Everyone likes to talk about how being a parent is a rewarding and exciting experience. And, that is true! But what about those moments that are less exciting? Boredom doesn’t have an age limit. We all get restless if we spend too much time indoors, even babies. The whole family benefits from being outdoors on a nice day.
Go Outside and Play
I’m bored! Parents of newborn babies often get so wrapped up in diaper changes and nap schedules that they often forget to take a break and have some fun. Are you one of them? If so, it’s wise to take a tip from your own mother and “go outside and play!” But babies don’t play outside… do they? Of course they do! Fresh air, sunshine, nature, what’s not to love? Don’t take the nice weather for granted. There are lots of fun things to do with your baby outside on a nice day.
Scientists agree that being in nature has a profound effect on mental and physical health. Being outdoors reduces stress and promotes overall well-being.
Psychologists agree that getting outside encourages children to explore the world around them and to understand that they are a part of a larger whole.
Parents agree that spending time outdoors provides an outlet for pent-up energy, resulting in improved mood and better sleep.
Everyone agrees that being outside is a great way to bond with your baby and have new experiences as a family. Whether you head out for some one-on-one time or meet up with friends, your baby will love exploring the world outside.
It is never too early to enjoy the benefits of the great outdoors with your baby. You can start right now! There is no need for an expensive or elaborate plan, nature is all around us. Need some ideas? No problem, we have a few. In fact, here are three of our favorite fun things to do with your baby outside.
Take a Hike
Walking is an easy and free way to get outdoors with your baby. You can talk about the people you see, the animals you encounter, or just enjoy a quiet stroll around the neighborhood.
If you have a little more time you can head to a park or nature preserve, where you and baby can enjoy the sounds and smells of the wildlife and take in all the beautiful scenery that mother nature so graciously provides. While you are there, you may enjoy a picnic. Fresh fruits and cheeses are easily packed into a small cooler bag and are light enough to carry. Don’t forget to bring bug repellant if you are heading into more woodsy areas.
With a little bit of planning, you can enjoy a great day trip with your baby. Some super fun outdoor destinations near you include the botanical gardens, the zoo, and the farmer’s market.
Visiting the botanical gardens is a cheap way to introduce your baby to bold colors and smells that delight the senses. Plus, there are always lots of birds and butterflies fluttering around providing added amusement and interesting sounds.
The zoo is always a hit with people both young and old. You probably won’t be able to see every animal in one trip, but that just means you’ll have a reason to come back again and again. Your baby will love meeting all the new wonderful creatures and critters!
A local farmer’s market is a good choice for parents who want to get outside and shop for healthy foods at the same time. The hustle and bustle are sure to entertain your baby. And, there will be plenty of goodies to snack on while you are there.
Remember to bring plenty to drink and some snacks for yourself and your baby, to avoid spending extra money. A swaddle is also a good item to add to your day trip bag, it has a small footprint and plenty of uses; a breathable cover that shields your baby from the hot sun or unexpected rain; a versatile throw that can be used for a quick picnic or an outdoor diaper change; or a lightweight blanket in case your baby needs a nap.
No Place Like Home
Don’t have the time or the gumption to stray too far from home? Worried that the rain or cold will ruin your outing? No problem! You can have fun with your baby right outside your own front door. The backyard, front yard, porch, stoop, even a bit of driveway will do.
Bubbles are a no-fail way to entertain your baby. They love watching those whimsical spheres drift away into the sky. The family pooch can also get in on the action. Your baby will think it’s hilarious when Rover chases down those pesky bubbles.
Sidewalk chalk is another great outdoor activity for young babies. You will both have fun expressing your artistic side while soaking up some sunshine.
Weather not cooperating? A covered porch is a great place to relax and read a book on a drizzly day. Let your baby feel the rain and touch the wet grass. There are lots of nursery rhymes about rain that you can sing while you are out there.
Natural lighting and beautiful scenery provide a fabulous background for some great photos! We would love to see some of your outdoor adventures with your baby. Please share your favorites with us on our Facebook page.