Baby Talk and Nature Walks

Babies need to hear us talking about things from the time that they are born.  They also need to see new things to learn.  Take the babies for a walk around the yard.  Talk about what you see.  Point to birds, trees, flowers, cars, trucks, and anything else you see.  Name things as you point to them.

When you want to go further than the yard, put the babies in a stroller and go for a walk.  Talk about what you are seeing along the way.

When the weather is warm enough, put a blanket on the ground.  Sit with the babies and talk to them.  Say some nursery rhymes or children’s poems.  Let them move their arms and legs around for exercise.  During these quiet times together the babies are learning about the world around them.  They are learning from the things you are describing and saying to them.

(Resource:  http://betterkidcare.psu.edu)

Don’t Forget Language

It is important to remember that nature is new to infants and toddlers.  On a rainy day encourage the children to look outside.  Talk about what you see and guide the children through the “picture”.  It is important to add words to the experiences of infants and toddlers to expand their language.  By pointing out the sky, clouds, or the sun, the children are learning words for future use.

When a child finds a bug on the playground, instead of modeling fear or dislike, use the opportunity as a learning experience.  You can bring the bug inside or have a one-on-one conversation about what the child is seeing.  Learning new words and activities can enhance the understanding of the nature process.