Learning Through Infant Care Routines: Outdoor Play

Infants have daily needs that need to be met for them to learn, develop positive attachment to primary caregivers, and know they will be loved and taken care of. Most of these needs revolve around basic care routines. The FunShine Express Buttercups Babies kits were designed to incorporate activity ideas into these care routines to create meaningful interactions each day.

Outdoor Playtime

The outdoors is filled with many sounds, sights, and fascinating objects. Outdoor playtime has many benefits for infants and toddlers:

  • Help them develop a sense of wonder and awareness
  • Increase their creativity
  • Important for overall health
  • Great for sensory play
  • Positively impact all learning domains
  • Provide a strong foundation for children’s rapid brain development

Finding moments of time to go outdoors with infants can be difficult. It is helpful if there are multiple care providers. One provider can take one or two infants outside to play while the other provider(s) stay inside to meet other care routines while still maintaining ratio requirements. Many of the play activities that you do indoors with babies, you can also do outdoors.

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Rain Boots and Mud Pies—Gearing Up for International Mud Day

As early childhood professionals we know that learning can be messy. Children often seem to be at their happiest when they are digging, painting, or creating. In fact, if each of us paused for a moment and thought about it, we could probably easily recall a time when the children in our care were consumed by swirling paint colors and painting over the same area on the page, piling sand into large mounds, or collecting an assortment of sticks and rocks. In each of these activities, children are honing many skills—fine motor, gross motor, cognitive awareness, and math and counting. Help children and families in your setting embrace messy play by getting outside and celebrating International Mud Day on June 29.

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