Workshop Making a safe place outdoors for baby

Objectives

  • To provide a physically safe environment at home and in the community.
  • To promote safe, secure attachments.
  • To prevent child abuse.

Background information

Having some time outside is important for you and your baby — fresh air, sunshine, and a little bit of rain or wind lets them experience the natural world.

A change of scene may also help to keep you refreshed and to be more relaxed and ‘in tune’ with baby.

Having some fun that includes interesting experiences together every day is a great way to keep building your healthy relationship with baby.

Many adventures can be had just by going out and touching the trees, grass and flowers; feeling the wind and seeing the sky and clouds; or looking for birds, butterflies, caterpillars and snails.

Ask participants to talk with another person about the following:

  • What is your baby doing now, especially with their motor development?
  • What has changed recently?
  • What have you had to do in response?

If you’re lucky enough to have an outside area or garden, then look around to see what’s there.

If you don’t have a backyard, is there someone else’s garden that you could spend some time in, or is there a park or beach nearby?

Process

Think about an outside area that you take baby to, and discuss as a group or in pairs:

  • Is there a place where baby can be on the ground or grass?
  • Is there a shady place for hot sunny days?
  • What might be in reach when baby starts crawling?
  • What plants are nearby?
  • What do you know about poisonous plants?
  • Where might you find out about them?
  • Is there cat, dog or bird poo around (or has there been in the past)?
  • Is it safely fenced off?
  • Do you need to think about gates?
  • Is the play space safe from the driveway?
  • Are there any water containers around that could be dangerous for baby?

Activities

If possible, go outside with the group and look around:

  • What might baby like to see?

Take baby to have a look at and touch some leaves and flowers.

  • What sort of fencing and gates are nearby, and would they help keep a baby or toddler safe?
  • Is the driveway separate from where children could be playing?
  • When is the last time you lay down on the grass or ground and looked at the sky?

Now that you’ve been outside, ask participants to think about:

  • how it felt to be outside
  • how you’re feeling now
  • what you noticed about your baby when they were outside
  • what other places you could take your baby to visit.



Resources

  • SKIP Whakatipu booklets ‘Ngā tohu whānau’ sections
  • SKIP poster ‘Children need 6 things to grow into happy, capable adults’

 These are some helpful websites:

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