Outdoor activities you can enjoy with grand babies and tots this summer
By “The Grammies” of The Grammie Guide: Activities and Answers for Grandparenting Today
A grandchild’s days from birth to kindergarten fly by. Here are a few ideas for making the most of this special time this summer.
Days of Discovery: Newborn to 12 Months
- Walk around the neighborhood. From a carriage or stroller, an infant will stare with fascination at clouds moving across the sky, birds overhead, or an airplane going by.
- Set up water play. If she can sit, put her next to a shallow container of water and watch her splash. If the weather is warm, why not let her sit right in the container?
- Visit a petting zoo, aquarium, or children’s museum. Some museums even have special exploration rooms designed just for infants.
Fearless Explorers: 1 to 2 ½ years
- Play shadow tag. Try to “catch” his shadow; then let him catch yours. Just becoming aware of his own shadow “following” him can be a momentous discovery. Will his shadow keep up if he runs? What else has a shadow?
- On a warm evening, sit outside together. Listen to the crickets, frogs, barking dogs, and rustling leaves. Look at the sky. What shape is the moon? How many stars are there?
- Go to the park. If it’s been a while since you’ve spent time at your local park, you will be amazed by the new playground equipment and safer play surfaces. If the park has no play structures, your grandchild will enjoy running around in the open area.
Curious Adventurers: 2 ½ to 5 years
- Go on a bug safari. Look for ants, ladybugs, sow bugs, caterpillars, butterflies, even spiders. Let her tell you about each discovery — what it is, where it lives, where it’s going.
- Set up an obstacle course. Use outdoor furniture, hoses, planters, whatever you find to make the route interesting. Cheer as he walks, runs, and hops over, under, around, and through it.
- Take a short hike in the woods. Who is hiding there? Who can you hear but not see? Who lives in the hole in the ground or up in that tree?
Adapted from The Grammie Guide: Activities and Answers for Grandparenting Today.
Jan Eby, Laurie Mobilio, Lynne Noel, and Cindy Summers (a.k.a. the Grammies) are childhood educators who collectively claim bragging rights to 22 grandchildren.