It’s your first summer with a sweet little bundle of love. And, it’s your baby’s first summer – ever. Make the most of it with memorable moments and photo-worthy fun in the sun. Here are 14 things to add to your summertime bucket list.
Photo: Ryan Polei via Flickr
Taking your baby to the beach is at the top of any list of summertime fun. While you’re there, dip his toes in the water. Take advantage of the picture-perfect surroundings: draw your little one’s name in the sand and snap a shot of your wee babe with the massive ocean behind him.
Photo: A Lovely Lark
Don’t be afraid to get messy with your little explorer. She’s never squished sand between her hands before, she’s never made a mud pie and she’s never splashed to her heart’s content at a water table. Each one creates its own mess, but we promise that will be topped by the amount of delight it creates as well.
Photo: Raelene Gutierrez via Flickr
Summer is the perfect time to take photos of sweet baby toes and hands before they get big. If you’re at the beach, snap a picture of your kiddo’s footprints in the sand. If you’re landlocked, dip your kiddo’s hands and feet in water, then help him make a print on warm pavement, then grab a snap a photo before it dries.
Photo: Donnie Ray Jones via Flickr
Spend an afternoon daydreaming and watching bubbles float on the breezes. This is a super-cheap way to mesmerize your little one, and bring on adorable, amazed expressions that make for perfect photos.
Photo: Margaret River via Flickr
Visit your local farmers market to pick out the freshest goodies you can find and set up a summertime feast for your new nibbler. Or, if you’re near a farm, bring baby to a pick-your-own berries spot, where he can lounge in the shade while you grab a few bright red fruits for him to test. This site will help you find the farm nearest you.
Photo: brandon v via Flickr
Smell the Roses
Head outside to take advantage of the chance for brain-boosting sensory fun in the sun: tickle your little one’s toes with a soft dandelion and let her feel a pine cone’s bumps. Listen to the buzz of a bumblebee. Taste a fresh smoothie. Enjoy a lovely, lazy summer day.
Photo: Kate Hopper via Flickr
Pick up a shovel and a bucket and let your kiddo work on his eye-hand coordination. He can dig in the sand at the beach, scoop up some water, or shovel at the playground. Afterward, stroll by a local construction site for a little free baby-friendly entertainment show put on by diggers and cranes.
Photo: Domestic Mommyhood
Give your baby some finger-paint (like the non-toxic kind) and let her make her first piece of artwork. When the weather is warm, simply strip your little one down to his diaper, spread old towels outside, and put out paper and a little paint. You can whip up your own easy-peasy edible finger paint with plain yogurt and a few drops of food coloring, or follow our simple flour recipe. Alternately, try ice painting with this how-to from Domestic Mommyhood for another fun sensory play experience. Bonus: the mess stays outside plus you’ll have baby’s first masterpiece.
Photo: Jade Alexandra Allen via Flickr
Pool, ocean, or bathtub: anyplace you can let your little one relax and splash, do it. Summer is the perfect time for Baby’s first swim and to sign up for a mommy-and-me swim class.
Photo: Shannon McGee via Flickr
When the mercury soars past 95, keep cool with indoor fun. Visit the local library to peruse their extensive selection of board books, or check out museums with stroller- and crawler-friendly programs.
Photo: Cody via Flickr
Whether she’s feasting al fresco on breast milk or solid food, take that food outside for your baby’s first picnic. Afterward, spread out on your blanket for tummy time under blue skies and watch the clouds drift by before nap time.
Photo: Quinn Dombrowski via Flickr
First Road Trip
Show your baby the sights by taking your first vacation together, even if it’s just to the next town over. Visit a new park, stroll down unfamiliar streets and take pictures of your kiddo as you explore new surroundings together. If you’re taking a long road trip, check out this list of tips to make it a little easier on your little one – and you.
Photo: AllieKF via Flickr
Meet-and-Greet with Animals
Visit some wildlife: at a big zoo, a local petting zoo or even the neighborhood dog park. You just might meet your baby’s new best friend.
Photo: Jereme Wong via Flickr
How Does Your Garden Grow
Gardens are in bloom in the summer, and a stroll through your local botanic gardens will give you a little fresh air and show your baby all-new sights and smells. They’re blooming with sensory experiences for Baby to explore while riding high in a wrap or baby carrier.
Tell us: what’s on your list for your first summer with your baby?