Let’s Play Outdoors NZ

About Us

Diane: Trained Teachers Certificate – Primary; Graduate Diploma - Early Childhood; Accredited Sports Chaplain (SCNZ) Member of the International Play Association (IPA); Member of the Children & Nature Network

Diane's background includes being a parent, a foster parent, a parenting educator, a teacher, a newspaper columnist, a music and movement facilitator, a sports’ coach and a community worker.

She has been working alongside children and their families for 34 years starting out as an active volunteer with the North Shore YMCA, then in her 25 years teaching career and more recently with families in community settings.

Let’s Play Outdoors HBC

LetsPlayOutdoorsHBC logo

Diane is passionate about play for all, especially playing outdoors. She started an outdoors group on the Hibiscus Coast in 2015, called ‘Let’s Play Outdoors HBC’.

Currently, it is held each Friday morning during school terms. There is potential for it to also run on other days such as on Saturday afternoons.

Contact her for more information about this group.



Set Up Your Own!

If you would like to set up your own local ‘Let’s Play Outdoors NZ’ group do contact Diane. Volunteer leaders receive training and guidance from Diane and are police vetted.

‘Let’s Play Outdoors NZ’ is dedicated to the late Graham McKenzie, past Executive Director of the North Shore Y.M.C.A. in Auckland in the 1970's and all others who guided Diane to enjoy natural environments and have fun playing in all seasons and in all weather.

‘Let’s Play Outdoors NZ’ is an initiative of ‘For the Family NZ’. This is an organisation founded by Diane and her husband Steve McKinstry. They have a passion to support families, which they consider to be very important in our society. Both have an enriching background filled with many life experiences, learning and growing opportunities and they consider themselves to be life-long learners.

Enjoy the Outdoors With Us

kl lpout nz child drawing in sandWe meet at a local setting to explore, discover and investigate as we play. This could be at local, natural environments, at playgrounds or simply getting together to enjoy activities at an appropriate location.

We have time to enjoy some refreshments before, during or after we have played. All locations have toilets nearby.

These groups are about being outdoors. Rain will not always stop us so remember to be prepared with waterproof clothing if necessary. However, if it is too stormy then it will be cancelled. The volunteer leaders of their group will inform families.

There is a definite need for all of us to enjoy our outdoors. Research has shown this and this is reflected in many articles in the media. By encouraging families to play together outdoors, we are providing opportunities for them to have fun at low or minimal cost in collaboration with others while enhancing their health and wellbeing. Friendships are formed and motivation to play outdoors is increased. Resources and knowledge can be shared and each group reflects the interests of the participants. Most importantly, it is fun!


We consider the interests and needs of the families who participate to be important and plan our sessions accordingly.

Making use of the local, natural and also man-made resources, we enjoy connecting, collaborating and having lots of fun playing together!