by Dr. Jennifer Brannon
You probably already know that playing outside is great for kids, but it can be great for infants and toddlers, too! The earlier you start exposing your baby to the outdoors, the more likely it will be that they will grow up liking to play in nature.
It can be a little challenging to figure out how to play outside with a baby or toddler. They definitely need constant supervision so that they don’t end up eating something they shouldn’t or getting hurt without meaning to, but with a little creativity, you can have a fun, safe time.
Here are some ideas of outdoor activities that you can do with your baby or toddler:
- Walk with a stroller or baby carrier
- Take a bike ride with a toddler bike seat or bike trailer attached for them to ride in
- Sit in a hammock and snuggle or read with them
- Lay on a blanket on the grass and read or eat a snack together
- Blow bubbles for them to try to touch or chase
- Go to a local park to play on equipment
- Go to a local garden to look at and smell flowers, plants, and insects
- Write and draw with sidewalk chalk
- Help them plant seeds for flowers or vegetables, and then help them water them
The most important thing is to spend time with your little one. (And don’t forget to talk to them! The more words they hear from you, the better their language will develop, too. So, tell them out loud about the flowers you see, the birds you hear, the cars that drive by, and the bugs you find!)