Spending time in nature brings so many benefits to your baby’s development. It’s proven to stimulate cognitive development as well as build their confidence, creativity and problem-solving skills as they grow.
Here, we’ve shared some ideas and inspiration to help your little ones connect with nature.
Gardening is such a fun activity that engages many of your baby’s senses – they can see, touch and smell all of the beautiful flowers from an early age, and build on their coordination skills when they’re ready to get involved themselves.
Growing your own fruit and vegetables also helps your child to learn more about the value of the food they eat, as well as encouraging an interest in healthy eating very early on.
Even if you don’t have a garden, just use pots to grow plants, vegetables and herbs on your windowsill or balcony.
For hints and tips for growing food in small space, visit vertical veg
Build their very first den
A classic childhood experience – and what better way to create lasting memories out in nature?
To a young child, having their own den helps to build their self esteem and independence, by giving them a space of their own to be themselves, reflect or let their imagination roam.
Building a den with your child, even if it’s simply in the back garden, allows you to bond together over teamwork and creative problem solving, and leaves them with their own little corner of nature to enjoy.
Create a haven for wildlife
As well as creating a space for the little ones to play, you can also create a space for wildlife to thrive from your own back garden.
Set aside a corner of your garden for wild visitors with lots of plants, wildflowers, and even a bird table! And it’ll be something everyone can maintain and enjoy together - topping up water supplies, laying out food, and watching the wildlife come and go.
You can also try introducing a handmade home to encourage a wider diversity of critters, like hedgehogs and toads. From frog pots to bird nesting boxes, you can buy ready-made habitats from The Woodland Trust and National Trust, or you can have a go at building your own, like this hotel for bees.
Go on a treasure hunt
This one is perfect if there’s a nature walk you know and love, or if your map reading skills are up to the challenge!
Bury some ‘treasure’ when you’re out on a walk – something you can come back to, but won’t harm the environment, such as a wooden box with ‘gems’ inside. You can mark the point where you’ve buried your treasure on a map so you know how to find it again.
Then, on your next walk, you can follow the map to hunt for your treasure! It’s a great way to mix up the same walking routes, and have a lot of fun along the way!
Or explore their creative side
Connecting with nature also offers young children the perfect tools and inspiration to create all kinds of wild art!
While out on a woodland walk, you can collect leaves, twigs or flowers to create a collage or 3D drawing when you get home. You could even collect rainwater for watercolour paintings!
Or your little ones could create a piece of art while they’re out in nature… drawing in the sand at the beach or gathering up shells and rocks to make a seaside mandala.
The possibilities here are endless, and create lasting memories for the whole family. For more inspiration on artful activities for kids visit the artful parent