Around when they celebrate their first birthdays, toddlers begin to need more physical, mental and emotional stimulation. There will be more signs of social development and they start to respond to every sound and movement around them. It is also at this time when your baby settles into a routine. There are no more end-of-the-day fussy periods and they let you sleep for a whole six hours through the night so you can start planning activities that you both can do outdoors.Try and incorporate some learning into each of these activities as well.
This one is fun for both mom and child to cool off during summer. Gather any household item that can be filled with water and go outside. Fill up an inflatable pool or even just a bucket and play with water using cups or bowls. Show your tot how to scoop up water and transfer it to another bin or pail. You can never imagine just how much fun this is for your baby.
Safety tip: Even a cup of water is a drowning hazard. Watch the toddler at all times. Best spot: Shady area outside the house
Waves and the beach
Level up with water fun by going to the nearest beach while the summer heat is not yet at its peak. The first few visits you had when you were young were definitely unforgettable, and even at such a young age your toddler will surely remember the fun. Get to a safe spot, throw down some beach towels, have the beach umbrella ready and spread the mats. The little one should feel and explore the texture of the sand and the splash of water on his little toes. The moments will be priceless, and so will the photos!
Safety tip: Always use sunscreen. This is necessary for every family member over six months. Best spot: Nearest local beach
Mini obstacle course
Help develop the little kid's psychomotor skills by setting up a mini obstacle course outdoors. Grab materials like cardboard boxes, balls, soft toys, plastic blocks or hoops which he can pick and put back. Create a tunnel he can crawl in, and play it like the bring-me game. Orange cones are cool, so make sure you have that in your course.
Safety tip: Never use heavy boxes or items that may cause suffocation. Best spot: Shady areas outside the house
Blow the big bubbles
If there’s no way to go all out but you have an area outside your home, bubbles are the way to go. Head outside, break out a container of your ready-to-use bubble solution and start blowing out. This will be more fun if you sing with the tot or play his or her favourite music on the background. Bubbles are constant sources of fun and intigue for toddlers, this will keep them busy and happy.
Safety tip: Bubble solutions are slippery, so use a towel to clean up in case of accidents or drips. Best spot: Shady areas outside the house
Farmers market with toddler-in-tow
Not everyone realises that farmers markets are one of summer's most baby-friendly places. There is generally room for everybody, including huge strollers and prams. If your baby gets a little loud, there will be no complaints and vendors will even coo over your fussy little one. Cuties will be all around, so the children aren't bored while you bond with other moms. These short visits will definitely introduce the love of greens and fruits in your tot. Teach your child the veggie name, let them touch, smell and remember the colour. This will help them retain this information better when you ask them later.
Safety tip: Choose properly fitting t-shirts and shorts for kids. Best spot: Nearest farmers or organic market
Pack a picnic
Introduce dining al fresco to your toddler. You can do it with a grill station or pack sandwiches and other snacks. Make sure to take a blanket with you so you and the baby can take a nap under the shady tree. Let him or her observe the leaves, the birds, the flower and the sky while chomping on finger foods and milk.
Safety tip: If you can’t wash your kid’s hands, use an antibacterial hand gel. Best spot: Nearest local park