Hand to Hold's Official Blog: Written by Parents for Parents

Summer Activities for Your Preemie

poolfunThe sun is out. The weather is warmer. It’s finally summer!

If you are anything like me, you worked really hard to keep your preemie home and safe from RSV and the flu all winter long. It’s time to reward yourself and your little one with some fun in the sun.

First things first, give yourself a pat on the back.  You have made it through, and you did a great job keeping your child healthy.

Summer is finally here so it’s time to go exploring with your little one. You can make the best of your summer and you don’t even have to spend a lot of money. You can also have a good time and you don’t even need to leave your home.  Here are a few summer activities you can do outside the home or right in your own backyard.

Let’s start with out of the home:
Find a local farm and check out some animals. It’ll be a great opportunity to work on vocabulary and animal sounds. Some farms will even let you pet farm animals or pick your own fruit or vegetables.

Go on a picnic. Check out your local park and enjoy a swing ride.  Enjoy eating outside and experiencing nature. There are so many sounds to hear and it’ll be fun for them to watch other kids playing too.

-Check out your public library’s activity schedule. They usually have fun summer activities scheduled and normally they are free to the public with your library card

-Go on a nature walk. You and your little one can collect leaves, sticks, nuts and anything else. You can even make a nature picture together with what you found.

-Find a mommy and me swim class. The water is great for them to move around in. If swimming isn’t your thing, you could also try a mommy and me yoga class.

Visit the zoo. Everyone loves the zoo.

Visit a local amusement park. Many parks have age specific areas. Research this in advance and make sure they have an area in the park appropriate for your little one.

Visit a museum. There are children’s museums in major cities and normally they have areas within the museums that are designed for different age groups.

Water table at Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, MD.

Water table at Maryland Science Center in Baltimore, MD.

 

-Some of you may actually go on a vacation to the beach. If you are going on a bigger trip carefully plan. When your packing make a list of everything you need so you don’t forget anything. Ask your pediatrician for a recommendation on a good sunscreen.

 

If you can’t leave your house here are some ideas for summer activities at your home:

Set up a sand table or water table. You can fill your table up with almost anything and change it out often. You can try dry beans, garden soil, or even rice. Sand tables are great sensory opportunities for your preemie. Throw in some cups and a shovel and they are ready to play.

-Sidewalk chalk is always fun.

-Shaving cream on a mirror is a blast. Let your child explore in the shaving cream with their hands. Shaving cream is great for sensory and it is easy to clean up too.

– Paint a birdhouse. Paint the birdhouse together and then hang it in the backyard.  

-Pretend to go camping. Put up a tent in your backyard or inside your house and pretend (or actually) go camping.

Get lots and lots of bubbles. Kids love bubbles and they are also very inexpensive.

bubbles

Need any additional ideas? Check out community boards in your area and the local newspaper.

Whatever your summer plans are, just remember to not plan too much in one day and try to plan activities around your little one’s nap. Enjoy your summer and have fun!  Feel free to share your own summer ideas in the comments section.

Melanie Turner About Melanie Turner

Melanie (MD) is the proud mother of twin micro-preemie girls, Abigail and Elizabeth. In addition to her responsibilities and joys as a mother, she is a kindergarten teacher with a Master's Degree in Early Childhood Education. Abigail and Elizabeth were born at 26 weeks weighing 1lb11oz and 2lbs4oz. They spent four months in the NICU where they battled everything from grade 4 brain bleeds, chronic lung disease, hydrocephalus, and feeding issues. Post discharge, Elizabeth was diagnosed with cerebral palsy and Abigail with a connective tissue disorder called Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and both attend weekly therapy sessions. Today, they are happy and active two-year olds who continue to wow everyone they meet. Melanie writes about her experiences on her personal blog and enjoys talking to new preemie moms and giving any advice she can.

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