Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Infant and Toddler Outside Time

The last two weeks of class we have been having some warmer weather springtime fun with gardens and bugs! I hope you have enjoyed the sunshine and nice weather! 

It is so important for little ones to explore the outside environment. I hear from parents often that there is nothing for their infant to "do" outside. That is simply not true! Even taking your newborn for a walk in a stroller or carrier is a wonderful experience for them. Allow them to feel the breeze on their skin, listen for the birds, and look at the sky and trees. On a nice day, bring a blanket and some toys outside for tummy time! Let their hands touch the grass. When they can sit on their own let them sit in the grass and explore it, encourage your child to crawl around in the grass. Blow bubbles and bring some favorite toys out to play in the sunshine. Here is a great article on the importance of outside play for infants and toddlers from Clayton Early Learning.

For more fabulous ideas of fun things to do outside with your little one, check out the Happy Babies Get Outside pinterest board! One of my favorite things for toddlers and preschoolers is painting with water! Fill up a bucket with water, get some paintbrushes and paint away! Fences, driveways, sidewalks, wood swingsets, rocks, trees, etc.. Have fun! Watch it dry and paint again!

Spring flowers are starting to sprout up from the ground, trees are starting to bud and blossom! Has your little one pointed out the colorful tulips and daffodils yet? It's the time of year that we start to prep gardens and plant flowers. Let your toddler help you! Give them a shovel and encourage them to explore the soil. Check out the Happy Babies Garden Fun pinterest board for some fun ideas for garden play with your kiddo!

Book List:

Who's in the Garden?
Usborne Books: Peek Inside the Garden
Planting a Rainbow

Bugs are facinating for little ones aren't they? Toddlers will be quick to point out ants crawling on a sidewalk or a butterfly floating through the air. Point out bugs when you see them outside, describe what they look like and what kind of bug it is. Something as simple as "Look at the green grasshopper in the grass" is engaging your child in the outside world, encouraging curiosity, and contributing to language development. Pick up some plastic bug toys like these or check out the dollar store. Use them for counting, sorting, painting, sensory play etc.. For more ideas on exploring bugs check out the Happy Babies Discovering Bugs pinterest board

Book List:

Indestructibles: Creep Crawl
I Like Bugs

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