It is quite likely that you can look back on your childhood and find fond memories of those days when you played outside for hours, until your parents forced you to come inside. In the winter, you played in the snow; in the fall, you played in the leaves; and in the spring and summer, you played whatever games your imagination came up with! These times spent outdoors may have been shared with your siblings, or perhaps you shared them with other kids who lived in your neighborhood. And you would play sports or play make believe with these friends and siblings all the way until dark.Nowadays, however, it seems like the only time most kids go outside is when they are sent outside by the school for recess. The rest of the time when they are not in school, they are watching television or playing video games or playing around on a computer. Television, video games, and computers are fine, of course, but they should be used in moderation; after all, children who play outside are healthier, their minds are stronger, and they are less susceptible to childhood obesity. Here are a few things that you can try doing if your goal is to encourage your own children to start playing outside. One of the things that is important for you to recognize is the fact that most children do not want to be “told” what to do; do not “force” your children to play outside, as they will then be less likely to enjoy it. Your best bet, instead, is to allow your children to “discover” playing outside of their own accord. This can be done in a couple of simple ways: 1) Limit the amount of “media time” they are allowed each day; 2) Play outside with them! As you limit the amount of time they are allowed to spend with video games, television, and computer each day, they will begin to naturally fill their extra time with time outdoors! And if you go outside and play with your children a few times, it will further draw them out of the house and help them get started. For some children, it is easy to encourage them to play outdoors; if your child does not fall into this category, however, then follow these tips, and they will begin to play outside on their own more and more.