Your baby's summer bucket list
What’s on your baby's to-do list this summer? If it's to do with having fun? We've got 10 creative ways to make the most of the warm weather together.
Once your baby has mastered head control—usually around six months—you can take them into the water for a dip. Just be sure to give her plenty of time to acclimate being in the water and start out with gentle movements, like bobbing or swaying from side to side. Then once she's settled in, you both can up the fun factor by singing songs, blowing bubbles or splashing. Just remember to apply—and reapply—sunscreen with an SPF50+ (not that you needed us to remind you that).
Read Books at the Library
Hitting up your local library in the hot days of summer is a no-brainer. Babies love being read to; reading there won't cost you a dime; and both of you can soak up some much-needed A/C, without the pricey utility bill.
Have a Spontaneous Snack Break
Pack a blanket or plastic mat and some non-perishable goodies for you and your precious one in your stroller's storage basket. Then, on your next walk around the neighborhood, scout out a big, shady tree and have a on-the-fly feast underneath it.
Scoop and Dump Water
Tap into your baby’s love of scooping things with this easy cool-down activity: Fill a bin with water, and let her pick up and dump the liquid with measuring cups. Bonus points for adding no-tears shampoo to the mix and creating a mountain o' bubbles.
Make a Smoothie
If your baby has already started solids, whip up a beat-the-heat smoothie using fresh fruit, like bananas and blueberries. It’s also a fun way to sneak in extra vitamins!
Go on a Bush Walk
Save this one for early mornings or evenings or when your baby is extra fussy. Put a sun hat on them, strap them in a carrier, and hit the nature trails in your area. Tell them about the sights (trees, butterflies, flowers) and sounds (birds chirping, airplanes overhead, leaves rustling). They may not understand what you’re saying right now, but they find the sound of your voice and the gentle rocking motion of being in the carrier extra soothing.
Play in the Mud
A little dirt can be good for babies. Put the cheeky one in an outfit that has seen better days and head outside with a pail and shovel or soup spoon. Add some water to a patch of dirt in the backyard, or let her play with the garden hose and create her own mud puddles. She’ll love making a mess, plus it’s a great way for her to relax outside.
Buy pre-made bubble liquid—or make your own—and collect wands of different sizes and shapes. (Hint: Many everyday household items, like a slotted spoon or a funnel, can double as a wand.) Take the haul outside and blow a steady stream of bubbles for your baby to catch and pop. Cue the squeals of happiness.
Take Tummy Time Outdoors
Tummy time may not be your baby's favorite activity, but a change of scenery could make it more enjoyable. Find a shady spot in your backyard or at your local park, spread out a big blanket, and let her have fun rolling back and forth and lifting herself off the ground. Bring along the playard in case you both want to take a catnap al fresco afterward.
Make Your Own Goop
Or flubber or slime or play-dough. It may look like the byproduct of last winter's cold, but babies love feeling and smelling the stuff. Luckily, most ooey-gooey substances involve a few ingredients you probably already have sitting in your pantry, and whipping up a batch takes just minutes.
With all the above in mind, it can be daunting for new parents to prepare for trips in the hot weather, but it’s important to remember that a controlled amount of exposure to the sun is good for us, as it helps us absorb Vitamin D – essential for strong bones and many other health benefits.
Above all, make sure all activities are supervised and most importantly enjoy the time together in the great summer weather and have fun!