Once spring hits, we my kids and I spend the first few weeks soaking in the stunning springtime sunshine. And then it happens: My kiddos start asking, “What are we going to do today mom?” If it was up to them, we would live at splash pads, the zoo, the children’s museum, or Six Flags until fall rolls back around. Because my wallet cannot handle that, I have to up my mom game and get creative to keep my kids from crawling the walls of my home.
Here are my family’s best loved springtime activities.
Fairy Houses. Have your kiddos gather sticks from your yard or neighborhood. Use a hot glue gun to glue sticks together and make a fairy hut or house. And don’t worry about making it look neat and tidy; the fairies won’t judge your craft skills. Plus, you can cover it with fairy dust (a.k.a. glitter)!
Paint Rocks. Go for a walk and pick up some rocks, bring them home, paint some cool designs or sweet quotes on them. You can keep them, create a rock garden, or put them around the neighborhood to make your neighbors smile.
Picnic in the Yard. Sounds pretty simple, but if your kiddos normally eat in a school cafeteria, they will love the opportunity to spend some time with you in nature. Take a bird or bug book with you, and try to find at least one from the book during your meal. If you have older children, allow them to pack and prepare the meal for the family. This will give them opportunity to plan, think ahead, and even cook if they want. For smaller kids, you can have them prepare a picnic for their stuffed animals using play food.
Camp-Outs (Sorta). Get the tent out of the attic, mama! Spend an evening out in the your yard, camping without having to go to far to find a restroom. You can also put it out in the morning and let the kiddos use it throughout the day if they are not ready for an overnight stay. If you do not have a tent, let the kids build a tent of their own with sheets in their room and have a camp-out on the floor.
Star Party. Go in the backyard (for this one, you may need to drive out of the city to be able to see stars) and see if you can spot some constellations. Check out the NASA app or the SkEye app.
Messy Party. This can be really fun and gross. Let the kids finger paint on their siblings or do their own face painting. Get a kiddy pool and put cooked spaghetti noodles in it and let your kiddos play with “worms.” You can have a food fight (things like Jell-O, peas, or popcorn are great — and chances are no one will be hurt by those things). Best part of a messy party: There is a clean-up-and-hose-everyone-down party after!
Clean It up! Clean up flower beds or back porch and let the kids help. This is a great opportunity to show your kiddos how to use gardening tools. Or, if you live in an apartment with a shared green space, take a walk and pick up any litter from the area. This is a great learning opportunity!
Cardboard ANYTHING. Heaven bless Amazon boxes! Save up some cardboard boxes and let the kids decorate and build away. Invite some friends over with their own boxes and let them create a box town of their own making. If your kids are a bit older, hand them the scissors or box cutter, and give them the task to create something challenging with the cardboard while using sharp tool safety.
Cooking School. This is a great one to have some fun and clean out your kitchen cabinets too! Spring is a great time to clean out your cabinets of old pots, pans, and utensils. Give those to kiddos (if you cannot donate them) and send them outside to do some “cooking” with some dirt and mud.
Go Old School. Teach your kiddos red rover, dodgeball, marco polo, blindman’s bluff, or telephone. Try some games like hide-and-seek or marco polo after dark with flashlights too!
Mama Pro-Tip. Dollar stores are your springtime place to be, mamas! From buckets and chalk to crafts and bubbles, and from cheap utensils (great for dirt play) to even plastic shower curtains (great to use as tarps)! Load up on cheap supplies and keep them on a rotation so they last as long as possible, but still can be thrown away without too many tears if they get broken.
Remember all theses ideas can offer great teaching moments and opportunities to explore new hobbies like gardening, astronomy, and recycling. So do not sit back and watch them have all the fun; be sure to join in!