A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Danielle Corbin: Spring into learning with your toddler; find fitness, fun and learning outside

Spring has sprung. The weather is warmer. The days are longer. Now is a great time for parents and young children to come out from hibernation and get outside and explore. Playing outdoors is critical for children, not only for their physical fitness, but their intellectual development as well.

While plenty of learning activities can be found inside, there are so many opportunities to expand a child’s world and thirst for knowledge through activities outside the home.

Additionally, getting children outside more often helps build a love for physical activity, which ultimately supports learning and mental health.

Parents of toddlers know how much energy young children have, so what better way to exhaust that energy than by taking advantage of the vast learning experiences beyond your front door. Consider the endless sights, smells, and sensations in your yard or at the local park that will take your child – and you – on an exciting journey.

Be sure to talk to with your child throughout these outdoor activities to build their vocabulary by teaching them the words associated with the many amazing objects and sensations they are experiencing. This type of engagement takes place every day at Rainbow Child Care Center locations throughout Northern Kentucky to stimulate intellectual growth, as well as to promote mental and physical well-being.

Need some additional inspiration on what to explore with your toddler?

Here are a few fun outdoor activities for you to enjoy with your youngster:

Photo/Cincinnati Zoo

1. Take a trip to the zoo. Walking around the zoo is like being on safari, only far less expensive. Develop in your child a lifelong love for and interest in animals. Share memories of your trips to the zoo when you were a child as you walk from the lions to the zebras. Ask your child about the differences between the animals.

2. Go on a hike through the woods. There are so many beautiful trails to explore in Northern Kentucky, including Boone County Cliffs State Nature Preserve and Fort Thomas Landmark Tree Trail, that you’ll never have to take the same route twice. While on the trail, make a game of spotting birds, squirrels and other wildlife sharing their home with you and your child. Name the variety of trees that you’re passing and see if your child remembers them the next time you’re on a hike together. Have them identify the various color leaves they see.

3. Find shapes in the clouds. It’s okay to relax when you’re outside – it doesn’t always have to be about exercise. Develop your child’s imagination by laying down on your lawn, staring up at the gorgeous Kentucky sky and sharing what each cloud is shaped like. Be it a car, an elephant or a flower, encouraging your child to use his or her imagination will spark creativity.

Now that spring is here, it’s a perfect time to get outside and spend quality time with your child outdoors.

A world of learning awaits, so don’t be afraid to open your front door.

Danielle Corbin is district leader at Rainbow Child Care Center, a leading provider of academic-based early childhood education.

Related Posts

Leave a Comment