As most of the country knows, the groundhog lied in February. Spring was not right around the corner. In fact, snow storms and chilly weather were still in the forecast. We can’t be mad at the groundhog. He doesn’t realize that we place full faith in his lack of weather predicting skills. However, now that spring has sprung across most of the country, we are all itching to get outside and enjoy that sunshine before the dog days of summer set in. Kids are especially eager to get outside and burn some steam after being cooped up all winter! Need some ideas to get you and your little ones outside? Look no further!
Pack a picnic. Before the weather gets too miserable outside, pack up some creative picnic fare and head to a local park or beach. Shoot, even your backyard will work! It doesn’t have to be too fancy. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and fruit cups taste even better under the sunshine.
Turn off the TV, get outside and do ANYTHING! Head to the store and grab some sidewalk chalk or some bubbles. Nothing makes kids happier than drawing pretty pictures on the sidewalk or chasing bubbles around. Who am I kidding? This activity is even fun for adults! Jump ropes, hula hoops, kites and hopscotch also provide endless fun without breaking the pocketbook!
Make a splash before the pools open. It seems like the hot weather and pool openings never coordinate their schedules. If you find your days are getting hot and you need a cool down before a pool near you is open, try to make your own water fun! Sprinklers, hoses and water guns are great and active ways to beat the pre-summer heat before that Memorial Day pool opening!
Take a walk…or ride a bike. One of my favorite times of year is late spring when nature is in full bloom. Everything is green, and the bugs aren’t out in full force. This is the perfect time of year to gather up your little ones (four-legged babies included) for a walk around the neighborhood or a park to enjoy nature at its most beautiful. Little ones will enjoy the scenery from a wagon ride and older kids may enjoy pedaling along beside you. Maybe the whole family prefers a pace faster than a walk, so a bike ride might be more appropriate for your family!
Organize outdoor neighborhood fun! Plan a neighborhood cookout complete with a friendly game of kickball or another activity friendly for all ages. Dusting off the grill, spending time with your neighbors and everyone having fun…you can’t go wrong!
Take a nature walk. This can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be! You can create a “field book” for your kiddos and collect samples from leaves and flowers or take pictures with your smart phone of bugs and critters you don’t recognize and go home to research what they are. If you are looking for something less involved, just have your kiddos point out different items in nature they see! Leaves and bugs are all unique and fun to compare! The main point is you will be outside together observing the world around you. The bonus is that you might learn a new thing or two.
Move story time outside. Select a few books from your arsenal or the library, grab a blanket and take story time outside. Choose a book about nature or animals and enjoy the warm breeze as your children’s imaginations take flight.
Getting outside will do wonders for your spirit, as well as your kiddos! As you can see, it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to have some outdoor fun this spring!