It takes a lot of extra time to go outside with infants and toddlers simply because of their developmental age. Babies are simply unable to put their coats on themselves, gather the stroller, and pack a bag of essentials. The amount of gear and preparation that it takes to go outdoors with infants and toddlers can be enough to distract from why you are going out in the first place. Do you start asking yourself, “Is it really worth it?” Some people even convince themselves and say, ” Oh infants and toddlers are too young to go outside anyway, much less benefit from it.” So why is it, that when we take a fussy baby outdoors they calm down immediately every time?
The 6 Benefits of nature exploration with Infants and Toddlers may explain why.
#1: Promote Early Language Development:
When infants and toddlers are exposed to rich sensory environments their minds are active. Nature provides an abundance of sensory experiences which in turn activates the intake of the child’s mind. Babies become more curious and this combination encourages early language development.
#2: Make sense of the world:
Inviting infants and toddlers to explore nature coincides with their natural instincts to become scientists and explorers. These explorations build a foundation for their learning. Nature exploration develops the formation of babies’ synapses while they are trying to make sense of the world.
#3: Physical Development:
Children acquire a large percentage of their gross motor skills before age 5. Infants and toddler’s outdoor experiences in nature may offer new opportunities to pull up, toddle, and walk. Observing older children running and jumping also benefits their physical development.
#4: Healthy Sleep
Everyone sleeps better when they are exposed to fresh air and sunlight, especially infants and toddlers. Developing regular routines for getting outdoors in nature helps infants and toddlers create their own body rhythms and that includes developing healthy sleep patterns.
#5: Builds Immune System:
Children who spend more time outdoors have stronger immune systems. The exposure to outdoor elements such as sun, wind, rain, and snow increases infant and toddlers’ immune systems more than their indoor sterile indoor environments.
#6: Good for the entire family
Infants and toddlers sense the stress of their caregivers. Exploring nature together is an ideal activity, as getting outdoors can decrease depression, anxiety, and tension in adults.
When you are preparing to get your infant(s) and toddler(s) ready to explore nature, think twice when those demon thoughts enter. Embrace that it does take a little longer to get infants and toddlers out the door every day to explore nature. Yet, understanding the life-long benefits; along with the safety precautions mixed with a regular routine will result in a happier baby and a healthier home.
Want to learn more about what to do with infants and toddlers once you get outdoors? Check out the EXPLORING THE NATURAL WORLD WITH INFANTS AND TODDLERS WORKSHOP. Learn more HERE.