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Outside Sensory Play for the Littlest Ones

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Spring has finally arrived (at least for a little while), and the joy of being able to get outside has certainly overcome your children. If they’re old enough to know what’s waiting for them right on the other side of that door, then they’re old enough to be tugging at your sleeve, begging to head out the door just as soon as the sun peeks over the horizon.

“Mommy, can we go outside now?”

“Mommy, I want to play!”

“Mommy, I want to go outside!”

For older kids, you can just open the door and get out of the way, because they’re going out whether you want them to or not—but what about your littlest ones? Do they get any real benefit out of being outdoors?

There are lots of bright, new things to look at and explore.
There are lots of bright, new things to look at and explore. Emily L. Goodman

There are lots of bright, new things to look at and explore.

For a baby born in the winter months, spring is a whole new experience.  They’ll look around gleefully, squinting into the sun and studying everything in reach.  Since growing minds depend on stimulation and new experiences, simply going outside and observing their changing environment can have amazing benefits.

Let them dig their little toes in the grass.
Let them dig their little toes in the grass. Emily L. Goodman

Let them dig their little toes in the grass.

Some babies will think this is the coolest thing ever.  Others will whine and cry and protest as soon as you put them down.  Take it at their pace—but give them as much opportunity as possible to interact with their environment.

Play with some flowers.
Play with some flowers. Emily L. Goodman

Play with some flowers.

If you don’t want to rip flowers from your garden (and who would?), look for wildflowers growing in your yard.  Let your baby hold on to the stem, stroke the petals, and even crush it in her fingers.

Just play!
Just play! Emily L. Goodman

Just play!

Hands, feet, entire body…whatever your baby wants to do, let her explore!  She’ll learn about the grass with mom’s helpful hands right there to catch her.  What a wonderful time of year to be a little one!

Wave a stick around.
Wave a stick around. Emily L. Goodman

Wave a stick around.

Make sure you supervise this one closely—she could do some damage!  On the other hand, a lot of sticks are just the right size for her to wrap her little hands around, and the rough texture is one not normally found in baby toys.

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