Getting out and about is beneficial for both you and your baby. Not only will you both have tons of fun and gain new experiences; being exposed to different environments and experiences is great stimulation for your growing baby.Outside or inside, here are some fun day out ideas to enjoy with your little one.
10 Play Together at a Local Park
On a beautiful spring, summer, or fall day, bring your baby to your local park or playground. Take a stroll around the grounds, pointing on all that you see: look at that big tree, watch that gray squirrel run, look at the boy on his red bicycle, etc. This is a perfect teaching opportunity, as talking to your baby helps him or her learn language.
Your park is probably equipped with baby swings. As long as your baby can hold his or her head up, try out this piece of playground fun. Many babies have a blast on a few pushes in the baby swing. You can even take your baby down the slide! Ride with them or bring them slowly down on the side. It is all about creating new, fun experiences and memories for both of you.
A park is a perfect place for a picnic too! Bring a big blanket, some toys, and lunch (but, don't forget some napkins). Enjoy the scenery as you share a snack or sandwich. Your little one may try to get off the blanket, and let them! Exploring is a baby's job. Let him or her feel the grass or examine a leaf -- they will find wonders in the tiniest things.
9 Visit a Nearby Zoo or Nature Center
If you are lucky to have a zoo, animal sanctuary, or nature center with animals nearby, take advantage of these wonderful locations. Pack up your baby, along with snacks, toys, and everything you will need for a few hours, and head over for some fresh air and fun.
No baby is too young for a day (or a couple of hours) at the zoo, as they will enjoy all the stimulation that babies need to grow and thrive. From the comfort of a stroller, baby carrier, or your arms, your baby will delight in the views he or she receives of all the wonderful animals in their zoo habitats.
They will not be too young for any zoo shows either (zoos often offer a variety of shows, depending on the animals they care for, such as a seal or sea lion show, penguin feedings, tiger feedings, etc). Babies will be engaged as they watch the activities from afar.
Most likely, you have some books at home that feature baby animals, farm animals, animal sounds, and more. Taking your baby to the zoo can be a perfect opportunity to teach the sounds that come from the animals you see. As your baby grows, they are certain to learn these noises and mimic the sounds themselves. In fact, animal sounds can help teach your baby how to talk!
8 Beach Baby
What better place to visit on a hot, summer day than the beach?! Babies will benefit from the fresh air, cool water, and fun sand toys to play with. Many babies love the texture of the sand, and will be curious to further explore, such as building baby sand castles with mommy!
If you have a baby who doesn't care for the sand, that's okay; let them watch the water or hold a few seashells. Just make sure you pack properly and bring all the essentials you need for the beach: including a blanket, water, and sunscreen.
The beach has so many benefits for both you and your baby. Most of us have experienced the calming effect that being at the beach can bring. The bright sun, crashing waves, and sand in our feet leave us feeling relaxed. Well, that changes with a child! But while your baby is still a baby, you can find a few minutes to enjoy that relaxed feeling together. Just remember to keep your baby, and yourself, well hydrated.
7 Mommy and Baby Ice Cream Date
Plan a sweet treat with your little one! Visit an outdoor ice cream parlor. Order a scoop or two, and do not feel bad giving your baby a few small licks! If you wish, you can even make some homemade, healthy “ice cream” for your baby. The purpose is to be out among other people, and on a hot day, there will be lots of stimulation for your baby with all the activity going on.
Not in the mood for ice cream? Grab a cup of coffee or sit down at a restaurant. So many restaurants are child-friendly now, so it will probably never be a problem to find one with a high chair. You can also ask to be seated away from the other guests if you think your baby may cry or get out of hand.
6 Amusement Park
Your baby might not be ready for a ride on the roller coaster, but just because you have a baby does not mean you can't still go to the amusement park. This is another great place that will stimulate your child. All the activity, shows, and people are sure to amuse your little one. Make sure baby is comfortable and can see all the happenings, either from the stroller or a baby carrier. Pack necessities too, like sunscreen, snacks, and diapers.
An amusement park may even have some rides that would be suitable for your baby, as long as you hop on as well. Tame rides for baby could include the merry-go-round, boat rides, train rides, or anything without sharp or fast movements. It is also usually recommended that your baby is able to sit up before embarking on any rides. Remember, it is your discretion; your baby will enjoy his or her time at the amusement park even if the only ride is in a stroller!
5 Read Together at the Library
On a rainy or cold day, the library is the perfect place to take your baby. Most libraries have a dedicated children's section, some even complete with sofas and toys! Explore all the interesting books that the library has to offer, then cuddle up with a few and read them aloud to your baby. Make sure to choose a pop-up or a touch-and-feel story, as babies will love the extra stimulation from those specialty books.
Check your library's calendar too -- many offer baby story times. These story times, geared just for babies, will serve to stimulate your baby with age appropriate books and songs, and give you a chance to meet other area babies and their moms. This is also a fantastic opportunity to learn about the books that are out there for your baby, and to see what he or she picks out too!
4 Check Out a Flick
The movie theater may be the last place you want to take your baby, but luckily, for many moms, there are movie theaters that offer movies just for parents and their babies. These movie specials often show new releases, the sound is softer, and the lights are a little brighter. Bonus for you, mom, if you plan to see a showing during baby's naptime!
If there are no locations with baby friendly movies near you, consider hosting a movie event. Many movie theaters offer discounted group showings. Invite other babies and their moms! While the babies play, the adults can attempt to watch a movie or show of their choice. It is a great bonding experience for baby and mom alike.
3 Mommy and Me
These classes are just what they sound like -- for mommy and baby (sometimes daddy and baby, too!). Lots of locations offer them as well. Check out your city/town, baby gyms or places that offer child classes, houses of worship, or schools. They offer a wonderful opportunity to socialize with other moms and have your baby exposed to other babies and small children. Some are even tailored to be like school, making it a great early learning experience for your little one.
Love exercising? You may be delightfully surprised to learn that many gyms and yoga sanctuaries offer mommy and me classes! Often beginning when your baby is just a newborn, these classes are a fantastic way to work off that baby weight while spending time with your baby. Of course, once your baby starts crawling, walking, and then running, it may be a bit harder to take these classes -- but not to worry, you will burn lots of calories chasing that toddler around!
2 Shopping Spree
Being cooped up with a baby is not easy. If you and baby have a case of cabin fever and if it's too cold or hot to play outside, take your baby shopping! Whether it is a grocery store or department store, both you and baby will enjoy the stimulation of simply being out of the house and around other people.
A stroll around the mall could even serve as exercise. Join a dedicated stroller workout team that meets daily or weekly, or just walk by yourself. Just make sure you bring some extra cash in case a cute purse or top catches your eye!
1 Anywhere OUTSIDE!
If you can get outside and have fun, do so! No matter the elements (safely, of course): whether sunshine, light rain, snowflakes, grass, stones, sand, and more greets you out your door, it will all benefit your child and their language acquisition through sensory exploration. Exposure to new elements and textures is vital. Think of all the money you have spent on baby toys and gear that promises to stimulate the mind of babies? All of that and more is at your fingertips if you just step outside.
Of course, there will be days you cannot venture outside due to extreme heat or cold, or elements such as a snowstorm. Make your own sensory bins based on items from the outdoors. If you are stuck in that snowstorm, bring in a few snowballs, but play quick before they melt!
Think of all the textures that are out there, that your baby has yet to discover. Your baby will have fun learning and you will find immense joy watching your little one make all these new discoveries.