There are a lot of benefits to finding outdoor activities to do with your baby—and they don’t have to be expensive either. There is a world of wonder for new eyes right in your backyard, or at a local park. All you have to do is get out there to take advantage of them.
What are the benefits of taking the baby outside to play?
There are a number of benefits to taking the baby outside to enjoy the summer sunshine, even during baby’s first few months. Studies have shown that babies sleep longer when they are exposed to afternoon sunshine, plus the great outdoors offers a lot of white noise, which is known to help soothe babies as they are transitioning from the womb. Further, getting a bit of outdoor time in is extremely beneficial to moms during the post-partum stage, and boosting mom’s overall health and wellbeing is the best way to keep baby healthy and happy too.
Here are a few outdoor activities you can do with your baby at home, in the backyard, or at a nearby park.
Go for a walk
Depending on how old baby is, nature can be enjoyed and experienced differently. If your baby is under three months, even just going out for a 10 minute walk in the stroller is enough to introduce the benefits of the outdoors. Nature’s white noise, plus the sunshine, will help baby sleep a little better, and mom can get out of the house to get a bit of exercise, too, which can help to regulate those hormones that are going insane.
Once baby gets to be three months old, he or she will start seeing and experiencing the world a little differently. The patterns of sunlight and the rustling of the wind in the tree leaves can introduce a lot of stimulation—you’ll notice those little eyes trying to take it all in. Putting baby in a front or back carrier to go for a walk can provide a good opportunity to let baby get a little closer to nature. Point out the different trees and flowers around; even though he or she can’t speak yet, baby is definitely absorbing all that sensory information.
Have fun with nature
Once baby gets to be seven months old, nature can get to be a bit more of an interactive experience. Spread a blanket out on the grass under a tree or in a shady spot, or let baby sit right on the grass to feel a new texture under his or her feet. Babies need sensory experiences during their learning development, so take the learning outside where it can be right at his or her fingertips. Let him or her touch and pick up pinecones and different textured stones, and let him or her pull on the grass and pick dandelions—he or she will love being able to interact with nature on his or her own level (just watch that none of these things go into their mouths! Stones and grass are choking hazards).
Take the indoors out
Take activities you would do indoors outside—have a picnic, read stories on a blanket under a tree or in a pop tent, and play with toys in a sandbox. Once baby starts trying to walk, bring those push toys outside so he or she can learn co-ordination on uneven and different types of ground. And, of course, the old failsafe, bring bubbles to blow to keep babies of all ages fascinated.
You don’t have to travel far or spend a lot to enjoy the outdoors with baby this summer. Keep it simple and experience all the wonders that are right in your backyard!