Soon these cold winter days will be behind us and Spring will be poking up with the daffodils and tulips. It is not too early to plan a few fun things to do with the kids that will make memories to last a life time. Here are just a few to do in those early days before summer hits with the heat.
Go on a bug hunt: All you need is an old, washed-out pickle or jelly jar with some holes poked in the lid, and some kids who aren’t squeamish about picking up the creepy crawlies. Take the little ones outside where there are some green things starting to grow and start looking for the six to eight legged critters. If you have a magnifying glass handy, you can forgo the jar and examine the little creatures right on site, but if you want a closer inspection have the children gently catch and put the bugs in the jar. Check out a book on bug identification from the library, and see how many you can find. Remind them to be gentle and always put the little living creatures back where they were found. If you happen to be lucky enough to live where there are lightening bugs, wait till dusk in the Spring and early Summer and go chase those magical bugs in the twilight. Children of all ages are fascinated by those fairy like beetles. (I know that I am!)
Go on a picnic: Have the kids help prepare a feast, complete with table cloth or old blanket and some dishes, and head out for the nearest spot of green-a park, a lake, a green spot on a playground by a school, or even on the roof top of an apartment building. Make it a formal event, dress up and bring along ‘props’ like a tea set, or fancy trays. The food isn’t as important as the ‘event’.
Plant some bulbs and flowers: If you don’t have a spot in your own yard or a place to put some good sized pots, ask around at community centers or public schools if you can plant some bulbs around. Your children will be delighted watching them grow, a little bit each day, and will learn so much about life cycles and being responsible by taking care of them.
Plant a vegetable garden: A large pot on a patio can yield a surprising abundance when planted with the right stuff, and a small bit of ground can give a wonderful lesson and bit of fun in what it takes to grow your own food. Ask your local garden center for some advice on what to plant in whatever space you have available. There is nothing like the wonder and satisfaction on a child’s face when they have eaten a salad that they grew themselves. Lettuce, carrots and radishes grow surprisingly well even in a pot!
Fly a kite: Those pesky winds of Spring that blow everything about can also send the smallest kite soaring into the air. Even on still days a little bit of running with a kite not only gives your child good exercise in the fresh air, but also gives them a great deal of fun as they watch it soar and fall.
Whatever you do, do it as a family and try to do it outside!
Other articles about activities with kids can be found at: