Ah, Spring! The smell of trees blooming, the cool breezes, the sun and fluffy clouds in the sky, and the sound of birds singing. No hat. No mittens. No scarf. Glorious! Finally, a chance for us to get outside again.
This season truly does bring a smile to your day and anything seems possible. It’s a great time to get the family outside to enjoy the weather and soak up some much needed Vitamin D (especially if you live in the Midwest, like I do.) I really love Spring because the bugs usually aren’t out to ruin all of your fun yet. (I hate mosquitos!!!!!)
No matter how old your kids are, here’s some inspiration on how to unplug, get outside with your family, and have fun.
1. Photo Scavenger Hunt.
Spring scavenger hunts are always a fun way to reconnect with nature. Helping your kids search for the beauty and signs of Spring around you, they will come to appreciate the season more. And, you can teach them to use the camera. Always a helpful skill. This post gives you some ideas and themes for a Photo Scavenger Hunt and GoExploreNature.com gives you a great download of Spring-related items to hunt for. Here’s a great post on how to lure your child into the fun world of photography.
2. Stop and smell the tulips.
The flowers are blooming and your neighborhood looks pretty but why not head out to your local Nature Conservatories, botanical gardens, or National Parks to see an explosion of Spring flowers. We just recently took a trip to the Garfield Conservatory in Chicago to see the flowers. If you live in the Chicagoland area, take a trip to the Garfield Park Conservatory, Chicago Botanic Garden, Peggy Notebart Nature Museum, or Morton Arboretum to see Spring in all of its splendor. My son took his Lego guys and we created fun scenes in the flower displays for him to make an action adventure book. If you are heading to a National Park, here’s a GREAT post on 5 Must-Have iPhone Apps for National Park Week to make the most of your trip.
3. Plant Your Own Garden.
Digging in the dirt is one of the best ways to celebrate Spring. Here’s all you need to know about gardening with your kids or grand kids. SmartGardener.com makes it super easy to plan your own garden. They even send you weekly emails to care for your plants. You can sign up for free.
4. Bike Ride.
It’s always fun to grab the kids and take your first bike ride of the season. Make sure you air up the tires, get your bikes tuned up, and make sure the kids bike helmets still fit before you head out. Here’s how to prepare for a Fun Family Bike Ride.
5. Feed the Ducks.
Even as my kids have grown older, they still love to head to the local park and feed the ducks – especially when the baby ducks and geese are born. Take some old bread and head down to the water to enjoy the sun and a perfect sign of spring. Want to learn more about baby animals in Spring? Check out this great book Lost in the Woods.
6. Go Fly a Kite.
You do need to wait for the perfect day but there is nothing more fun that heading to the park and flying a kite when it’s cool, sunny and windy. The PBS Kids site has instructions on how to make your own paper kite. Here are some good tips on flying a kite like how to pick the right day, get your kite aloft, and be safe in the park. If kite’s aren’t your thing, you can also launch rockets but if it’s a windy day, you might lose your rocket.
7. Play Ball.
It was Opening Day for Major League Baseball last week so let the ball games begin. To get your baseball fix, organize a softball game with all of the families in your neighborhood. Take the kids to see a baseball game. Even though we love Wrigley Field and the Cubs, MLB games can be kind of pricey so we like to take the kids to see the local minor league teams. They are usually much more family-friendly with extra activities for the kids. Or, watch your local high school teams play for free. If you live in the Midwest, take a weekend trip to Dyersville, IA to see the Field of Dreams. We watched the movie and then took a road trip. It was a lot of fun.
8. Build a Fairy House or Troll Cave
Girls love fairy houses and there is no prettier setting for a fairy house than a patch of Spring flowers. Boys may not be as interested in a Fairy House but building a cave for trolls, or a secret space for his action figures is a fun way to spend time outside. Here’s everything you need to know to build a fairy house.
9. Camp in the Backyard.
To get into “Camping Shape” for summer, plan to camp out one night in your backyard. It’s a great way to get outside, make sure your tent is still functioning, and cook up some fun camping treats. Check out these tips for a perfect backyard campout or if it starts to rain here’s how to camp in the great indoors.
10. Take it outside.
Since it is so nice out, just do what you normally would inside but take it outdoors. I love to sit on my front stoop and read a book. Bedtime stories on the front stoop using a flashlight are super fun. We try to eat a meal outside when it’s nice out. Get the grill going and cook outside. I take my laptop outside to check my email. We’ve even taken our little portable DVD player and sat outside to watch a movie on a cool Friday night.
What does your family do to celebrate Spring and enjoy the warmer weather?
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