Springtime brings warmer weather, Easter and lots of spring-themed fun. Whether you are outdoor enthusiasts looking to bond in the natural world, or need something to occupy your time on a rainy afternoon, these activites are sure to squash out boredom.
Outdoor Spring Activities
When the weather is warm and sunny, get outside and explore nature. Whether in the backyard, at a park or on the beach, these spring activities for children are fun for the whole family.
Start a Garden
Gardening is a fun and educational outdoor activity for kids of all ages. Depending on your child, you may need to be very involved in this project. However, the quality time spent with each other, the beautiful flowers, and fun of doing a project together are well worth a little time in the dirt.
Give your little gardener a garden spot. It's best to keep this area fairly small, usually less than 12 square feet. Help him clear the space of weeds, sticks, and rocks and show him how to plant seeds. He can plant vegetables in the center with flowers around the outside to attract plant-friendly bugs. Be sure you show him how to water his garden. Now, sit back together and watch his plants grow.
Press and Dry Flowers
Springtime brings an explosion of colors, smells and textures. While they will fade away in just a few short weeks, it's possible to keep them with you always in pressed or dried versions. Pressing and drying flowers is great for older elementary kids.
Help your child gather a selection of flowers and blooms. Hang full blooms like hydrangeas, roses, or lilacs upside down in a dry room for several days until they dry. Place thinner blossoms like daisies between two sheets of paper and a couple of heavy books for a few days. When dry, mount the blooms inside a scrapbook or on your child's wall.
If your child is particularly crafty, use your dried blooms to make a fairy crown for her to wear. Twist three strands of flower wire together, until they are the shape of your child's head. Use hot or craft glue to attach the dried flower stems to the wires and wrap ribbons around the back for your fairy to wear. Be sure to supervise the use of hot glue, particularly with young children.
Go Puddle Jumping
As the warm spring rains melt last winter's snow, your streets and driveway will likely be filled with puddles. Get your child into his rain gear and take him outside into the mild weather to go puddle jumping. You'll both have a great time.
Don't forget to bring your camera (in a waterproof case) to capture the moments. Then later, you and your child can work together to create a collage of your fun in the rain.
Watch the Cloud Shapes
Spring can be windy, and the weather can change quickly. This makes for some amazing cloud formations that you can enjoy with children of any age.
Bring a pad of paper and some crayons outside with you, along with a nice blanket to lie on. Lying down with the kids, identify different cloud shapes and draw them on the pad. Using crayons draw different faces on each cloud, or create a family of cloud people.
Go Bug Collecting
Another fun and educational spring activity is starting a bug collection. Kids pre-school age and above love to learn about insects.
You'll need a magnifying glass and a white paper plate to view bugs up close. Also, be sure to bring a couple of jars that have holes punched in the lids. Help the kids search and identify different bugs, placing them in the jars. Avoid those that may bite or sting. Moths, butterflies, worms, and roly polies are all great bugs to search for and are usually plentiful during the springtime. After you've collected a few specimens, lay them gently on the white paper plate and watch them crawl under a magnifying glass before letting them go. For even more fun, draw pictures of each bug you find.
Collect Shells at the Beach
Although springtime is usually a little too chilly for swimming, you can still have a great time at the beach. Kids of all ages can have a blast collecting shells.
If you live near a lake or ocean, plan a spring beach day. Be sure to dress warmly, since it's usually quite a bit cooler near the water. Bring along buckets and shovels so kids can dig for and collect treasures while they're there. This is also an opportunity to introduce sorting techniques for younger children by having them group seashells by color, shape, or size. Older kids can look up shells at the library to find out the species that created them.
Plan a Scavenger Hunt
Send the kids outside for a scavenger hunt. Provide age-appropriate clues that will have them running here and there looking for the prize.
To make this activity really seasonal, choose things they can only find in the spring:
- A picture of spring flowers
- The sound of water melting
- A sample of mud
- The sound of birds tweeting
- A few new leaves from the trees
Have a Picnic
What better way is there to enjoy a beautiful spring afternoon then with a picnic? You don't even have to go far, as backyard picnics can be just as enjoyable as ones spent at the park. Kids of any age will enjoy this fun family activity.
All you need is an outdoor-friendly menu; think carrot sticks, cheese sandwiches, pita bread, hummus, fruit, water, and juice. You'll also want a blanket big enough for all and a basket or cooler to tote your meal. Let kids help pack a picnic basket -- young children love helping out.
Spring Activities for Indoors
Since spring weather can be pretty rainy, it's common for kids to feel bored or at loose ends during this time of year. Keep them occupied inside on rainy days with these fun activities.
Create Coffee Filter Flowers
If you're still waiting for the flowers to bloom outside, why not work with your child to create an indoor flower bouquet? Kids of all ages will love getting crafty. You'll need markers or crayons, coffee filters, and pipe cleaners. For older kids, add some paint and glitter.
Kids can draw or paint designs on the coffee filters and then fold them in quarters so they have a somewhat pointed end. Wrap a pipe cleaner around the end, leaving plenty of extra length for the flower stem. Then fluff up the flower to make it pretty. Make several of these to place in a vase to brighten up your home.
Plant Flowers in Pots
You don't have to be outdoors to plant a spring garden. In fact, this indoor activity is ideal for early spring, when the weather can turn cold. Younger kids will need lots of adult help with this activity, but it's fun for everyone.
You'll need a terra cotta pot, some markers or paints suited to clay (available at your craft store), some potting soil, and flower seeds. Give your child a small terra cotta pot to paint. Once she's finished decorating it, help her add some soil and give her a small packet of flower seeds to plant.
For an endlessly customizable gift, help her tape off the top and bottom of the pot with painter's tape. Then assist her in spraying on chalkboard paint to the area in the middle. Once dry, she can decorate the pot with chalk designs or label the plant growing inside.
Make an Instant Spring Collage
You don't need a lot of supplies for this fun springtime craft, just magazines, contact paper, and scissors. Older kids can do this alone, but younger children may need help with the scissors.
Using magazines bound for the recycle bin, snip out pictures with flowers, trees, animals and bugs, and lay them out on a table. Take the backing off of a piece of white or light-colored contact paper with the sticky side up. Have the kids arrange the cut-out pictures in a pattern of their choosing, using up all the space on the contact paper in the process.
Bring Out the Crayons
It may seem simple, but coloring is a great way to pass a rainy afternoon. Gather up all of your best coloring supplies, including crayons, markers, and colored pencils. Then print out some spring coloring pages or give kids a blank pad of paper and let them go to town.
When coloring time is over, have an art show. Kids can display their best pieces for everyone to admire.
Get Active in the Kitchen
Cooking together is a fun way to spend a rainy spring afternoon, and kids of all ages can get in on the fun. A five-year-old may be able to spread peanut butter on bread, while a ten-year-old might be able to stir the contents of a pot.
The whole family can work together to create a special spring meal. Gather up items that are easiest to find in the spring, such as new potatoes, spring greens, early berries, asparagus, and other produce. Work together to make a spring-themed dinner for everyone to enjoy.
Alternatively, make some flower-shaped sugar cookies that kids can cut out and frost together.
Create Your Own Springtime Window Clings
Even on gray, rainy days, it can be fun to have something pretty to look at. Making your own window clings is a great project, especially for older kids. You'll need waxed paper and puffy paints to make this easy craft.
Start by weighing down you waxed paper to keep it from rolling. Then draw some pretty flowers or other spring designs right on the paper. Fill in your design using puffy paint, and allow the paint to dry overnight. The next day, peel off the window clings and stick them to the windows.
Sculpt Some Pipe Cleaner Bugs
Pipe cleaners are lots of fun for kids of all ages. What's more, they aren't messy like paint or markers.
For a fun spring activity, fold, bend, and twist pipe cleaners into different bug shapes. The bugs don't have to be exact. Preschoolers may enjoy creating their own bug colonies using their imaginations, while older kids might like replicate pictures from a book. Help them create bugs that crawl, fly, or burrow, and explain the differences between them all.
Enjoy This Magical Season
While spring will have plenty of rainy days to keep you indoors on occasion, remember to take advantage of the warm weather and get outside whenever you can. The mild air and the beautiful colors will inspire both you and your child to be active and enjoy this magical season.