Springtime Fun With Little Ones

Spring has arrived (or hopefully made brief appearances in your area). Many families are eager to spend time outside as the temperatures warm up. New Beginnings received a request to share springtime activities that families can enjoy together. We’ve listed a few that come to mind. What would you add to the list? (And for those days that aren’t made for outdoor fun, look back at our winter activity list here for a few fun indoor ideas.)

  • Adult and toddler chalking on sidewalk zoom in of handsSidewalk chalk. Is it part of your family traditions to break out a fresh container of sidewalk chalk on one of the first warm, sunny days of spring? There’s just something about filling up the grey concrete sidewalk with bright oranges, pinks, purples and blues. If you have enough space, you can draw hopscotch or tic, tac, toe games for everyone (adults included!) to enjoy. And if you’re feeling crafty, you can do an online search to find many recipes for making your own sidewalk chalk with just a few ingredients.
  • Blowing bubbles can be one of the most exciting or one of the most relaxing activities, depending on the mood of your little ones. It doesn’t take long for the neighborhood to be filled with happy voices when you pull out a container of bubble solution and fill the air with so many soapy bubbles. And it’s an absolute thrill for the children when they figure out how to blow bubbles all by themselves. Just like with sidewalk chalk, you can find simple recipes for making your own bubble solution (which comes in handy when those containers are accidentally knocked over and the solution spills everywhere).
  • Tree study. Do you have a favorite tree? Maybe it’s that maple down the block that glows with red, yellow and orange in the fall. Or perhaps it’s a weeping willow across the street whose long, swinging branches are always tempting to grab on to as you pass by. Pick a tree and observe it. What signs of life do you see? Are there little green buds? What shape will the leaves be? Are there certain animals such as birds or squirrels that call it home? Is the bark smooth or rough? Take a piece of paper and a crayon, place the paper on the trunk of the tree, and rub the crayon on the paper. What does the pattern of the bark look like? It can be a lot of fun to begin observing a tree in the spring and watch for changes throughout the seasons.
  • Kids hands grabbing potting soil to plant plants in posts You don’t need a backyard to experiment with gardening. If you have room for a small pot or two, you can have fun watching something grow from seed. Our little ones don’t always have a lot of patience, so you may want to start with something that will grow fairly quickly, such as radishes or beans. Want to have a little crafty fun while growing something? Draw a face on a pot or cup and then plant grass seed in the container. Before you know it, your face will have sprouted a full head of green hair! Before you know it, you may have to give your grass buddy a haircut.
  • Bird watching basket. Do you live in a place where one of the first signs of spring is a robin? It doesn’t take long for warmer days to herald the arrival of a variety of birds to the trees, skies and ground all around you. Put together a bird watching basket (or any type of container) with a notebook and pencil (crayon, marker, etc.), a pair of binoculars, and a bird ID book (or download an app). (Editor’s note: this was a big hit with my children when they were younger. They loved to add some small bird plushies they found at the toy store as well as some coloring pages.) It’s a fun way to learn more about our feathered friends from your front steps or backyard.
  • Scavenger hunt. You can find free scavenger hunts online or easily create your own. Take a walk around your neighborhood with a list of things to look for. Find something green or round or something that smells good or looks fluffy. The ideas are endless, and it’s a fun way for everyone to get a little exercise.
  • Community connections. Check out your community for a local, hopefully accessible, public playground or recreation center that might allow space for your whole family to experience nature and connect with the outdoors and their community.
  • Visits to your local library. Public libraries can be a source of free programs, activities, and supplies and often host events that tie in with seasonal activities.

The good news about this season is that, especially after a long winter spent inside, it doesn’t take much to keep your little ones happy when they can stretch their legs and soak in the sunshine. We hope these ideas will inspire you if you’re looking for a little direction.

Please send your story ideas to Amy at [email protected].

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