Outdoor Peekaboo

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Parents, let’s not forget the original purpose of peekaboo: to help a child remember that even when you disappear for a moment, you always come back! So here’s a fun outdoor variation on the game, in case you’re tired of hiding your face behind your hands at home.

While in the park, I first hid my face behind a big straw sunhat.

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Peekaboo! Veronika was immediately delighted.

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After a few rounds like this, I knelt down beside a picnic bench. I stayed where she could just see the tip of my head and she leaned forward eagerly from her stroller.

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Peekaboo! This was rewarded with huge smiles.

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She liked our final version best of all. I went behind the trunk of a nearby tree. Say peekaboo first from one side…

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…then the other.

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It was so fun to see her delight! Veronika loved guessing which side I would pop out from next. In sum, this easy game will take your next park stroll to the next level, for parent and baby both. You can try lots of variations, too, popping out from an umbrella, a playground slide, etc.

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Feed the Ducks

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Why is it that ducks and their quacks are one of the first sounds we teach babies? Perhaps it’s because, unless you live on a farm, your little one is more likely to have easier access these fun birds than to other common sound animals (think cows, horses, pigs, etc.). Plus the “quack quack” sound is just so irresistibly fun to make and hear. So today, we took a field trip to the park with the specific agenda to check out the ducks.

Whether or not you’re visiting fowl friends, parks are a fantastic outing with your baby. Long before he or she is old enough to play on the playground, there’s so much to see and hear at the park.

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You can sit on a warm bench in the sun, walk on easy paths, or just let your little one soak up the ambiance. Little kids will be wide-eyed watching the big kids move on the playground structures.

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Veronika likes seeing big brother Travis swing!

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After some playtime, we headed toward the pond to find ducks, and were quickly rewarded.

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Veronika listened to all the quacking and observed the way the birds splashed through the water. While we watched, I sang the little nursery rhyme Five Little Ducks (which we later watched at home!).

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If you’re going to feed the ducks, please take caution. I didn’t do my homework until after we returned, where I learned that the pita bread I had torn up (even into tiny pieces, and even only one handful) wasn’t the best option.

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Instead, I could have tossed rolled oats or defrosted peas, both of which we had at home. Sorry ducks!

Green Time: Go to the Park

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Sometimes the simplest moments with our kids can be the most beautiful, and this “Green Time” suggestion from our May issue of Ranger Rick Jr. was a reminder in just that!

The task? Simply to go to the park. This might sound like something you do with your kids anyway, but this time we made things different.

I deliberately chose a park without any facilities – no playground, no swings, nothing built up. Instead, we showed up with a blanket to sit on and only a few other goodies.

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Based on Ranger Rick’s suggestions, we brought along Travis’s tricycle to ride through the grass:

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A kite for flying:

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And a mitt and soft balls to practice playing catch.

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Nothing makes the afternoon better than an iced tea snack with mama. And reading a few Ranger Rick Jr. stories of course.

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We easily spent an hour in this park, just the two of us (and a new ladybug friend!).

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What’s your favorite (non-playground) park activity with your kids? Please share in the comments!