Sensory baby adventure: Babes in the woods

Little girl and older woman looking at bluebells in the woods
Help your little ones get the most from their trip to the woods with our activity ideas. (Photo: WTML)

Woodlands are brimming with so many sights, sounds, textures and smells. They offer just the sort of sensory stimulation that babies and toddlers need.

Our sensory activity ideas will help the tiniest member of your family enjoy your trip to the woods too.

Our top 8 woodland sensory activities for babies

  • Babies are fascinated by the changing patterns of the leaves against the sky, the swaying branches and the gentle rustling sounds made by the wind. Just park the buggy under a shady tree, or lay your baby on a blanket so he or she can look up
  • Tummy time helps babies develop their neck and back muscles, and progress towards crawling. Place your baby on his or her stomach near the edge of a blanket so he or she can play with the blades of grass and check out what the minibeasts are doing
  • Collect some woodland objects of different textures and colours for your baby to examine – a pine cone, a flower, a smooth stone, a piece of bark. Keep an eye out to make sure they don’t get eaten!
  • Pick up a selection of twigs and sticks of different lengths. Lay them on the ground and help your toddler sort them from longest to shortest
  • Feeding the birds is such fun for little kids, so bring along a seed mix. Avoid peanuts, bread or fatty foods in summer as these can be harmful if adult birds feed them to their babies. There may also be a pond in the woods, where kids can feed the ducks, geese and swans. But don’t let small children get too close to bigger birds – if they’re used to being fed by humans, they can turn aggressive when the food runs out!
  • Make a daisy chain. Help your toddler to pick some daisies and make a tiny slit in each stem with their fingernail to thread another daisy through. Fashion them into necklaces, bracelets and crowns
  • Look out for dandelion clocks. See how much puff it takes to blow all the seeds away
  • Throw some sycamore seeds into the air and watch them spiral to the ground like tiny helicopters

Remember, please don’t pick things that are still growing on trees or plants. Only collect and use leaves, twigs, flowers, fruits, nuts and seeds that have already fallen to the ground.

What are your top outdoor sensory activities for you and your little one? Tell us in the comments below.

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