Is Baby ready for the great outdoors? Being outside in the fresh air can really expand Baby’s senses. Here are a few ways you can gently introduce your baby to nature.
Baby, What Do You See?
Start a conversation with Baby, even if she’s not talking yet. Describe the colors around her, like the green grass or brown sand. Talk about the puffy white clouds and the bright orange flowers. Point these things out to Baby each time you’re outside. Soon enough, she’ll be pointing these things out to you!
Tiny Fingers Touch and Feel
Offer your baby a variety of objects to touch like a large soft leaf, a smooth rock or a bumpy pine cone. Your baby will likely try to put the objects in her mouth at first. Encourage Baby to touch with fingers. Or touch Baby gently on the feet or cheeks to see how she reacts. Talk out loud to Baby about the temperature outside and describe how it feels (hot, cold, rainy, windy).
New Scents for Baby to Sniff
As you explore the outdoors, offer Baby different items to smell. Hold items like flowers or fresh cut blades of grass under his nose. At first, he’ll probably open his mouth to eat it! Comment about the item and describe what it smells like to you.
Listen to This
When you’re outside, point out different sounds that can be heard, like a bird chirping or the wind blowing through the leaves on the trees. Let Baby stomp on crunchy leaves. Hold Baby next to a fountain to hear the bubbling water.
Soon your baby will be able to tell you what they hear. When multiple sounds are layered, Baby may even hear something you didn’t notice (like the music from an ice cream truck several blocks away!)
Outside Exploration Tips for Babies
If Baby is crawling or walking, allow time for her to get out of her stroller for free play. Find a soft surface, like wood chips or grass to let her roam.
Very young babies should be kept out of the direct sun. Keep to shaded areas. Older babies should wear sunscreen or protective clothing (even when it’s overcast) to prevent sunburn.
Stay on trails when walking and pay close attention to Baby if he’s out of the stroller. You don’t want your toddler eating any wild plants or bugs!
The bright sun can be an annoyance for babies. If your baby will wear sunglasses, put them on. Or at least diffuse the sun with a hat.
Don’t be worried about Baby getting dirty (so long as the dirt stays out of her mouth!) Babies love to play in water, dirt and mud. Dress your baby in practical clothing that can handle a few grass stains.
Too Hot or Rainy for Outside Play?
Can’t go outside today? Bring the outdoors in with a few sensory play items from nature. Collect items into a nature box to keep inside for those days when it’s too hot or rainy outside. Just make sure the items are kept out of Baby’s reach and that Baby only plays with your supervision.
A bird feather (that’s been washed in dish soap) can be used to tickle Baby’s tummy or feet. Touch beach shells that are smooth inside and bumpy on the outside. Smell freshly plucked rose petals. Feel bumpy twigs with the leaves still attached.
Did you know the 75th anniversary of the movie “Bambi” is August 13? Continue your celebration of nature by checking out everything Bambi — including our Bambi style board on Pinterest and the Bambi Signature Collection Blu-ray, now in stores!