Springtime is finally here, and although our nation is welcoming the lively season under dire circumstances, it is nevertheless a time to appreciate the joys of getting outside.
Sure, you can peddle around or watch the clouds, but there is so much more we can do with our children in beautiful weather.
Get ready for spring dresses, muddy boots, and insect adventures, because we have some great outdoor activities you will want to take advantage of before the heat revs up and you are living at the pool.
1. Sing in the rain
There is something innately joyful about being able to play in a warm spring rain.
Gear the kids up with their rain boots and coat and send them towards the biggest puddle you can find.
It will no doubt be the biggest smile you have seen on them this year (if you don’t count the time you told them they didn’t have to go back to school this academic year).
Be sure to try out your best dance moves and all you have learned on every season of American Idol to show your kids how you really get down in the rain.
2. Take to the wind
There are many fun, educational, and exciting activities you can do to harness the power of the wind.
Make a wind sock, kite, pinwheel, or weather vane and use it as a science lesson while you try your hand at homeschooling.
Have your child describe the characteristics of the wind and then watch a show like Curious George to see how the wind can be fun.
3. Get those little legs moving
Doing activities as a family encourages children to be more engaged with their environment.
Plan a nature scavenger hunt, go on a bike ride, or do a “Senses walk”, as PBS kids recommends; where you use all of your senses to “experience spring.”
Stop to smell the flowers, close your eyes and listen to the birds chirping, and feel the texture differences between tree bark, grass, and a river stone.
An ABC walk is also a fun idea to add a little more education to the mix. As you take a stroll, find things in your surroundings that start with each letter of the alphabet.
Getting the blood pumping and those endorphins shooting will make the whole family forget you have been quarantined at home for two weeks.
4. Plant a garden
Watching a garden grow from a seed is an incredibly rewarding experience, and offers you and the earth benefits.
Attract certain animals by planting flower varieties that cater to either birds, butterflies, or bees, or go with a simple herb garden.
No need to have a huge garden in order to get kids invested in their creations. Plus, it gives them a reason to run outside in the morning.
5. Appreciate wildlife
Get the tools out and build a simple bird feeder to observe all the different species of the beautiful flying creatures in your region.
Check cracks and crevices for spider webs to observe the ornate designs of the webs.
And count how many squirrels you see jumping from branch to branch in the backyard.
Children can keep an animal journal where they are asked to fill at least two pages a day with drawings, observations, and animal facts about what they spotted.
Having the kids running around inside where the sound bounces off the walls and directly into a tired mother’s ears can be stressful.
Give the children a reason to get moving and enjoying the great outdoors by suggesting one of these activities each day, and having them follow through with them throughout the season.
Everyone will feel better with some fresh air and therapeutic time in nature.
(h/t Mommy Underground)