Spring has sprung! Jump in and enjoy a beautiful season full of joy and new beginnings. Here are a few ideas to inspire your spring frolic.
Take a walk. But not just any walk. Go on a hunt. Take your kiddos out to search for Spring. Look into trees and bushes for buds that promise flowers. Find as many types of seeds as you can, from the tiny floating seeds that ride the wind to the giant pods of seeds hanging high in a tree. While you’re inspecting those branches, try to spot a nest or listen for the tell-tale chirp of baby birds.
Watch ‘Em Fly
Animals all over are on the move. Research what animals migrate in your area and keep an eye out for them. If you live on the Pacific Coast, go to the shore and search for whales swimming their way up to their summer breeding grounds. Or, in other parts of the country, you might notice a sudden concentration of caterpillars and butterflies – or spot a group of ducks flying overhead. It’s one thing for kids to read about these things in a book, but seeing animals actually on the move can excite them and connect them to the rhythms of nature.
Feed the Animals
As critters move, lure them closer to you home with feeders. The Internet can give you a thousand ideas of ways to put out bird seed and other wildlife attracters. The old standby is spreading peanut butter or vegetable shortening on a pine cone, roll it in bird seed, and then hang it from a tree. It won’t take long for word of a free snack to get out to birds in the area!
Get Up Close and Personal
Prepare an animal habitat, like a nice moist soil filled container for worms or an airy netted terrarium for ladybugs or roly-polys. Then help you kids find critters to fill them. Remember to use the activity to teach you kids about respecting nature by being excessively gentle, then releasing the animals back into their own habitat after you’ve had a chance to observe them.
If you have a garden, let your kids help you prepare and plant it. Not only will they be able to relish spring, they might be more excited about eating what grows there! They can add a personal stamp to the area by painting rocks as labels or just decoration or making personalized stepping stones out of cement. Most craft stores would have kits but you should be able to find DIY instructions online.
If you don’t have a garden or can’t start it yet, make one inside! Grass seed works well for kid projects because it grows very quickly. Use almost any container available like a clean egg shell, the egg carton, a plastic cup, or a pot, decorate it, fill it with soil, plant grass seed, and water. You will see growth in just a few days! If you want something more permanent, start an indoor herb garden that you can use for cooking later.
If gardening is not your thing, you can usually find a farm nearby that offers strawberry picking. For a fee, you and your kids can have the fun of finding and eating fruit right off the vine without the work of maintaining your own space.
Forget the Rainbow, Go Now
Spring is notorious for rain, which can chase you inside. One day, when your family has enough time to play then come in and get warm, embrace the downpour. Send them to romp in it. Jump in puddles. Lift your face to be splashed. It’s nothing that a few towels and cups of hot chocolate can’t fix.
This list is just a few thoughts to get you started. Pause for a moment to take in the world around you, use your imagination, and enjoy the season. After a harsh winter, we all have something to celebrate.