Being from the South, it gets hot and humid QUICK! I grew up with a pool in the backyard until my family moved Christmas of 1995. That being said, we had to get creative on keeping cool in the summertime. Now with a baby in tow, I am getting creative once again to keep her cool since she can’t sit up unassisted yet.
Below I have listed my favorite outdoor activities for babies 0-12 months old. First, let’s talk about keeping baby safe outside.
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How to keep your baby safe when outside
This is very important for babies with sensitive or fair skin. I can take my daughter out for a stroller ride or sitting in the shade and her cheeks turn red very quickly. Sorry kid, you inherited my Scandinavian heritage. Children sunscreen is not approved until your child is 6 months or older, however an easy alternative is a bucket hat. I have several of these for my daughter and she looks darn cute in them. Sit in a shady area or under an umbrella. They have many neat umbrella attachments and chairs with umbrellas too. Don’t forget the adorable baby sunglasses!
12 Outdoor Activities For You To Do With Your Baby
- Splash in a small kiddie pool. This activity will be for infants that can sit unassisted. Add a few water toys to keep your baby entertained for longer. If baby isn’t a fan of sitting in the water, put water in a large mixing bowl/bin and let your baby splash in the water.
- Turn your kiddie pool into a ball pit and add a little water. Helps keep baby cool on hot days and entertained. (If you don’t have a kiddie pool, a tarp from a hardware store will do the trick.)
- For babies that are eating solids, make a fruit popsicle for baby to try. Since they will probably make a mess, no better place than outside water play time.
- BUBBLES!! My daughter loves to watch her bubble machine. She has started to reach for the big bubbles and try to catch them. We have a bubble machine inside and outside since she loves them so much.
Walking & Hiking
- Go for a walk or hike in the cool mornings or evenings. Babies love to watch the trees move in the breeze and you will get a nice bit of exercise
- Explore your local parks! Parks are great entertainment for child of all ages, especially if there are new things and place to explore like a large playset.
- A favorite activity of mine is sitting in a shady area of my yard and letting my daughter listen to all the noises around her. We have a 4 acres of land with roughly 1.5 acres covered in beautiful old trees. On warmer days, I would walk our small walking trail through the trees carrying my daughter. I would point out different trees, animals and bugs for her.
- Let your child feel the flowers, sticks, leaves and dirt. This can be used with tummy time, crawling or assisted sitting. Leafy bush branches are a hit in our house. I like to cut off a few small branches of different bushes or trees and see which ones she prefers.
- Hunting fireflies! Well you will be doing the hunting, but babies will enjoy the flashing lights and cooler temperatures. This is a great activity to include on evening walks during the summertime.
- Read and bring a book to life! Select a book that your child can have interactions with flowers or animals. I walk my daughter around our butterfly garden daily to have interactions with the bees, butterflies and dragonflies. They will come and land on your arm if you are still enough. Willbee the Bumblebee is a great choice to read in your flower garden! Did you know it is written by the same author as The Wonky Donkey?
- Swinging in a infant swing or on their parents lap. If my daughter could stay in her swing all day, she would! Her giggles and laughter are music to my ears. I also point out different objects, such as planes, clouds and trees each time we swing. Overtime this will help with your child’s vocabulary and they will start repeating the words with you.
- Sandboxes are great for sensory play. If you do not have one, cheap fix! Put play sand in a medium size tote and add beach toys. Your baby can feel the texture of the sand and learn how to pick up and hold different toys.
For more outdoor sensory play and motor skill development, visit my post Outdoor Activities For Toddlers & Infants.
Use your imagination and make this a great bonding experience with your little one.