I received product and compensation from Mead Johnson Nutrition to create this post written by me. All experiences and opinions expressed in this post are my own and not those of Mead Johnson Nutrition. You can contact Mead Johnson Nutrition with product related questions or comments toll free at 1-888-777-3395.
When I think about my childhood in Ecuador, I think about friends and lots of outside play. As soon as I was done with homework, I would join the neighborhood kids to play outside until the sun went down. I remember our games were simple and only required our imagination to make them fun.
Yes, I am aware that I am raising my kids in a different world than the one I grew up in the early 90’s. For example, there is no way I could leave my children playing in the street for so many hours without supervision. However, the benefits of outside play are still crucial for a child’s development and it’s imperative to let them play outside since they are young.
10 Simple Ideas For Toddlers Outside Play
My toddler is all about exploring through outdoor play. I enjoy watching him discover his world through his senses. We usually go to the park or the lake where we meet with other kids of his age for play date. I also like offering him some unstructured time to play outside during the day. We don’t need anything fancy to have fun, our imagination is enough! Here are a few ideas that I am sure your toddler will love!
- Go on a leaf, rock or bug hunt.
- Explore in a sandbox.
- Pee-kaa-boo around trees or bushes.
- Water play with plastic cups.
- Dig in the dirt for “dinosaur bones”
- Jump in puddles
- Make mud pies
- Paint the sidewalk with chalk
- Find different shades of green leaves
- Build a fort with sticks
Don’t forget to let your toddler run around and explore his surroundings on his own terms. Remember that unstructured play matters for their social-emotional learning and for brain development!
What To Keep In Mind For Toddler Outdoor Play
There are four things that I always keep in mind when I am planning for my toddler to play outside. As a mom of three kids, experience has taught me to do the following:
- Dress my toddler accordingly.
Make sure to check the local weather before leaving your home. Like my abuela would say: ¡Mejor prevenir que lamentar! This would help you to know how to dress your toddler right for the occasion. Even when you plan to spend a few minutes outside, it’s still a good idea to be aware of the weather and chances of precipitation.
- Keep my toddler hydrated
During outside play, it’s so important that we mothers pay attention to any indications of dehydration, and offer sips of water. Having liquids designed to quickly replace electrolytes, such as Enfamil® Enfalyte®, are a good option for extra hot days and/or vomiting and diarrhea due to illness. In fact, a few months ago when my toddler was dehydrated due to an illness, we used Enfalyte, from the maker of Enfamil, the #1 brand of infant formula recommended by pediatricians and trusted by hospitals for over 25 years. Make sure to always consult with your pediatrician if you are concerned about dehydration.
- Pay extra attention to my child in hot weather.
Here in North Carolina our summers are HOT. During the hours of the day when I feel the sun is shining in all his glory, I try to avoid taking my child outside. And whenever we are playing outside, I enforce frequent breaks and offer Enfalyte (as recommended on label.) I love that it’s a clear formulation: no artificial flavors, colors, or sweeteners; and it comes available in two mild flavors, Cherry Splash and Mixed Fruit. Learn more by visiting their website or en su sitio en español.
- Bring some extra clothes.
The fun of toddler outdoor play is that they get to explore the surroundings, and that could be messy, oh-super-messy. So I highly recommend you to always bring an extra pair of clothes. You will be so grateful. Trust me.
Following these simple tips would help your toddler to have a great time while giving you peace of mind. Now, off to play! What’s your favorite idea for toddler outside play? This is sponsored by Enfamil® Enfalyte® Oral Electrolyte Solution.