If you’re looking for some educational infant summer activities, look no further than your own backyard. Swimming pools, leisurely walks, and parks may be sources of entertainment for kids and adults, but they are incredibly educational outdoor summer activities for infants who know nothing about the outside world.
Swimming Pool Fun
The swimming pool can be the perfect place for your infant to explore an interesting new summer surroundings. Even younger infants will notice the cool feel of the water on their skin. Show them how the sunlight dances on the surface of the water, or splash the water (away from them) so that they can see it “jump" through the air. Older infants may enjoy splashing too, so make sure that their hands are free to move around. Going to the swimming pool is the perfect infant lesson plan on a warm summer afternoon, as it allows infants to focus on something that they don’t normally see or feel.
Nature – From Afar
If you think your infant needs structured lesson plans in order to learn, you might be surprised by this suggestion: take a walk. Put your infant in a stroller or baby carrier and walk around the block. Objects that seem ordinary to you will seem extra-ordinary to your baby. Talk about what you see – a huge tree with wide leaves, a dog in your neighbor’s yard, or the clouds overhead. Younger infants will gain from seeing the experience and hearing you talk about it, and older infants will focus on and react to the sights that they see. Of special interest are squirrels, birds, and other summer wildlife that you might not normally even notice. If an older infant points at something, make sure to find out what he is focusing on. Label it with a name (“That’s a squirrel!") and talk about what it is doing (“That squirrel is eating a nut").
Nature – Up Close
Even better than taking a walk with your infant is letting them get up close and personal with the nature of summer. Set them down on the grass and let them feel it. Bring them over to a bush and brush leaves against their skin. If your infant is old enough to grasp, let them pick some of the leaves (or flowers, or buds) off a tree, handle them, and drop them. Look around for objects that look and feel different, such as the bark of a tree, the hardness of a sidewalk, or the fuzziness of moss. Let them explore them with their fingers. This infant lesson plan will not only teach your infant about nature – it will give you a deeper appreciation for nature, too!
Fun at the Park
Yes, even infants can enjoy the park in the summer. Let your baby swing on the baby swing, if they are old enough to hold their head up. Sit them in the sandbox, but make sure they do not eat the sand. Better yet, let them watch the interaction between the kids at the park. This lesson plan will teach them social skills at an early age, as well as give them an idea of what older kids are like.
These activities can keep your baby busy while learning during the hot summer months. Enjoy this time with your infant, because they will be racing down the slide in no time!