As spring approaches and the world begins to spread her wings, blossom and bloom, there is no better time to head out of doors with your kids and get some much needed fresh air.
Outdoor activities are not only incredibly beneficial to children’s physical health, affording them space to run and jump and play, but they are also hugely beneficial to children’s mental well being.
The calming, confidence building, anxiety reducing effect that nature can have on a child is just miraculous, and the vitamins and minerals offered by sunlight, plant life and fresh air are an added bonus!
But what exactly should you do with your kids this spring in order to make the most of the great outdoors?
Once you take phones, tablets, games consoles and T.V. screens out of the picture, it can suddenly seem pretty daunting to know how to keep your little ones engaged and entertained.
Luckily, we have put together a list of creative, fun, educational and innovative activity ideas that will inspire both you and your kids to head on outside with a spring in your step!
Plant Spring Bulbs
Planting spring bulbs is a great way of encouraging your kids to get their hands dirty and get stuck in. You will no doubt also be able to introduce them to lots of worms and spiders too, which is always fun and exciting.
Once planted, remembering to water the bulbs together can be a lovely routine. And watching the buds appear and begin to flower is both thrilling and educational.
Start a Sunflower Race
If you have more than one child it can be super fun to each plant a sunflower seed in a pot. You can label the pots so you remember whose is whose and then let the race begin.
It is a long and slow race that will last from spring into summer, but as those sunflowers grow higher and higher you and your kids can have great fun measuring them and comparing the heights!
Trace Your Shadows
Throw on your coats and grab some chalk, then head to a playground with a wide stretch of concrete.
It is great fun to stand with the sun behind you and strike wacky poses, whilst the other person traces your shadow in chalk on the ground. When you step away you will see wild and wonderful figures left behind!
Blow Bubbles – Big Ones
Sometimes, there is nothing better than blowing bubbles, and a simple bubble stick and bubble mix can provide hours of fun.
However, if you have the time and energy, filling a large bucket with bubble mix, and then attaching a loop of string to a stick and dipping it in will allow you to create huge bubbles!
You can spin around and let the bubbles flow out in your wake! The kids will LOVE IT!
Fly a Kite
On gusty days, why not take the kids to an open field or green space and teach them how to fly a kite.
The thrill of letting the wind carry the colorful kite high into the sky will be as wonderful for them as it was for you as a child. There is also lots of running involved, which is ideal for tiring kids out!
Make Paper Boats
Making paper boats and sailing them on a local boating pond can be a wonderful way to spend a spring morning, just make sure to take your boats home with you and not leave them to litter the pond.
The folds are simple and this YouTube tutorial breaks it down perfectly. You can even decorate your boats with flags and painted sails before heading out.
Feed the Ducks
Why not pay the local duckpond a visit, and have fun watching the ducks swim and waddle about. If you take some bread you can tear off little pieces and throw them in the water for the ducks to eat.
This is a great way for your kids to see their feathers and beaks up close and learn about the males and females.
Visit an Animal Sanctuary
Spring is a wonderful time to visit an animal sanctuary as so many young babies will be being born.
Lambs, chicks and bunnies are just a few of the cute little newbies that your kids will see, and in many places they will be allowed to stroke and feed the animals too.
There are so many educational benefits to visiting an animal sanctuary, and you can be sure to discuss what you see together for a long time afterwards.
Make Bird Feeders
A great crafting idea is to make bird feeders out of recycled out bits and bobs from around the house.
This YouTube tutorial demonstrates how plastic bottles, cardboard rolls and old milk cartons can all be transformed into bird feeders. The activity is creative and teaches kids about the importance of recycling.
The feeders can be placed in a tree in the garden and you can enjoy watching the little birds coming to taste what you have left them.
Paint Plant Pots
Painting some plain, terracotta plant pots in bright colors and patterns is both creative and fun. It is best when done outside, with plenty of newspaper or tarpaulin down to protect the patio.
Get as splodgy and spontaneous as you like. The painted pots can be left to dry, and then will brighten up your garden no end once you pop some flowers in them!
Create a Rockery
Gather some different sized stones and rocks from the beach or the garden to create your own rockery. You and your kids can discuss the weight, feel and look of the rocks, and can even paint some of them if you like.
Let you kids take charge of the arrangement, and you can add to your rockery throughout the year to make it more and more fabulous.
Draw a Picture of Your House
Set up a blanket on the sidewalk across the road from your house. Then go and sit opposite your front door and have a long look at the place where you live.
Your kids will notice things they have never seen before, and so will you! Then take a pad of paper and some coloring pencils and draw the house. The pictures can be displayed on the fridge afterwards.
Chalk the Sidewalk
Chalk is such fun because it can be used to draw on sidewalks and walls and can be washed off easily afterwards. Why not set your kids sidewalk chalk challenges, like drawing a certain animal, or designing a building?
They will love the feeling of freedom they get from being allowed to draw something huge and unrestricted.
Bath your Toys
On sunny spring days a great activity is giving toys and dolls a bath. A bucket of warm water and an old towel will keep kids entertained for hours, especially if you let them know how helpful they are being.
The toys can even be hung on the line to dry if need be.
Go Litter Picking
If you pull on some rubber gloves and grab a black bin liner, you and your kids can go litter picking around the neighborhood and clean up the local streets.
Your kids will be amazed at how much rubbish is left lying around, and it is an important lesson for them to learn that littering is wrong and lazy.
Find Shapes in the Clouds
For a bit of gentle diversion, there is nothing better than lying on your backs and staring up at the clouds.
Then you can take it in turns to point out what wild and wacky shapes and characters you can make out. Your kids’ imaginations will thrive with this activity.
Visit a Sandpit
A trip to the local sandpit is always a great way to spend a spring morning. You can build sandcastles and draw shapes and faces in the sand using sticks and spades.
Set Up an Obstacle Course
Why not create an obstacle course in the garden using objects and furniture from around the house. Kids can tunnel under a kitchen chair, weave between wellies, and jump over old foot stools to complete the course.
If you get an egg timer and time them it will be all the more fun!
Teach Your Kids Jump Rope
Everyone should learn how to jump rope, and showing your kids how to work together to keep the rhythm will improve their teamwork, determination and physical fitness.
Do a Cake Sale
Why not bake a batch of chocolate muffins and sell them for 50 cents at the bottom of your drive.
Your kids will feel proud and excited to get some passing trade, and it will introduce them to the basic idea of business at a very early age.
Set Up a Spring Clean Stall
Spring is always a good time to have a clear out, and you can make it fun for your kids by encouraging them to give their old toys and books away.
Setting up a table on the road and making a ‘looking for a new home’ sign always makes things more exciting.
There is nothing so fun as being pushed about in a big old wheelbarrow. Letting your kids take it in turns to jump in and go for a ride is a simple but thoroughly enjoyable spring activity.
Create Stick Structure
If you are on a woodland walk, why not encourage your kids to pick up as many beautiful and interesting twigs and sticks as they can find. Together you can use string to create a stick structure like a wigwam or wicker man.
Learn 3 New Trees by Name
Identify three different types of tree in your local area and then teach your kids their names when out on a walk.
You can keep asking them and reminding them of the trees’ names every time you pass by, until your kids know them by heart.
Play Hide and Seek
Sometimes, the old classics are the best. For a bit of fun and drama, hide and seek is a tried and tested game.
For something more upbeat and energetic, a good old game to tag will tire your kids out and ensure that they have a really good run around. They will get lungfuls of fresh air and red, rosy cheeks for sure!
Wash the Car
Get out the buckets, sponges, bubbles and hose, and let your kids splash about in the sun until your car is sparkling! It is a win-win activity!
Go for a Picnic
The magic of a good picnic never ceases to enthrall children, and it doesn’t need to be expensive or fancy.
Pack some fruit and sandwiches in a basket, and don’t forget the all important blanket. The very novelty of eating outside will create a memory for your children to treasure.
Make a Leaf Collage
With so many new flowers and plants coming into bloom, why not pick a few favorites and create a springtime collage using glue and crayons.
The finished works of art can be proudly displayed alongside your house drawings on the fridge!
Visit the Play Park with Friends
And finally, there is no spring activity that beats heading to the play area and meeting up with friends. Make sure you have a coffee in hand, and watch your kids entertain themselves and play together in the sunshine.