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Spring and summer are meant to be spent outdoors! Even infants benefit from stroller walks and laying or sitting outside in the fresh air. Moving playtime outside stimulates your baby’s senses and encourages further growth and development as they explore the outdoors and find new textures, smells and colors. At six months old, babies are curious, usually able to sit for at least a short time and maybe even become mobile! These activities will help stimulate their senses, encourage learning and provide a bit of physical activity for babies six months and older.
Painting with feet: There is nothing more precious than baby feet. Preserve your tiny baby’s feet by painting directly on their feet and then helping them walk across a mat, a large piece of paper or a blanket. They will enjoy the feeling of the paint squishing under their feet and it will get them active by helping them walk.
>> Read more: Non-Toxic Finger Paint Recipe
Treasure map: Lay out a large blanket and spread out new and different toys and outdoor objects as though it is a treasure map that they can crawl, roll, or scoot around through. These objects can be sand toys, leaves, pine cones, balls, flowers, rocks and even cups of dirt or sand. By spreading them out across the blanket they can explore in a safe area all of the new outdoor textures and objects and they are encouraged to move to find new things. Thinking up different themes like colors, flowers or animals to set up can also be fun.
Outdoor collage: Collect several tactile items from outside such as grass and leaves and allow your baby to create a collage with them. If they are larger items, instead of gluing them to paper you can fill up a clear bag or bottle. This is great for their motor skills as well as introducing them the outdoors. If your baby is a little older, they may enjoy finding their own items to use.
>> Read more: Summer Activities for You and Your Kids
Nature walk: Taking a stroll with your baby is simple, easy and good for everyone. Try taking a different route or exploring stroller-friendly trails near your home for a change in scenery and talk about what you see with your baby. If the trail is not too busy or there is space somewhere around the trail, let your baby explore by themselves. Bring a blanket to have them sit on and introduce them to what is around.
Water/sand tub: Babies are often too little to stand and play in a water or sand table and may get overwhelmed with a big sandbox or pool. They may also simply not enjoy sitting in the sand or in a pool yet. Fill up a smaller tub of water or sand for them to explore the texture before immersing them in the activity.
>> Read more: Resident Moms Reveal: How My Family Gets Active
Babies love exploring and learning. While they may not be able to run and play outside yet, they will still be benefiting in a lot of ways through touching, smelling and seeing all the new things. Introducing outdoor activity early will help lay the foundation for a lifetime of healthy living.