Welcome to the June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared their stories and tips for playing outside with kids. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


With a baby just eight months old who has never seen a summer, and living in the United Kingdom where summer tends to only last a few days each year, ‘outdoor fun’ is often very limited for those who don’t like being cold and or wet.

This is something Martin, my husband, and I really struggle with as we both grew up in South Africa where life included hikes, camping, beaches and other outdoor pursuits nine months of the year. Leaving the house when the weather is by our definition miserable is a constant act of will.

That all said though, we feel that we’ve done pretty well. At eight months, Ameli, our little girl, has seen and done much more than many of her peers. Here’s a brief overview of some of our spring season:

We do things...Hand painting on ceramics, Enthralled by a light show, Playing with outdoor toys, Swimming, Cleaning the House, On the Lego Train, Riding a Carousel, A playdate with Henry

We go places...In Norway with aunty Deshaine, the London Eye, On the train to Birmingham, At the Science Museum, Dressing up at the library, High Tea at the Cafe in the Crypt, Kew Gardens

We got to the park...Swinging in Wandsworth, Climbing frame in Myats Field Park, Setting sail in Ruskin Park, Playing with a windmill on the grass, On a camel in Legoland, Sliding in Norway, Swingchair

Discovering daisies in Kew Gardens, An early morning walk with Daddy, Picking Lime leaves with Daddy, Touching snow, Goats at the Surrey Docks city farm, Ducks in Somerset

Not bad for the last five months of an eight month old’s life, I think. And I look forward to better weather, and to showing her so much more of our beautiful world.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

  • Garden Treats — Asha at Mom Costume has once again been bitten by the gardening bug — and this time her baby’s tagging along for some fresh air and dirt exploration. (@titbagsandsnoot)
  • Outdoor Free Roam — Mamapoekie at Authentic Parenting follows her daughter’s lead whenever they go outside. (@mamapoekie)
  • Summer fun in Austin with a toddler — Jessica at This Is Worthwhile is brainstorming ways to beat the heat in Texas. (@tisworthwhile)
  • summer fun… — Mandy at Living Peacefully with Children is looking forward to spending the summer outside with her children the way she used to spend summers with her mother.
  • Outdoor Fun for Pre-Walkers — Maman A Droit has figured out ways to let her pre-walker enjoy the outdoors. (@MamanADroit)
  • Summer Homeschool Fun at Camp Review — Deb Chitwood at Living Montessori Now discusses how Camp Review motivated and captivated her homeschooling family. (@DebChitwood)
  • Digging, Tree Climbing and Puddle Jumping — Laura at Laura’s Blog bemoans the loss of her girls’ climbing tree but knows they’ll find something else just as naturally tempting.
  • The Sweet Smells of Summer — Erin at A Beatnik’s Beat on Life is looking forward to the many smells of summer she and her daughters enjoy and identify. (@babybeatnik)
  • June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor Fun — Sybil at Musings of a Milk Maker is a confirmed couch potato who can’t help but be inspired by the outdoor opportunities Seattle offers her family. (@sybilryan)
  • Take a Hike — Michelle at The Parent Vortex connects with her family and the Earth on frequent hikes in their Pacific wilderness. (@TheParentVortex)
  • Following Paul — Julie at Simple Life gives her kids unstructured time to dig in the dirt and pick mulberries. (@homemakerjulie)
  • Instilling a Love of the Outdoors in Your Baby/Toddler — Tessasdad at Stay At Home Dad in Lansing offers a photo book of tips for helping your little ones enjoy the outdoors. (@tessasdad)
  • Camping, baby! — Jen at Grow With Graces has easy tips for tent camping with a little one. (@growwithgraces)
  • Think Outside the Easel for Summertime Fun — Acacia at Be Present Mama finds several ways to bring art fun to the outdoors.
  • Outdoor Learning in our Urban Environment — Andrea at Ella-Bean & Co. has found ways to get grass between her daughter’s toes, even in the city.
  • Outdoor Education — Alison at BluebirdMama offers parents tips and resources for making each outdoor excursion a learning experience. (@childbearing)
  • Turning Inside Out — Christie of Childhood 101 finds kids get a kick out of taking indoor toys outside. (@Childhood101)
  • Watching Peas Sprout — Deb at Science@home combines fun with purpose in this educational outdoor activity. (@ScienceMum)
  • How To Create a Pirate Treasure Hunt & Other Easy Outdoor Pirate Activities (June Carnival of Natural Parenting) — Dionna at Code Name: Mama has pirate-themed play ideas for ye scurvy landlubbers. (@CodeNameMama)
  • What We Do — Luschka at Diary of a First Child has managed to expose her 8-month-old to a wide variety of outdoor fun, even with the notoriously dreary UK weather. (@diaryfirstchild)
  • Summer Fun — Darcel at The Mahogany Way finds her family’s visits to the beach refreshing in so many ways. (@MahoganyWayMama)
  • Playing outside without a backyard — Sheryl at Little Snowflakes doesn’t let the lack of a backyard stop her family from enjoying the outdoors. There are plenty of things to do outside of your yard! (@sheryljesin)
  • Having Fun Outdoors, Playset Free — Guavalicious at They Are So Cute When They Are Sleeping has resisted a backyard playset in favor of the regular backyard. (@guavalicious)
  • Moon Gazing with your Toddler — Paige at Baby Dust Diaries is keeping her toddler up at night, but it’s for a good reason: to share the wonders of the night sky! (@babydust)
  • the great outdoors — The grumbles at grumbles and grunts wonders whether her urban child can experience the same free-range childhood she enjoyed. (@thegrumbles)
  • Let’s Take It Outside! — NavelgazingBajan at Navelgazing is looking for ideas: how can she spend time with her pre-walker outside this summer? (@BlkWmnDoBF)
  • A home by the sea: June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun — Lauren at Hobo Mama is living her dream of a home near the beach, and taking full advantage of it. (@Hobo_Mama)
  • An Outside Girl — Zoey at Good Goog moved her family to (almost) the middle of nowhere so that her outdoor-loving girl could have more grass and less concrete. (@zoeyspeak)
  • Neighborhood Nature — Kelly at Kelly Naturally has learned to connect with the nature she has instead of mourning the nature she misses. (@kellynaturally)
  • Building Lovely Memories of Swimming, Spiders and Gravestones — Joni Rae at Tales of a Kitchen Witch and her family are simply outdoorsy people. (@kitchenwitch)
  • “Buh-Bye” Season — Danielle at born.in.japan must leave laundry behind and follow her son’s call to the outdoors. (@borninjp)
  • Backyard Camping — Becoming Mamas took her family camping very close to home! (@becomingmamas)
  • The Color of Dreams — Seeking Mother at Woman Seeking Mother makes gardening magical by teaching her son that each flower is a faery. (@seekingmother)


What We Do

  1. I lived in England for a year and a half, so I know what you’re saying about being cold and wet! I love the way you’ve made the best of it all, though. What great memories you have through photos. There is so much beauty in England along with the dreary weather. It’s nice your daughter is getting to see both sides!
    .-= Deb Chitwood´s last blog ..How to Teach Concepts and Vocabulary to Your Preschooler Using the Three-Period Lesson =-.

  2. What a gift you have given your daughter! I am always torn. I so want to have my children see so much, but also, I really like being home. Also we live far from much to do besides nice things at home 🙂 I think it’s great you have found a way to pass something on to her that you enjoy so much, even in a place that isn’t as pleasant (weather wise 🙂 ) to do so.
    .-= Julie from Simple Life´s last blog ..Following Paul =-.

  3. Sounds like she’s gotten outside plenty! She is adorable and some of those pictures are amazing? Like the one with the daisy – did you take that? Wonderful.
    .-= Paige @ Baby Dust Diaries´s last blog ..Moon Gazing with your Toddler: Science, Nature, and a touch of Folklore =-.

  4. That is marvelous! You definitely have shown her places. I love all your pictures. The one of her on the train is gorgeous!

    It’s so fun to be the one who can show your baby around this great big world, isn’t it? Everything’s new to them!

    Hope you can continue to tolerate the new climate you’re getting used to, now that you’ll get a little summer break of niceness. 🙂
    .-= Lauren @ Hobo Mama´s last blog ..June Carnival of Natural Parenting: Outdoor fun =-.

  5. Oh the pictures are just precious! I envy bloggers who get a lot of pictures in their posts because mine are always soooo word heavy. I tried a bit harder with the carnival post, though.

    Anyhow. Cold and wet is good. That’s what we do here in Seattle and we just pile on the rain clothes, so it works out just fine!

  6. South Africa to England must’ve been quite a change! I grew up in California and now live in a cold part of the central US, so it’s weird for me not having the same beautiful weather to take me son in that I enjoyed as a kid. I didn’t even know what kind of cold-weather gear to get baby, like coats and hats! But you’ve done a great job of taking your little cutie out and about, judging from the pictures!!!
    .-= Maman A Droit´s last blog ..Ways to Have Outdoor Fun with a Pre-Walker =-.

  7. I love it! We were in England/Europe at Christmas and couldn’t believe how close everything was – we drive 10 hours to get to the city. But we could drive for a couple of hours and be in a completely different countryside. It looks like you’re doing an amazing job getting out and about.
    And I love the way you’ve done the photos.
    .-= Deb´s last blog ..Watching Peas Sprout =-.

  8. Your daughter has done more in the past 5 months than a lot of people have in years! I love taking babies on outings like these – the sheer wonder and joy on their faces is priceless. I hope you all have wonderful weather this summer – I’m sure you’ll have fun regardless.
    .-= Dionna @ Code Name: Mama´s last blog ..How To Create a Pirate Treasure Hunt & Other Easy Outdoor Pirate Activities (June Carnival of Natural Parenting) =-.

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