Warm weather and sunshine means lots of fun outdoor firsts for baby. Here are a few simple ways to make the most of a summery day:
Play with bubbles
Not only is it fun to watch the soapy spheres floating on the breeze, but this activity is great for baby’s sensory development. Bubbles popping on skin is a new sensation that can help your little one get used to new textures. If baby is big enough, make a game of popping bubbles using different parts of the body (poking with fingers, stomping with feet, etc.)—this fun bonding activity exercises gross motor skills.
Fly a kite
Okay, so maybe baby’s about a tenth of the size of the thing...still, flying a kite can be a fun family activity. Pack a picnic, spread out a blanket, plop down baby (don’t forget the sun protection) and let that kite take to the skies. Baby will love watching the colorful fabric dancing in the air, as you and your partner help maneuver it together.
Find the music
Forget the Wiggles soundtrack for once and check out local music festivals and outdoor concerts for some grown-up tunes. The outdoor setting allows you to protect baby’s ears by keeping far away from the speakers—lay out a blanket, dance with baby in the grass and relax to your favorite grooves. Nothing going on near you? Head to a local park or your backyard, bring your portable speakers, grab a blanket and umbrella and have a picnic and your own private music fest.
Pick some berries
Many local farms will let you come in and pick your own fruits and veggies (usually at market price). This is a great way to show baby where his or her food comes from, and he or she will love eating his or her own pickings.
Get a latte
Getting outdoors doesn't always have to entail complicated plans. Why not just take a stroll to an outdoor cafe and order something to sip or nibble al fresco while baby enjoys the fresh air. Invite a friend and her baby to meet up with you too and make it double the fun.
Take a nature walk
Wear baby in a sling or carrier and go for a walk in the woods or anywhere you can interact with nature. Point out all the different sights (colorful flowers, fuzzy moss on the trees) and sounds (birds chirping, brook babbling) as you talk to baby about what you're seeing and hearing. Let baby reach out and touch safe items like leaves, petals or blades of grass.
Have a ball
If baby's sitting up, he or she will love rolling a ball back and forth with you on the grass. Bring a bunch of balls in different colors and sizes and get ready for some giggles.