You can’t wait to introduce your baby to the big, wide world—but it’s also hitting you just how daunting that idea is when your little one is still itty-bitty. However, there are limitless benefits to introducing your baby to nature, even if you start off slow and steady. It might seem to you that they are just snoozing through the outings, but those tiny minds are really absorbing information that will help set your baby up for a lifetime of curiosity and learning.
Here are just a few more benefits of nature for the littlest of explorers.
Spending time outside means spending time being exposed to new, unfamiliar sensations—and along with that goes the desire to have names for the experiences. According to research, there is a strong correlation between spending time outside from early ages and robust vocabularies.
Even if thoughts of your child running around and kicking a soccer ball still seem to be in the distant future, studies show that simply observing the way others run, jump and move outside can help lay the foundation for physical development. As naturally curious beings, your baby is quietly processing all of that input and making big plans for when they can start participating, too.
So much of what any of us do outside is an experiment in cause-and-effect. For young children, it may be as simple as, “What will this green stuff feel like?” But the result is still incredibly significant. According to the Infant/Toddler Environment Rating Scale, playing outside from early ages gives those children a leg up with science and reading skills by the time they reach school age.
As the experts from the National Association for the Education of Young Children put it, “We believe that children are born natural scientists who are curious and ready to learn. Even in infancy, children compare and contrast objects as they explore their world.”
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