Do you adventure outside with your toddler? Sometimes it’s super hard to get outside with my toddler of 3.5 yrs old, but it is ALWAYS worth it. Adventuring outside is so good for the soul! I also think the fresh air helps keep us healthy. Knock on wood, but I didn’t even catch the winter cold this year! There is so much to be said for breathing fresh air.
Don’t get my wrong though, I know how hard it can be to get little ones all dressed up (especially in winter) and out the door, even if it’s only for 15 minutes. I sometimes wonder, is it really worth if for just 15 minutes? Well I think it is! A little bit every day makes it easier in the long run.
We’ve been getting out a lot more since moving to BC so I thought I’d share a few tips that help us adventure outside with our toddler!
10 Tips for Adventuring Outside with Toddlers
1. Just Go!
As I mentioned above, I know it can be super hard to get out, but I promise you, it’s always worth it! Even if it’s only for 15 minutes, or your adventure is a walk around the block or a quick visit to the park or puddle jumping infront of your house! It really doesn’t matter what you do or where you go, the most important thing is just to get outside and go! This really is the toughest part. Once you are out, the rest is easy 😉
2. Invest in the Proper Gear
Investing in the proper gear, whether it’s super warm snow clothes, waterproof jackets or sun hats, it is worth it. The more comfortable your kids are outside, the longer the adventure will last and the happier everyone will be! It doesn’t have to be costly either, you can shop around on local buy and sells or consignment stores. I found this one piece Helly Hanson snow suit at a kids consignment store. The scarf is a Sew Bright classic. We love these scarves for fall, winter & spring. For the really cold days I do them up over top of everything else and they keep all the layers tucked in. It’s also been a must for our snowmobile adventures. The beanie is a NEW Sew Bright product and they can be worn as a slouchy beanie, or flipped up as a fitted beanie, as shown here.
Toddlers are a tough age. Do you take them in a stroller, let them walk, bring the carrier? Our daughter loves to walk on her own these days, but when we go on longer hikes, we bring the Tula Baby Carrier. This is the standard size, but we are definitely ready for the toddler size. It is light and easy to put in the back pack to have it ready “just in case.” Even sometimes when we have the carrier, she still ends up on Daddy’s shoulder. See #10. Meltdowns happen!
4. Be Creative
Some days adventuring outside can be right in your own back yard! I love this idea by @isla_my_love (one of our Brand Reps) to bring the art easel outside. What a great way to get your kids enjoying the fresh air and sunshine outside. She’s also sporting her Sew Bright Floral Beanie!
5. Pack a Snack
Snacks are a MUST! Usually this is the best part of adventuring! It’s fun to stop and have a “picnic” and enjoy water & a snack. If we are staying closer to home, sometimes we forgo the snack and have hot chocolate when we go back inside. I’ll be honest, I’ve have used the hot chocolate after our adventure to convince my toddler to go outside. Whatever works, right? This day we even packed hot chocolate with us! Read more about the personalized name labels HERE.
Whatever your adventure is, you’ll need patience and lots of it. If you’re teaching a new skill, like skating or skiing, make sure to bring extra PATIENCE.
7. Let them Be
This can be hard because we as parents want to teach and we know easier ways or some times think we know the proper way to do things, but sometimes we need to let go and just let our kids figure it out and explore on their own. This weekend we were at the cabin and between my husband and parents and I, we all tried helping my daughter go on the crazy carpet “properly.” All she wanted was to do it herself. So we eventually all gave up trying to show her an easier way and just watched her. She slowly figured it out (mostly), but more importantly, she did it herself and she had a BLAST! She went up and down that hill several times with no help at all. It’s amazing what kids can figure out, if we just let them.
8. Carry a First Aid Kit
Our good friends over at Pint Size Wanderlust recently had an incident with her toddler while out adventuring, which ended up with stitches on the head in the hospital. It was a good reminder to myself to always carry a First Aid kit or at least have one in your vehicle, if you are close to that. Anything can happen at any time and it’s important to be prepared. We will be updating our travel first aid kit for sure!
9. Don’t Underestimate your Toddler
I really learnt this lesson with skiing. My daughter got these strap on skis from MEC for Christmas and she tried them a few times around our yard, but I was very hesitant to take her on the cross country ski track. At only 3.5 years old, I didn’t think she could go very far, I was nervous about taking her myself because I don’t know how to ski super well, I was worried about her messing up the track or holding people up on the trail. The anxieties go on… A friend of mine told me to just GO and you know what, that’s exactly what I needed to do. She did so well and yes, it was a little stressful and she didn’t last very long, but she did it and wanted to go again! It is easy to doubt yourself, but sometimes the best thing is just to try it.
Skating was another one, I am surprised how quick this girl was to learn how to skate! Read more about this outdoor rink in Smithers, on the blog HERE.
10. Don’t Give Up
Not every adventure is rainbows and sunshine. Expect to have cold hands, wet feet, meltdowns and crying. It will happen, but just don’t give up. It get’s better, and easier the more you go, but don’t worry, they still happen. I mean, we all have bad days, right? There have been many adventures where I’ve said, “never again are we doing this, it’s not worth it.” But the thing is, it IS WORTH IT. Let the moment pass and try again another day. Every night when I put my daughter to bed I ask her, “what was your favourite part of the day?” It’s usually has to do with playing outside or going on a big adventure. It is NEVER a TV show we let her watch. It’s true what they say, “Kid’s don’t remember their best day of television.”
What are your tips for adventuring outside with toddlers?
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