Outdoor Activites for Baby and Me
“If a child is to keep alive his inborn sense of wonder, he needs the companionship of at least one adult who can share it, rediscovering with him the joy, excitement and mystery of the world we live in.”
– Biologist Rachel Carson
Exposing our little babies to the outdoors at an early age can spark an everlasting interest, and joy, in nature. We don’t need another redundant reminder to clothe our babe in weather appropriate clothing, or to slather on sunscreen before we go out, because we already know that. We also know about the calming joys of nature, and that the outdoors provide endless activities for you and your baby to do. So let’s get out!
Take your infant for a walk in the stroller, or simply sit in a rocking chair on the porch; getting out is good for both of you. Your baby can be comforted by the sounds trees and leaves make in the breeze, the sound of falling rain, and singing birds. And, you get the revitalizing benefits of a walk or a much needed nap in the fresh air while bonding with your angel. When baby is finally able to sit up by himself, you can enjoy some heart health workouts. Safely place you baby in a baby seat or bike trailer and go on a bike ride. Or, put him in a baby backpack and hit the local hiking trails.
Babies love to grasp things, study them intently, and wave them around. And the website for Nature Rocks, suggests that you take your baby’s ability to hold things and use it for an art project. Use a large piece of cardboard for a canvas. Give her small branches with leaves and pine needles attached, and flowers of various sizes. Help her dip the branches into mud or various paint colors, guide her busy hands to the card board, and let her paint on the canvas using the branches as brushes. Do the same paint-dip with the flowers, and let her press down on them with her hands to make a print. Not only will this be a fun activity for you and your baby, you’ll end up with a piece of nature art.
Little ones are always interested in their surroundings. Almost every baby loves and has Touch and Feel and See and Say books. Take the concept of those books and apply them outside. Let those curious little hands touch everything. Let them touch the rough bark on the trees and feel the coolness of the green grass in the shade. When she sees small animals, like squirrels and birds, tell her what they’re called. Look for bugs; look at the clouds, water, rocks, dirt, and anything you can find. Point out characteristics such as colors, big or small, and crawls or flies.
Enjoy your baby’s laughter and amusement while she takes in everything she is learning by exploring the outdoors with you.