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Between 6 and 12 months, your baby starts to become even more curious about everything around them. It’s great to get out of the house as much as you can to find new things for them to see. And don’t let the changeable Scottish weather stop you and your baby getting out and about. Because being outdoors is just as important for you. New parents often feel cooped up at the best of times. Being able to stretch your legs and enjoy the fresh air with your baby is good for your mental wellbeing and helps the two of you bond.

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Fun in the park

Tip #1: Sandpits

Make your baby their own mini sandpit using an old plastic box and some play sand. You could even try hiding objects in the sand to create a treasure hunt.

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Tip #2: Stretching

For some gentle exercise, sit or lie your wee one on a blanket in the park or garden and get them to stretch out like a starfish. See how far they can reach. All that stretching will help tire them out so you might find it easier to get them to have that afternoon nap.

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Tip #3: Mud pies

Need to help them beat the boredom when it’s raining? Then get outside and have fun getting their hands dirty making mud pies!

To really get their imagination going, why not ask who they are baking for? Is it for a scallywag pirate on board a ship? Or some hungry teddy bears heading for their picnic?

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Tip #4: Feeding the ducks

Toddler feeding the ducks in the park

Don’t forget to take some peas, rice or oats when visiting the local park. It’s a great way of keeping your baby entertained while you go for a stroll around outside

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Tip #5: Spot beasties

If your little one is feeling antsy, why not get them to look for beasties? Wee explorers will love if you ask them to see what different bugs they can find in different places - search in grass, mud, trees and even cracks in the pavement.

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Tip #6: Spot the bus

When you’re outside pointing at things around you it can be a great way of teaching your wee one. They’ll learn to focus on where you're pointing and enjoy things like pointing at buses and trying to find the ‘nee-naws’. 

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Tip #7: Time for tummies

Photo of a baby lying on their tummy on a play matt

Time on their tummy can be a really fun activity for your baby and is also a good way to bond. Put the Baby Box mat, a towel, a blanket or let your wee one spend some time enjoying the feel of the grass. Tummy time helps your baby to develop their core strength and body awareness, as well as their motor skills, which will help them explore the world around them. It also helps your baby strengthen their neck, shoulder and trunk muscles, which they’ll need to support their head, sit up, crawl and eventually walk.

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Tip #8: Sensory box

When you’re out and about why not make a sensory box with some of the things you find? Your wee one will be fascinated by the touch and feel of feathers, leaves and twigs. Just make sure everything you include in your box is safe and clean, with no sharp edges.

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Tip #9: Have a singalong

Just because you’re outside doesn’t mean you can’t have a singalong. Your baby loves the sound of your voice so don’t be afraid to make a little noise.

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Washing hands

It’s fun to play outside. Mud is good! However, it’s really important that we wash our hands when we get home. When we do, we lower our chances of catching and spreading germs.

Wash thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds – the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice. Doing this helps us all stay safe!

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Tickle for ticks

Remember to check for ticks after playing outside – particularly if you've been in long grass or woodlands. These little critters attach to skin underneath clothing and can make little ones poorly. Why not make a fun game out of checking for ticks - by having a good look then tickling for lots of giggles? For guidance on how to remove ticks, visit NHS inform.

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Remember to take your litter home

If you’re planning on exploring the great outdoors, please remember to take your litter home with you or bin it. Scotland is stunning – let's keep it that way

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