Summer is here (or at least on its way) in the northern hemisphere. With that in mind, it’s always fun to find ways to play outside with your family, and there’s no reason your baby can’t join in on the fun. It’s not only a great way to spend time as a family together, it can also help you start your baby on the road to physical literacy. Check out some great activities to do on grass with your baby.
Create an outdoor sensory play land
Babies experience the world through all of their senses. Sensory play is important to help babies learn about the world around them, and you can do it at any age and without any special equipment. For even the youngest baby, laying a thin blanket on the grass and placing them on top of it will allow them to experience the feeling of grass under them, which is very different from the floor or a play mat. Slightly older children can put their hands or feet on the grass to further the experience.
For some babies this is very exciting, but it can also be very overstimulating on their sensory system. Always start by allowing them to touch with their hands before their feet, to reduce stimulation. Additionally, you can plan on limited time outside or have an alternative place to place your baby, if they decide the grass isn’t their favourite place to be.
Work on fine motor skills like grasping
Grass makes a great toy to practice those fine motor skills. You can place an age-appropriate toy in the grass and have the baby practice lifting it from the grass—a totally different experience from lifting it from a flat surface. Additionally, babies can practice grasping pieces of grass or other plants, either from your hand or directly from the ground. Just don’t pick still-growing plants without permission.
Bring some water too
Babies love playing with water, and outside is a great way to do it. Fill a basin or large bowl with water (or make your own water table) and allow your baby to place their hands in the water. Babies age six months and up often love splashing, and doing it on the grass is both a safe and easy way to allow for this. They can then have another feel of wet grass, getting to experience another exciting new texture.
Babies and bubbles go great together, and the grass is a perfect place to play. This is also a wonderful way to incorporate play with older siblings, who can blow bubbles, or chase them while the baby watches.
Keep it safe
Always dress baby appropriately for the weather and climate, making sure you have appropriate sun protection as needed. Be sure you have chosen a flat, safe surface for grass play, and bring a clean sheet or blanket to lie baby on. Remember that as fun as grass play is for babies, it can also be very stimulating, so plan on a short adventure to start!