Exploring Nature with your Baby: Part 1

Have you ever noticed how being outdoors brightens your baby’s mood. Even when the weather is less-than-desirable, there’s something magnificent about the connection humans have to nature and your baby is keenly aware of it from the get-go. Exploring nature with your baby can be an eye-opening, brain-boosting, calming and scintillating experience for your little one.

Today we’re talking about the benefits of exploring nature with your baby and tomorrow we’ll get into some of the best outdoor activities for your baby.

Exploring Nature with your Baby: Part 1The Benefits of Exploring Nature with your Baby

Babies thrive on sensory and play-based learning. Nature is both of these things to the extreme. In fact at times you may feel your baby is overwhelmed by nature but you can break it down into “baby bites” to help your little one get the most out of it.

Nature connects your baby to the world in a way that nothing else can. Perhaps it is our evolutionary pull that creates this powerful bond. And it has a bunch of fantastic benefits.

Mood Booster: If you’ve ever taken your fussy baby outdoors and she immediately changes her tune, you’ll know the true power of nature. It has the unique ability to turn frowns upside down and elicit cheerful moods. And that’s not only the case for beautiful sunshiny days. Even rainy, windy, cold or snowy days can give your baby a mood adjustment if you play it right.

Sensory Stimulus: Think about all the colors, shapes, textures, sounds, temperatures and elements your baby can feel in nature. Sure, you probably have a ton of toys that offer great sensory experiences too but nothing can compare to the stimulus of nature. Tickly grass under your baby’s feed, soft sand running through her hands, rough bark she can peel from a tree, brightly colored leaves she can crunch, noisy birds she can hear, squishy earthworms she can hold, crisp wind that cools her and hot sun that warms her. These and many others are irreplaceable sensations found in nature.

Exploring Nature with your Baby: Part 1Endless Possibilities: We all want our children to think big and dream big and nature can support these ideals. Nature is vast. The sky’s the limit, and the earth is the depth. Being indoors presents boundaries you cannot avoid but nature allows your child the feeling of true freedom. Especially when you have a safe space to explore, your baby can experience a little independence under your supervision. Exploring nature with your baby near mountains, plains, lakes, waterfalls or beaches creates an even greater sense of endless possibilities.

Animals in Action: Of course one of the greatest wonders in nature is observing animals in action. Your baby is probably really great at noticing animals such as bids in flight, squirrels scampering up trees and insects crawling nearby. She may be fascinated and want to touch, or she may prefer watching from afar. Either way, a baby’s innate sense of curiosity and interest in nature’s creatures is a fantastic way of exploring nature with your baby.

Social and Behavioral Lessons: As your baby grows into a toddler and beyond, outdoor play can help you adjust behavior problems and teach important lessons such as sharing and social responsibility.

Nature’s Classroom: Nature opens the door to many fascinating discussions you can have with your baby. You may feel you’re running out of things to talk about indoors but step outside and you have an entirely new well to research. From weather, planets and rainbows, to how plants grow and the water cycle, you can introduce new words and concepts to your baby. Sure, she may be years away from understanding them but it’s never to early to start the conversation.

Sources: The Go-To Mom, Educatall, She Knows and Scholastic