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Exploring the outdoors with your baby or toddler

Babies and toddlers use their senses to learn about the world around them. Giving them new experiences will support their learning.

baby crawling in leaves

There are significant benefits to spending time outside with your baby or toddler, including helping them sleep! Find out more here.

To support your baby’s learning, try to take your baby or toddler out of their pushchair while you are out and about. Or plan a short walk with your toddler so you don’t need to take the pushchair, leaving your hands free to hold their hand.

Babies and toddlers use their senses to learn about the world around them. They are naturally inquisitive, but they need our help to be able to show us all that they can really do and are interested in.

You can support their learning and development by getting them out of the buggy and letting them explore more independently in a safe environment.

Ideas to help your toddler explore the outdoors

You could:

  • Lift your baby closer to something they are looking at, or pointing to, for example, the bark on a tree, so they can look more closely or touch.
  • Lie your baby under a tree so they can look at the leaves and branches, like a giant, natural mobile.
  • Sit or lie your baby on grass, so they can feel the texture.
  • Let your crawling or toddling baby explore a safe area independently. The larger space and uneven ground outdoors will help develop their strength and coordination.
  • Respond to the sounds and gestures they make. When you have back-and-forth communication with your baby, you are teaching them how to have a conversation.
  • Allow your toddler to walk holding your hand and let them stop to look at things they notice on the way, a weed growing in the pavement, ants on a wall, or maybe they’ll want to investigate a puddle!

baby in puddle