Babies and toddlers to explore the outdoors and all it has to offer. Getting your little one out in nature provides countless benefits, from getting fresh air in their lungs to letting them explore the outdoor world. Take this opportunity to teach them in a unique way, and follow our suggestions below.
1. Have a nature scavenger hunt.
Tell your little one to search for things in different primary colors, shapes, and sizes to get them thinking. For example you could say, “Where’s the red bird?” or “I spy something tall and green.”
As my kids grew, I’ve also given them a list of items to find as we walk around the neighborhood. For example, a dog, someone pushing a stroller, someone jogging, a yellow street sign, a white flower — anything I am pretty certain we’ll find in our neighborhood.
2. Create your own puffy paint and let creativity take over.
You can do plenty of fun, sensory play outdoors!
All you need for this simple recipe is 1 cup of flour, 1 cup of water, and washable kids paint! Mix the flour and water together, add 2-3 spoonfuls of paint, and let your little one paint away, or even better, finger paint. I always like to do activities like this in a small plastic bin for easy cleanup.
3. Put them on watering duty.
Turn this into your kiddo’s next gardening project. Not only will it be fun and spark their curiosity, but it will teach them the responsibility of caring for a living thing.
4. Practice blowing bubbles.
A hugely calming activity, blowing bubbles encourages children to take deep breaths and to exercise their little mouth muscles. I always enjoy blowing bubbles for my kids — it’s pure delight on their faces!
5. Make a simple bird feeder.
For this activity you will need either a cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll or a pinecone, some nut butter, and bird feed. Once it’s hung in a favorite tree, your child will love watching all the new birds flocking to their feeder, and you can try to name them together.
6. Go on a treasure hunt.
Anything can be hidden for this activity, in which you hide little objects around the yard and let your little one try to find the most treasure that they can. Give them “clues” and see if they can find the treasure.
7. Do some water play.
Get a large bucket or kiddie pool, fill it with water and various tools such as scoops and cups, and let your child splash in the sun. You can also fill with soap and let your little one do a car or toy wash.
8. Compile a nature collage together.
Walking around the yard together, see what unique nature items you and your child can find. Collect leaves, pinecones, and flowers along the way. Using glue and simple construction paper, put them together to create a unique collage and keepsake.
9. Walk barefoot in the grass.
Let your child freely explore the yard with their bare feet and on the lawn. Ask them questions about what they’re feeling as they wander, such as “How does that feel?” or “Does it itch or tickle?” Doing so will enhance your child’s sensory exploration skills. Make sure to do this on your own lawn so that you can avoid pesticide exposure.
10. Have a dance party!
Put on your child’s favorite tunes, and dance together, encouraging their movement, coordination, and self esteem. If it’s summer time, let them dance in their bathing suits and turn on the sprinklers for added fun!
11. Play an alphabet game.
This is one of my favorite activities to do outside when my kids were little. Get some outdoor chalk and write the letters of the alphabet randomly (i.e. not in alphabetical order and in random locations) on your driveway or on the cement at the park. Then, have your child find the letters as you call them out. For more advanced kids (usually preschool aged or older), they can find the letters and jump to them — but they have to go in alphabetical order.
12. Paint outdoors.
My kids have always loved their art project time, and I’ve always loved doing it outdoors for easy cleanup and extra time spent outside. We take poster boards, paint brushes, and paint and head outside to paint in the backyard.
Another fun way of painting with young kids is to allow them to paint some of their (washable) toys, like plastic cars or airplanes. If you use washable paint, the paint will come off right after — and this is a great activity for your little one.
13. Play hopscotch.
This is another favorite! Get some outdoor chalk and draw a hopscotch on your driveway. You can also do this at the park. Teach your child to follow the numbers and jump from box to box. It may take your little one some time before they can master this, but it’s usually still fun for them — especially if you play along!
14. Read outside.
I love getting a picnic blanket and heading outside to read with the kids. We grab a stack of books, head to the backyard, and just spend some nice time reading together under the sun.
15. Have a picnic.
During summertime, all my kids want to do is go on a picnic. So we’ll pack up a picnic lunch, grab a picnic blanket, and head to a nearby spot (sometimes we’ve even done this in our backyard) for a picnic. There’s something so fun and exciting about eating outdoors for children!
Have fun outdoors!
I hope this article with baby outdoor activities has been helpful. There’s nothing quite like spending time with your little ones, blowing bubbles, exploring nature, and enjoying the outdoors. Have fun!
Do you have any favorite outdoor activities? Let me know in the comments below!