Summer Fun with Your Little One by Tessa Little
Across the country, as we tried to keep each other safe, we have spent a lot of time indoors in the past few months. The start of summer and the easing of restrictions has led me to think about how best to have some well-deserved fun this summer with my little one. During those ‘lockdown’ days, weeks and months she has become more mobile and engaged with what was happening around her. To be quite honest, looking after her needs and just watching her grow has kept me sane as I tried (and failed) to make sense of how much life had changed. Her first full length summer has now started and here some of the things I have on my ‘summer fun’ list plus a few more ideas that you might like to try with your baby.
Many happy childhood memories are made whiling away time on a swing. Use the warmer summer months to get your older babies started on this lovely pastime by using swings designed to offer support for them as they sit. Some baby swings are so beautiful that they can be used as decoration in your nursery as well as being an indoor or outdoor swing. The indoor factor is a big advantage if you don’t have a garden or if we have to endure a wet summer.
Another option that could be used indoors or out for some summer fun with your little one is a ball pool. It will provide lots of amusement for you and them as they explore the colours and sensations while ‘splashing’ around. The big bonus of having balls and not water is that you don’t need to plan what you will do with the water afterwards.
That being said, when the weather is hot a good splash is one of the best ways to keep cool. Someone was throwing away a perfectly usable paddle pool. It had served its time for their family and was now destined for the tip. We kindly asked for it and now ‘Turtle’ is in the garden ready and able to do another stint of service. We managed to keep a sizeable bit of plastic from the tip, didn’t spend a penny and our little one will enjoy many hours frolicking in the water. A win for everyone! The plants will be the lucky recipients of the water once the splashing shenanigans are over.
Whether or not you have your own garden, walks to and through local parks provide much needed stimulation for developing minds. Spend time playing in the grass, looking at plants and flowers or do a bit of squirrel spotting. Every visit is a new adventure and an opportunity for fun, bonding and learning about the world. If you live near the countryside or woodland you can have lots of summer fun walking and exploring these with your little one, encouraging their innate love of nature.
Gardening has provided much needed at home therapy over the past months. For those of you who are watching the hard work you put in bear actual fruit, you can engage your little ones by showing what is happening in the garden. Point out plants, introduce baby to the smell of aromatic herbs and allow the sensory experience of touching flowers. Word to the wise………if you have prize blooms you may choose not to let baby practice the skill of ‘being gentle’ with these. A couple of our rose blooms met an untimely end when surprisingly quick fingers pulled them off the rosebush.
Visit the Beach
Ahhhhh, the beach! If you are fortunate enough to live near the coast make the most of this time of year by going for early morning walks, splashing in the sea (you may want to get baby a wetsuit!) or beach picnics. It is worth noting that seagulls, as arrogant as they may seem to adults, seem to provide great entertainment for babies.
Take a Trip
As we can now meet up with other households why not take a trip and reconnect face to face with friends or family. As well as providing somewhere different for you and baby to explore together, after many a month of seeing almost everyone on a screen, it will be exciting to spend quality summer fun time with loved ones.
As you make your own list, remember to ensure that each activity is age appropriate and that your baby is supervised at all times. To every parent who has done the best they could to take care of the bubbas during such a stressful time, I salute you. Now, as ‘normal’ life slowly begins to resume, continue to do your best to stay safe as you and your baby enjoy the summer months.