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Now is the time to explore outdoors with your toddler. There are so many chances to play together, create together, and just have a great day outside of your home that you can’t take the chance to miss out on these chances for memories to be made.

Imagine the wide-eyed look on your toddler’s sweet little face when he witnesses his very first icicle hanging off a bridge as you cross on your snowy walk to the local store. Perhaps his mouth is making an o shape in shock and awe after observing a flock of geese flying overhead in the typical V formation during a simple weekend hike in the mountains. He might be showing a delighted smile from ear to ear when your precious little one sees the birth of a calf while you both are exploring the farm pastures at your grandparent’s home.

What if you watch as his eyes sparkle to see the eggshells from a bird’s nest laying on the ground as you pass by on a nature walk? These are all splendid possibilities of fantastic outdoor exploration experience with your toddler!

The limitations are only set by you, the parent, on where, when, or how you will start to explore. 

If you’re ready to get outside and explore with your child, here are some simple ideas that you can implement as early as today.

Catching Smiles and Crickets: Explore Outdoors With Your Toddler

Keep in mind that these are just a few of the outdoor areas to explore. There is always more to discover, if you’re ready and willing to explore!

Neighborhood Explorations 

Sometimes it’s a joy just to let your toddler experience nature in your own backyard or around the neighborhood. Take him out for a nature walk with a small paper bag, or bucket and encourage him to really open his eyes and his heart to what he sees all around him. Talk about the colors of the sky and the clouds, the shapes and textures he sees and feels in the grass or trees, and let him carefully smell the flowers or blooming trees.

Next, ask him to start collecting little tokens (only when it’s appropriate to touch or remove them from the current location) in the way of pine cones, acorns, leaves of all shapes and colors, a four-leaf clover, a flower, a feather, and other things one might find around the block on a nature walk in the neighborhood. 

Camping with a Campfire 

Have you ever caught a lightning bug before? Well, it’s time you tried to find some live ones, and catch one to show your intrigued little camper. Pull out your old magnifying glass or pick one up at the Dollar Store and let your toddler have a blast hunting around like he’s looking for clues trying to discover insects like caterpillars, crickets, moths and beetles, ants and spiders and anything else that might be around in your part of the country.girl holding a butterflyTake this opportunity to help him learn the names, identify which types of bugs are poisonous and dangerous to him, and which ones are fun to look at but, will make him sick if he touches them. 


Beach Adventures 

If you live near a beach, why not let your daring toddler indulge in playing in the sand for awhile? Make drip sandcastles with your buddy by grabbing a bucket of water and filling it halfway with sand, then gently pulling out the wet sand and letting it drip into little tower shapes along the beach.

Next, you can always feed his curiosity about the ocean waters by taking him down to play only in the waves that break gently along the shore. Have fun showing him how to race the waves by trying to tiptoe up to the edge of the water and then when a wave comes crashing in, have him run back up to the dry sand as fast as his little legs can carry him. If he is pretty steady on his feet, you could try teaching him to jump up over the waves when they come into shore. Listen to his giggles and squeals of delight with each and every wave. These are some of the most precious moments you’ll remember as a parent.Girl sitting in ocean with wavesThe quality time with your little one will be imprinting a memory on your heart – complete with the adorable, infectious laughter that only a child shares. If temperatures permit, you can try to take your little guy out in the ocean for a bit wading knee-deep, or waist-deep if he’s held in your arms. Teach him all you know about the wonders of the ocean and the many things that live beneath the sea and the sand. 

Talk about the seagulls and crabs, jellyfish and sharks, and everything in between. Help your fascinated adventurer feel the textures of the sand, some seaweed, a piece of driftwood, a crab’s claw, and maybe even some seashells that he can touch and collect. 

No matter where you go, or what you choose to do while exploring the outdoors with your little wide-eyed wanderer, you can bet he will look up to you with big eyes of thanks and wonderment as you fill his head with new things to learn and great new places to see. Your days ahead are promising … may they be filled with love, adventure and fantastic new experiences for the both of you. 

What are some fun ideas that you can think of to explore outdoors with your toddler?

Like this post? Check out these other toddler activities as well:


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