Spending time outdoors offers so many benefits for little ones - even (if not especially) right from birth. You may have noted a look of fascination on your baby's face as they stare at leaves rustling in the breeze, seen the sheer glee of 'toddler meets puddle' or the intensity of a stick den building project involving older children. No matter how young, the enjoyment, and sense of wonder generated through little ones engaging with their environment is priceless.
Here is what a little time spent in nature each day does for kids:
- Promotes confidence and a sense of well being.
- Gives exposure to rich experiences that are unique to the outdoors - such as direct contact with the weather and the seasons.
- Builds an understanding of (and respect for) nature and the relationship between, humans, animals & plants.
- Develops problem-solving skills and confidence.
- Nurtures creativity, imagination, inventiveness and resourcefulness.
- Improves sleep (for everyone!).
1. GHYLL SCRAMBLING
See if you can find a stream or other suitable water source near you - then let little ones get in and start sploshing about - the term 'water babies' wasn't coined for nothing - most babies, toddlers and kids will think it is pure joy. In our case we were lucky enough to find a mountain stream that was one part stream and one part natural obstacle course. Thankfully the merino kept little bums warm whilst wet (totally going to happen) and dried quickly afterwards. It goes without saying that supervision is key to this activity. If you really can't find a stream to dip into, skip over to our other watery suggestions for this month.
2. GO TO A FESTIVAL
In mid summer there are festivals big and small happening all across the land. Little ones will soak in the festive atmosphere and enjoy being part of what is essentially a celebration of summer (and therefore an age old tradition for our species). If you are heading to a larger multi day festival check out our guide to enjoying the experience with little ones in tow. Otherwise there is just as much fun to be had at the multitude of fetes, country shows and Summer fairs happening at the local community level. Head for the bouncy castle, face painter (always a hit) and have a dance with your little one.
3. MAKE 'FIZZING' ICE ART
A creative way to stay cool on a hot day and so easy to prepare. This activity ticks sensory, scientific and creative boxes and is just really good messy fun bound to delight little ones. Clean up is very quick and easy - just grab a bucket or hose and be sure to use 'washable' colourings.
Cornstarch (1/4 cup)
Baking Soda (1/4 Cup)
Water (1/2 Cup)
Liquid Water Colours, Washable Paint or Food Colouring
Ice Cube Trays
Optional: White vinegar & squeezy or spray bottles
How:Mix the Cornstarch, Baking Soda, Water and colouring together and freeze until solid. Then head outside, find some concrete (wet is best) and let little ones go for it experimenting with mixing colours and melting them together. Squirt or spray with vinegar to make it all fizz.
4. TREE-PLE & TREE-TURES
Get hold of some natural clay or try this DIY sand clayusing common cupboard staples. Then take little ones on a hunt for some natural bits and bobs (pinecones, acorns, seed pods, pebbles) and use to make tree faces in your garden or local green space.. these will not only delight your own little ones, but make for a magical find for others walking by. Be sure to only use natural biodegradable materials so that they'll wash away in time.
Here we have 'Meemow the Cat' & (ahem) 'Mummy'
5. WATER BABIES
A thinly disguised excuse to play with the hose on a hot day? Maybe..... nontheless there is loads of outdoor fun to be had in high summer when it comes to getting wet. Set the hose to a fine mist and get your little ones experimenting with pointing it in different directions to make rainbows....it'll keep them occupied for quite some time - until they realise that squirting mummy is REALLY funny. For older kids running through a sprinkler or a good old fashioned water fight is hard to beat for excitement value.... again, you will be the target, they'll love it (and you for playing too), little babies will love the chance to paddle tiny toes in a shallow inflatable pool with some toys.
6. GO CAMPING
Indulge their (and your) inner wild child and connect with the great outdoors on a camping trip. When it comes to sleep - expect levels of excitement not conducive to regular bedtimes, in our experience it works best to aim for a good nap day - then come evening go with the flow and just all go to bed together. For toddlers and older babies a good tip to try is to zip mum & dad's sleeping bags together and make a big family bag (into the middle of which go the kids). A merino base layer truly shines when it comes to camping trips, summer evenings can be chilly and the extra warmth without bulk of weight is a welcome way to keep little ones comfy in tents when the sun goes down, as is the ability to release excess heat when the sun comes back up in the morning.
7. TEDDY BEARS PICNIC
Round up your child's favorite toys and treat them to a lovely picnic under a tree on a sunny day. Serve up acorn sandwiches, grass hors d'oeuvres and pinecone cakes all washed down with flower petal tea. Yum!
8. WATER THE PLANTS
Whether you have a garden in full bloom or a few plants growing in pots - little ones will love watering them and around now is a good time to let them go for it since plants will fancy a good drink and it won't matter too much if they overdo it (they will). This is a great way to teach little ones about both nature and nurture as well as experimenting with filling and pouring.
Merino Wool - Keep your Baby Comfortable All Year Round.
The Merino sheep is an ancient breed. And without a doubt one of the most resilient.
Superlove Merino spend all year happily and naturally withstanding conditions the rest of us would only call extreme. High up on New Zealand's Southern Alps where temperatures range from 35°C in summer to -15°C in winter. Merino are very different to the sheep you might see grazing the lowland farms, Merino sheep naturally stay warm in the winter whilst also remaining comfortably cool throughout the hot summers. This is thanks to their fine soft fleece of a wool which is nothing short of amazing.
Merino wool is unlike any other fabric on earth and is highly prized in fashion, baby wear and elite sportswear for very good reason. Exceptionally soft, lightweight and breathable, merino wool is the perfect way to keep baby comfortable in summer, as it regulates body temperature naturally to help little ones strike the balance in changeable weather or on summer evenings when temperatures can fluctuate.
Merino wool is also easy to wash (machine and tumble dry), quick drying, naturally antibacterial and has a (natural) UPF of 30-50+. All of these unique properties make it is a perfect fabric for little ones (who of course) can’t tell you whether they are too hot or too cold! A Superlove Merino baby gift set or Sleep Bag makes a truly wonderful gift for a newborn baby.