10 Fun Outdoor Activities for Babies
Warm weather and sunshine means lots of fun firsts for your little one. Your child might not be ready for Wiffle ball and Capture the Flag just yet, but there are plenty of great outdoor activities for babies to choose from. And with parents across the country concerned about COVID-19, turning to the Great Outdoors for some entertainment and fresh air is a simple and safe activity. Here are a few fun ways to make the most of a summery day.
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 various 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. “Bubbles” is a pretty easy word for early talkers to say, so don’t be surprised if your kiddo starts calling for bubbles on the regular.
Wear baby in a sling or carrier and go for a walk in the woods, local park or wherever 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 and blades of grass. Simply being outside is a wonderful way to engage baby’s senses without overstimulating them.
If baby is sitting up, they’ll 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. Make it a real afternoon outing and pack a picnic!
Grab a blanket, sun umbrella and your portable speakers (or just your phone) and head to a local park or your backyard to dance with baby to your favorite tunes. Babies love being bounced and twirled around in your arms and listening to familiar songs.
Most little kids get a huge kick out of splashing around in water, so as long as you’re closely supervising, water play can be one of the best outdoor activities for babies. Head to the beach or community pool (if it’s open), find a local playground with sprinklers or even step out into your backyard to enjoy a baby pool or sensory water bin—simply fill a plastic tray with a couple inches of water and add a few plastic toys, and let baby splash and play to their heart’s content.
Okay, so maybe baby’s about a tenth of the size of the thing—but still, flying a kite can be a fun family activity. Pack a picnic, spread out a blanket, plop baby down (don’t forget the sunscreen) 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.
Many local farms will let you come in and pick your own fruits and veggies (strawberries and blueberries are perfect summer treats) and usually at market price. This is a great way to show baby where our food comes from, and they’ll love eating their own pickings.
No list of outdoor activities for babies would be complete without a mention of the playground swings! Some playgrounds across the country are closed due to COVID-19, but others are open, depending on where you live. Once your little one can sit up and has good head and neck control, scope out a playground with baby swings, plop them in one and start pushing! The swinging sensation is sure to bring on big smiles. (Just toss some hand sanitizer in your diaper bag.)
Grab a few toy instruments and duck outside for a fun music-making activity. Maracas, tambourines, pianos and drums all make for excellent baby-friendly instruments, but you don’t need special tools to jam out—pots, pans, metal bowls and wooden spoons are also baby-safe and make plenty of entertaining noise.
Spread out a blanket under a shady tree and crack open a few of baby’s favorite books. There’s nothing like reading a story outside with the breeze in your hair. Try looking for books that take place in nature, so you can point out the trees and grass in the story as well as around you.