The Many Benefits of Taking Your Baby and Toddler Outside
Did you know that the average American kid spends 7 hours in front of a screen every day and just 4-7 minutes playing outside? (Cohen, 2021) Humble-Bee wants to change this statistic.
It’s important for everyone to spend time outdoors, specifically babies and toddlers because their brain is growing at a rapid pace. First, let’s look at the benefits of being outdoors. Knowledge is power!
Studies show that kids who spend more time outside are likely to be happier, healthier, smarter, and less stressed. Just in case that isn’t enough of a reason to get your family outside, here are some other benefits.
Creativity and Imagination
Whether your child is able to run on their own or still wants to be held, being outdoors boosts imagination and creativity. Think of all the wonders of nature that are right outside your door: changing leaves, blooming flowers, spiders spinning their webs, and sparkling snow. There is always something new to look at that will prompt curiosity. Why is this plant turning brown? Where does the sun go every night? How many stars are in the sky? Talk to your child about the many wonderful and mysterious things you see outside, even if they can’t respond yet. They are always listening and learning, and their imagination will run wild.
Improve Learning, Stimulation, and Brain Development
Every new experience that a baby or toddler has helps them to learn and understand the world around them. There are more noises, smells, colors, and textures outside that increase stimulation and therefore brain activity. What does grass feel like? What does a pine tree smell like? What does a hummingbird sound like? Each new encounter increases their learning and gets those little neurons in their brain firing away. Let your child squish their toes in the mud after a rainstorm. Give them different fruits to smell at your local farmers market. Encourage them to listen to the musical sounds of the crickets at night. Every outing and adventure outdoors is an opportunity to learn.
Sunshine and Fresh Air
The sun will provide your little one with more Vitamin D, which is particularly crucial at a young age. Exposure to sunshine and fresh air also improve moods and increase energy. (Terreri, 2018) These benefits can be found anywhere outside. Sit on a patio with your baby in your arms, go for a walk with the stroller, take your toddler to swing at the park...the possibilities and rewards are endless.
Set A Good Example
The advantages of spending time outdoors far exceed this list. If spending time outside isn’t already a part of your daily routine, there are many simple ways to make this a priority: start a walking routine each morning, find a park close by that you love, or plan something fun to do each weekend outside with your family. You don’t have to plan a vacation hiking in the mountains to reap the benefits of the great outdoors. Even starting a small garden will prompt you and your family to spend more time outdoors to water and check on your plants. (This will also teach responsibility... a win win!) Help your baby grow and develop while marveling at all the wonders right outside your door.
The first step to getting your child outside more is for you to go outside more. Be intentional about making this a priority; YOU have to make it happen. Plan outdoor activities and outings that you will enjoy; your happiness will be contagious. Disconnect from all the devices and show your adventure buddy how much you love and appreciate nature, and they will love and appreciate it as well.
Whether you are taking a short stroll in your neighborhood or planning a weekend fishing trip, Humble Bee has your back. Check out our newest diaper bag: The Kokoro. This diaper bag is a parent favorite because it converts from a tote to a diaper bag, and it can also be attached to your stroller. Wherever your adventure takes you, we have the practical necessities to get you there in style.
Cohen, D. (2021, September 21). Why Kids Need to Spend Time In Nature. Child Mind Institute. https://childmind.org/article/why-kids-need-to-spend-time-in-nature/.Cara Terreri, L. C. C. E. (2018, August 15). When Is It Safe To Take Baby Out In Public? Lamaze International. https://www.lamaze.org/Giving-Birth-with-Confidence/GBWC-Post/when-is-it-safe-to-take-baby-out-in-public.