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Curious
The light bulb icon represents curiosity. For content about raising a curious child, look for this icon.

Foster Fresh Air Fun

Why it's good to get outside

Highlights 4Cs

Curious, Creative, Caring, and Confident™
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Curious
The light bulb icon represents curiosity. For content about raising a curious child, look for this icon.
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Creative
The paint brush icon represents creativity. For content about raising a creative child, look for this icon.
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Caring
The holding hands icon represents caring. For content about raising a caring child, look for this icon.
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Confident
The thumbs up icon represents confidence. For content about raising a confident child, look for this icon.
Want to bolster your little one’s strength, confidence, coordination, and curiosity? Skip the formal indoor programs and mommy and me classes for now. Instead, encourage fresh air fun and enjoy the outdoors together. Let your little guy explore his own backyard, any time he wants, for as long as he wants, on his own terms. Really. Consider these tips.
Foster Fresh Air Fun
1. Open the doors often.
Aim to provide your child with 15 to 30 minutes of fresh air activities a day—weather permitting. Dress in layers and apply sunscreen. Plan one long stretch outside (walking, talking, playing), or get some sunshine several times a day in shorter bursts, if you find that more convenient.
 
2. Get moving.
Save those at-home climbers and giant swing sets for later. For now, satisfy your sweetie with more low-key (read: low-cost) options. Work on those gross motor skills: Pass or roll a large ball back and forth. Show her how to step on and off a low, stable tree trunk. Hold her hand while she practices. Run, skip, jump, and climb alongside her. She’ll learn from watching.
 
3. Make a playdate.
Invite a neighborhood pal to join you and your toddler for some fresh air fun. Parallel play dominates the scene in the under-two set. But sharing the same outdoor space and the same outdoor toys sets the stage for understanding, give-and-take, and cooperation later.
 
4. Ditch the playbook.
Assume that your explorer won’t always use his toys exactly the way they were intended. A shovel may be designed for digging sand or dirt, but your sweetie may use it to move rocks or mash pinecones. It’s all part of learning. Just go with it.
 
5. Lean in enthusiastically.
Look for opportunities to show your toddler that sights, sounds, smells, and textures fill the world with natural beauty. Share your observations (and stretch her vocabulary while you’re at it). Touch tree bark, listen to birds chirp, watch clouds float, and, of course, smell the roses.

Which of the following phrases best describes your elementary-school student?

Parents Talk Back
Which of the following phrases best describes your elementary-school student?
My kid is an introvert.
10% (5 votes)
My kid is an extrovert.
40% (20 votes)
My kid is mostly an introvert but sometimes behaves like an extrovert.
26% (13 votes)
My kid is an extrovert but acts like an introvert from time to time.
24% (12 votes)
Total votes: 50