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Think Outside the Playground

Think Outside the PlaygroundIt was a cool spring day here, which I love. We are both ultra-fair skinned and burn so easily, so the summer hat battle and sunscreen tantrum were not an issue. It was a perfect day to be outside, so we drove a little way out of the city and went for a hike.

Just like almost every baby, my toddler loves to be outside, especially after being deprived of sunlight all winter. The playground at our local park is his favorite place that we visit regularly. The slide and the swings are fun, digging in the sand is fun, and he loves to collect leaves and find bugs and put twigs in a sand dump truck.

Man-made outdoor fun is fun, but even better is the real outdoors. We drove out to a country park which has a hill that rises over the river and hiked up it. I say hike, it’s about a quarter-mile to the top, which is not really a hike, unless you are three and have short legs.

Toddler had a big grin on his face all the way up. There were tree roots to climb over, fallen trees to balance on and walk along, piles of dead leaves to crunch, woodpeckers to spot, rocks to pick up, other people’s dogs to pet, wild flowers to smell, ferns to stroke, mud to stand in, and lots and lots more things to investigate.

I’ve been taking him hiking since he was a baby and he rode in a sling and I hiked. I’m hoping that he’ll grow up to love and respect nature and the outdoors, but right now I’m enjoying that he has so much fun being outside.

Have you ever taken your baby out into the country? If you haven’t, and get a chance to take your baby out into the country, or if you have woodland or parkland near you, then go. It’s so different to being outside in your yard or in a playground, and babies and toddlers usually love it.

So after looking at the view and having a snack, we started back down. He needed a ride some of the way, and I’m glad he’s still just about small enough to carry. Then he got bored being carried and walked the rest of the way himself. Some of the trees were dropping seed pods that looked like furry caterpillars, which he loved, and then we found a tunnel that lead into the rocks to wonder who lived inside. We thought it might be a Gruffalo.

Back to the car, and he was fast asleep in his carseat within minutes of hitting the road. A good sign of a happily exhausted toddler!

So that was my Day, and it was lovely.

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