The snow is retreating and the cold temperatures of winter have been usurped by the rising temperatures of spring. Everyone, child and adult alike, is itching to get outside without having to bundle up. After a long winter mostly spent indoors (hopefully playing with Click-A-Brick), it’s so very nice to get outside and feel the warmth of spring.
Here are 10 things you can do with your children this spring to get them outside and active.
1. Splash splash splash!
Spring means giant mud puddles and while you could spend your time and energy on trying to keep your kids out of those puddles, it’s easier and better for everyone involved just to don some rubber boots and indulge a little. These puddles are only around for a short time, so put on your galoshes and go for a wee splash in the mud. Or, why not get out into those April showers? A little water never hurt anyone. Dress your kids up in their rain gear and go for a rainy day stroll.
2. Plant a garden. Obviously, you need a yard for this one, but even if you are an apartment dweller, you may be able to find communal gardens in your neighborhood. You can also find many easy-to-do starter garden kits that you can plant inside your home. It’s the perfect opportunity to teach your kids about where at least some of their food comes from.
3. Try a new sport. An obvious one, but it’s only obvious because it’s such a great idea. Whether it’s in an organized league or just out in the park, spring is all about the new, so have your kids try something new.
4. Build a birdhouse. Another excellent teaching opportunity, you can not only teach kids about using tools and following a plan, but also teach them about bird migration. If you’re super handy, build one from scratch. If you’re less handy, buy a kit.
5. Host your own flight competition. Warm spring breezes mean the perfect opportunity to take flight. You can teach your kids about the simple pleasures of folding and flying a paper airplane or making your own kite. See who can fly the highest or furthest. As long as you’re outside enjoying the day, everyone wins.
6. Make a mud pie. Playing in the mud and getting unabashedly dirty is a lost art form. Once the weather warms up enough, put on some old clothes, get some old kitchen equipment and make a premium mud pie. As long as your kids don’t eat it, they’ll have a blast getting messy with mom and dad!
7. Snap some shots. One of the best things about letting kids take control of a camera is that they get shots that an adult may not think to try. You might just have a budding photographer in your family. Teach them how to use the camera and see what snapshots they snap
8. Do a Color Run. The Color Run is becoming increasingly popular and it’s perfect for families. It’s the most colorful mess around. Check The Color Run website for one in your area and get crazy colorful.
9. Help clean up the neighborhood. Spring cleaning isn’t just for the house. Melting snow often reveals the accumulation of garbage over the winter. Whether it’s your local beach, a neighborhood park or you just keep it to your own yard, teaching kids to take responsibility for their own environment is an invaluable lesson.
10. Go for a nature walk. Spring is the time for rejuvenation in nature and it’s a wonderful time to head out for an educational nature walk. The best part is, you can get out there before the bugs do! Take along a plant and animal identification book and you’re all set for an educational jaunt.
Spring, more than any other time of year, gets people in good moods and has them clamoring for the outdoors. Indulge your kids’ desire to get outside after a long winter and do something fun and educational with them. You’ll all get something out of it.
[Credit for last 3 photos: Chris Phutully, Port of Dover & Philippe Put on Flickr]