Living here in sunny and hot Brisbane, the weather cooling is a cause for celebration – once the weather cools down a little we can get outside more! During summer, we try to get out, but serious play is restricted to the late afternoons, when we can shelter in the shady front yard. Now that autumn has finally arrived, we can get out at different times of the day, and even enjoy the sunshine a bit.
Here are some different ways we’ve played outside with Squirm. Whether you’ve got an acre to play in (like I did when I was a child) or a local park nearby, there’s so much you can do outside!
Five Ways to Play Outside with Your Baby
1. Have a Ball
We have a few different balls which Squirm loves to play with, inside and outside. His favourite is a bigger ball, covered in little knobbly bits. We take it outside all the time, rolling it to and past Squirm. When he’s feeling more secure, he loves to crawl along and chase the ball while I kick it around.
2. Get Down and Muddy
Our front yard is beautifully planted out with garden beds and native Australian plants. Our backyard is a little less organised! Luckily for us, that means there’s spots which are perfect for making mud. One day, when the ground was still damp from recent rain, we added a little more water and had fun splashing in the water and pushing the mud around. It was terribly messy, but that’s what baths are for!
3. Go Exploring
Outside places are brilliant for curious babies – so many things they haven’t explored before! Although our back yard is full of fascinating things to explore, for the moment, Squirm enjoys the little things. We have some concrete blocks sitting in our backyard which Squirm loves to balance against and use to support himself while he practices his walking. He also likes to reach down to explore what might be in them (after I check to make sure there’s no nasties lurking in there) He can spend ages exploring these blocks!
4. Get Your Outside Jobs Done
After a wet, hot summer, our garden beds were inundated with weeds. Squirm came out and sat on the lawn, playing with some of his toys and exploring at his own pace while I did the weeding. He particularly liked looking at the flowers! He’s also come with me while I put the bins away – finding new places to crawl and new things to balance against (the gate this time). Hanging clothes on the line is another big favourite for him – he loves looking up at the different colours.
5. Lay back and relax
One of my friends gave us a picnic set for Christmas, including a plastic backed picnic rug. This has been the best thing ever, since Squirm can sometimes be a little hesitant outside (especially on our sometimes spiky grass). We spread the blanket on the ground, bring out a few toys, and when we’re finished playing, there’s time for a cuddle and time to just look up at the sky – at the clouds and the light coming through the trees above us!
Things to think about when you’ve going outside . . .
- Think protective gear. A hat is a big thing for us here in sunny Queensland. Long sleeves and pants can be helpful, but we’re going to invest in a safe insect repellent since mosquitoes are really bad at the moment
- Think unplugged. Leave phones and electronic equipment behind at least half the time. I even try to leave the camera inside at times (shock!) so I can just enjoy the time with Squirm