Outdoor Activities for Infants & Toddlers

Outdoor activities for infants and toddlers are important for a variety of reasons 1. They include receiving vitamin D supplied by the sun, learning about their environment, interacting with others, and mental and physical development. One of the wonderful aspects of outdoor play activities is how it stimulates all of your toddler's or infant’s the senses, from smelling, touching, hearing to sometimes tasting. Outdoor activities also help enhance their motor skills.

How Much Activity

If you are a parent, grandparent or a caregiver and are absolutely raring to take that little infant or toddler outside for some wonderful outdoor activities, understand the range of how much activity may be needed. For babies, it may seem enough to just take them outside in a stroller, or hold them while walking around the yard or garden. It is not. Infants need physical movement, where they can crawl, and touch and smell things in a garden, or on a lawn or in a sandbox. This movement stimulates brain, emotional and cognitive development. Your toddler should get close to 30 minutes a day of outside physical play at the very least.

Child Care Outdoor Activity

If you are a working parent or a single parent who is juggling a hundred responsibilities and your child-rearing role, you may be considering childcare. While this is an excellent opportunity to offer your infant or toddler a chance to interact with other children as well as give you a much needed respite, make certain you examine and understand the provider's outdoor activities schedule. For example, older infants should be allowed to stretch their legs, kick, roll over outside, in a safe environment. Toddlers need structured or planned physical activity of at least a half hour in duration.

Zoo Visit

Taking an infant or toddler to the zoo is a wonderful idea. Of course, before you head out, plan ahead. Include water bottles, diaper wipes for the hands, a hat for the young one’s eyes, small blanket and perhaps sunscreen, depending on the weather. At the zoo, there are often small rides, interesting bird and animal exhibits and even a petting zoo to hold the interest of both infant and toddler alike. Of course there will be a lot of touching involved, so those diaper wipes will come in handy. Some zoos even have small water play pools, infants and toddlers can enjoy 1.

Playground Activities

The neighborhood playground offers convenience of proximity for the parents and a boatload of opportunities for activities for infants and toddlers 1. Infants like to crawl and touch and smell things and toddlers like to run and run and run some more. A neighborhood playground typically has a little bit of activity play spaces to accommodate both. Infants will enjoy the sandboxes and the small toys that can be moved around, while they grab at sand mixed with a little bit of water. Toddlers like the opportunity to make mud pies and squish the wet sand. Of course there are swings, slides and even space for both toddler and infant to play together on the grass or on a blanket.