Inspire a lifelong love of nature in your baby or toddler

Baby boy clapping his hands surrounded by daffodils
Head to the woods or park and explore with your mini Nature Detective (Photo: iStock.com/shunyufan)

You’re never too tiny to be a Nature Detective. Introducing your little one to their first taste of nature can be a magical journey, whether that’s through woodland wanders or books and craft activities.

From a tiny baby’s first bluebell to an inquisitive toddler’s fifth minibeast hunt, there’s a wealth of woodland sights, sounds and smells that will ignite a love of nature in your child and grow with them.

And your mini explorer’s nature journey starts here.

Explore the woods

A woodland visit is always enchanting, and a little ramble through the woods is an ideal way to introduce baby to nature, whatever the weather and whatever the season.

As baby’s eyesight develops, take a little peak at the intricate, dappled light coming through the leaves; then listen for bird song, the crunch of leaves and the quiet hush of the swaying trees.

The oxygen-rich, ever-changing woodland environment is refreshing and relaxing – both for baby and for sleep-deprived mums and dads too!

And, as the months tick by and baby becomes more mobile, there are new adventures to discover, such as picking up twigs and spotting animals.

As baby develops speech they will love to practice naming things. Make sure you go equipped with one of our ID books so you can name wildlife and wildflowers. It’s great fun as your little one takes a guess.

Nature books

There are lots of beautifully written and illustrated nature books that are suitable for even the smallest Nature Detective. Reading helps develop little vocabularies and growing imaginations, and the right books can foster a love for the natural world.

Little girl reading a book in the woods
Inspire your little one by reading aloud (Photo: WTML)

Check out one of our favourites: Tree: Seasons Come, Seasons Go by Britta Teckentrup. It’s stuffed full of lovely, colourful pictures and simple rhymes about trees (which are perfect for speech development).

Then there is The Little Book of Nighttime Sounds by Andrea Pinnington. This features the sounds of woodland creatures - great fun at bedtime! - and it’s bound to get your little one giggling, guessing and joining in with the different animal noises.

Nature crafts and activities

All children learn best by doing, even the tiniest ones. And there are lots of ways to inspire your little one.

Have a go at some nature crafts – create a ladybird stamp or a pair of brightly coloured butterfly footprints.

Or head outdoors! Set off on a minibeast hunt and see how many different types you can spot together, collect different natural items and make a sensory box, or kick up an autumn leaf storm.

Become a Nature Detective

Of course, you can always encourage your little one make the most of the great outdoors and get exciting activities through the post by becoming a Nature Detective.

Each season, baby will receive an activity pack that’s chock full of ways to inspire them and help them engage with nature, whether that’s through crafts, spotting activities or simple games.

And as your baby becomes a toddler, their activity packs change too, with different and more challenging activities landing on their doorstep as they grow.

Make a woodland nursery

Bring the outdoors indoors and turn your child’s nursery into a mini woodland.

You can start small and simple by using wall stickers and choosing some cuddly woodland animals to keep baby company, or go all out and paint your little one’s room with trees.

Little Green Sheep Wild Cotton collection promo image
The Little Green Sheep's 'Wild Cotton' collection (Photo: The Little Green Sheep)

Don’t forget the finishing touches, such as the super soft woodland-themed baby bedding and sleepwear created by our new partner, The Little Green Sheep.

Their beautiful ‘Wild Cotton’ range is perfect for little Nature Detectives’ bedrooms. Plus, for every purchase from this range, we receive 25p towards our work. So not only will you be teaching your little one about nature, you’ll be nurturing it too!

What's your little one's favourite nature activity?

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