-Taking

While safety is paramount, it’s also important to allow your child to take age-appropriate risks that promote growth and development.

Encourage climbing, balancing, and exploring within safe limits, fostering their confidence and physical abilities.

little tikes first slide

Be Mindful of Weather Conditions

Consider the weather conditions when planning outdoor play. Avoid playing in extreme heat or during severe weather events.

Provide shaded areas, umbrellas, or canopies for protection against excessive sun exposure or light rain.

Bug Protection

Protect your child from insect bites by applying child-safe insect repellent and dressing them in lightweight, long-sleeved clothing.

Avoid outdoor play during peak mosquito activity times, such as dusk and dawn.

Teach and Practice Safety

Educate your child about basic safety rules and practices. Teach them to look both ways before crossing paths, watch out for hazards, and respect boundaries.

Practice emergency procedures and teach them how to seek help if needed.

Remember, creating a safe and engaging outdoor environment for your preschooler is essential for their growth, development, and enjoyment.

By implementing these tips, you’ll provide a secure and exciting space for your child’s exploration and play.

Any questions about outdoor safety for kids?

Thanks for reading!

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