Although spring officially starts on March 20, it can still be wintry for a while in some areas. It can be tough explaining kids why we still get snow or why it is so cold!
Here are some fun ways to enjoy spring as it truly starts to get underway.
- Make sure you are prepared for spring weather with rain boots and rain jackets. Lots of kids love going puddle jumping or playing in the rain. You can encourage them to explore in the mud – after all, it is alright to get those boots dirty!
- Go on a search for plants that are beginning to grow. Look for leaves starting to bud on trees. This is a great opportunity to discuss the life cycle of plants. I still remember being so excited as a child to see crocuses peeking through the dirt and leaves.
- Look for signs of nature. Watch and listen for birds and other wildlife, as well as nests or burrows. See if you can find tracks, especially in the mud. Identify birds by their calls.
- Build or buy a birdhouse or bird feeder. There are often workshops at stores or nature centers in the spring for making your own.
- You can also put out things that birds can use to build their nests, including string, yarn, and cotton. We purchased a suet feeder from a local farm that was stuffed with llama wool, which you can hang for the birds to find, but you could use whatever materials you like.
- Set up a bird bath. You can make your own out of materials like terracotta pots or trays, or purchase one.
- Visit a pond. Can you find any tadpoles? Do you hear spring peepers?
- Measure rainfall. You can buy a device to measure rain, or you can set up your own device.
- Order live caterpillars, so your kids can watch the life cycle of a butterfly and participate in the release of the butterflies.
- Start a garden, from planning it out, to planting seedlings inside or beginning an outdoor garden. You may want to save things like egg cartons to make your own little seeding pots with.
- See if you can visit a local farm to see baby farm animals.
- Go outside and have kids use their senses. What do they feel? Smell? See? Hear?
- Have kids help with spring cleanup. My kids actually love participating in yard work, especially when we make a game out of it, such as who can find the most pine cones!
- Visit a local nature center. Often there are many programs in the spring, especially for Earth Day.
- You can also visit a local garden center. My kids love looking at the seedlings and plants, picking out seeds, and brainstorming about what we want to plant this spring.
There are so many opportunities for kids to learn about spring and have fun! Our whole family is looking forward to enjoying the warmer weather!