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Outdoor Exploration - Montessori Baby Week 51

Maria Montessori often wrote about the importance of time in nature with children and having a connection to the natural world. There is so much to be learned by watching and experiencing all the world around us. There is beauty in nature, harmony, strength, resilience, and order. These things are naturally attractive to a child. This is a really great collection of Montessori quotes on the importance of nature from How We Montessori, if you want to read more of Maria's words directly! 

I often write about all the things that Augustus is up to inside, which can make it seem like we aren't spending time outside. This is more of an "I don't bring my camera outside as much" issue than a "we're not outside" issue. In fact, we try to go outside everyday! 

Outdoor exploration with your Montessori baby - tips for making outdoor exploration successful

And, this isn't a new or recent development, Gus' outdoor time started when he was just a few weeks old -- despite the fact that he was born at the beginning of winter. We would bundle him up and take him out, even in the cold and snow. And, that will continue this winter, although he will be able to be much more active and exploratory this winter. 

Much like indoor exploration, outdoor exploration needs to be baby-led. They are discovering everything for the first time. Everything from the smallest blade of grass, to the ant crawling across the sidewalk, to the wind on their face is fascinating. These tiny humans, need time, space, and the freedom to explore the world around them. 

Outdoor exploration with your Montessori baby - tips for making outdoor exploration successful

Here are some things to keep in mind when considering outdoor exploration with your baby: 

  • Keep clothes loose fitting but seasonably appropriate so that your baby can still move freely. Try layers to keep warm if cooler temperatures are a concern. 
  • Keep hands/feet as uncovered as possible so that exploration is possible. 
  • Prioritize the freedom of movement, just like inside, avoid containers that keep your baby from moving and exploring freely. 
  • Put your baby on the ground! Newer babies can enjoy a blanket under a tree, or near a shrub or flower. Older babies - plop them down and let them explore! 
  • Let your baby touch, smell, taste (where safe) the things they discover outside -- just like you would inside!
  • Don't be afraid of the mess. The ultimate sensory play can be found outside, let your baby explore the puddle, the mud, the grass, the sand! It's messy, but babies are easy to wash! 



Bottom line, take your baby outside, early and often! It's good for both of you!

Does your baby like outdoor time? What does your baby like to explore outside? 

Outdoor exploration with your Montessori baby - tips for making outdoor exploration successful

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Comments

My 14 month old LOVES outside time (and so do I!) If I ask if he wants to play outside, he runs to the backdoor with the biggest smile on his face :) We often bring him out barefoot, unless it's too cold of course. Sorting through mulch and rocks is probably his favorite thing in the world.
I love that age for outdoor exploration! They are so excited about EVERYTHING!
Crystal Behlke said…
I love this post! My son Connor is the exact same age as Augustus so it's fun to see what you post. I have been thinking a lot about how to dress him so he can move freely outside crawling. Denim overalls over his clothing have been great so far! Do you have any recommendations for a boot for new walkers that aren't too clunky? That is my next search. Connor loves to crawl over different surfaces....through leaves, across the tar driveway, and through mud. He is also getting really into climbing up anything, and also likes to sit and watch the wind blow the branches or the dogs running in the yard. It's the best watching what they want to do outside. Such a big beautiful place to explore outside!

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