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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fun is Blooming: 9 Playful Ways to Leap into Spring

Photo by: SLO County Bicycle Coalition (Flickr)

Is your family as eager as mine to shrug off winter and embrace Spring? Now's a great time to head outdoors and enjoy the new season. Here are nine ideas that help you get into the Spring spirit together.

1. Hunt for Spring

When I walk outside, signs of Spring stimulate my senses. Challenge your kids to record all the visual, auditory, and olfactory signs of the season they can find. With a digital camera and notebook, they can draw pictures of emerging grass blades, describe the smell of a flower, and record a bird fetching a worm. Not only will they have fun, but your kids will also exercise their powers of observation as they hunt for Spring.

2. Fly a Kite

Rather than lament the wind as it tossles your hairstyle, why not harness it for fun? Launch a kite into the fresh, dewy Spring air! Buy colorful kites or gather white plastic bags, dowel rods, and string to make your own. My girls love to compete under the welcoming sun, eagerly unravelling their dowels as the wind teases the kites higher and higher.

3. Clean the Playground

Backyards and playgrounds need a little TLC after their winter rest. As a family, spend an afternoon picking up trash, spreading mulch, and inspecting the equipment for wear and tear. Once the grounds are fresh and renewed, it's playtime! My daughters adore the feeling of returning to a beloved play spot after winter hibernation.

4. Plant a Garden

Mmm, fresh produce! Springtime is the ideal time to uncover the ground, churn the moist soil, and plant future deliciousness. Whether you raise an abundant garden in your backyard, plant tomatoes in window containers, or conjure up a fairy garden in the living room, gardening teaches kids of all ages about the science of plant growth, introduces a healthy hobby, and cultivates an Earth-friendly mindset.

5. Paint the Pavement

Spring and rain go together like peanut butter and jelly! Use buckets to collect the rain. The next day, grab paintbrushes, plastic cups, and food coloring bottles. Let your kids mix the harvested rain with food coloring to create paint! They will make a tapestry of colorful splatters on the pavement. A wonderful perk of this activity is that it will clean itself up! While you're painting together, talk about the color wheel and encourage them to mix and experiment.

6. Feed the Birds

Which birds call your backyard home? Join 65 million American bird watching fans by helping sustain those fluttery, singing Spring heralds. Gather bird books from the library and identify what birds reside in your area. Get crafty as a family by creating DIY birdfeeders and buying the right seeds to fill them. Before long, your kids will enjoy watching the frequent feathered guests!

7. Plan a Block Party

Since we all hibernate during the winter, we don't see much of our kind neighbors. Reconnect with the block by throwing a Spring welcoming party! Gather in your backyard or the neighborhood park for a refreshing fĂȘte complete with tea, fruit desserts, and games! Alternatively, you can meet to pick up debris, plant flowers, and complete additional spring projects that promote safety and beauty in your neighborhood.

8. Ride Your Bikes

Dust off your bikes, pump up the tires, and head out for a ride around the block or around town. Look for blooming flowers, new tree growth, and playful animals. The fresh air will boost your family's health, and the ride will energize you for all the Spring cleaning you want to do at home.

9. Try Geocaching

With a GPS, sense of adventure, and keen eye, your family can try geocaching. You'll find hidden treasures as you explore your hometown or a nearby city. You'll discover new places to revisit during the balmy summer months, uncover the history of your area, and relish in a treasure hunt that is sure to spark enthusiasm in your whole family!

Which one of these nine ideas will you try today? They all encourage your entire family to get into the Spring spirit. Whatever you decide to do, have fun together!

Find more about the author: Kim Hart

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