Depending on which hemisphere you reside, you may have experienced a long, harsh winter. I know I did, and I have been anxiously waiting for that final, dirty pile of snow to disappear forever (or at least for a few months). I celebrate the small moments that indicate the arrival of Spring such as the first appearance of robins, the first day I can dare step outside without a coat and the first morning I feel confident in opening a window for the day.
My daughter feels the change too and delights in visiting playgrounds and jumping in puddles. This year I’ve decided that we are going to dedicate more of our time to the great outdoors and what better time to start than now – in the Spring.
Here are some ideas for getting your little ones out and exciting about Springtime!
Now is a great time to start some seedlings indoors. Use empty yogurt cups, fill them with soil and plant various seeds. Place them only a sunny window sill and watch with your child as they sprout and grow. Once they are ready, plant them in a garden outdoors.
Build bird feeders.
Our feathered friends have ventured home, so why not leave them a snack? Bird feeders can be as simple or as elaborate as you want them to be. Use recycled milk cartons or pop bottles, cut out holes, fill with bird seed and hang from a tree (especially one you can see from a window). You and your little one can do some bird watching!
Feed the ducks.
Take a trip to a local nature park and feed the wildlife! Please keep in mind that certain foods can be harmful or dangerous to ducks such as bread, which is extraordinarily unhealthy for them – instead try halved grapes, bird seed, cooked rice or peas.
Visit a farmer’s market.
Farmer’s markets are the perfect opportunity to experience locally made products and foods. Vendors provide a variety of produce as well as handmade crafts and some markets even provide entertainment such as music or magicians. There are not many children that will say “no” to freshly popped kettle corn or hand-squeezed lemonade. (I wouldn’t.)
This may seem like an odd suggestion on this list, especially if you have no idea what grounding is. Grounding is the practice of contacting our bodies directly to the Earth (typically through the feet) in order to balance the positive and negative electrons in our system. Sounds hokey? There is actual scientific research supporting this practice. Next time you are out playing with your little one, kick off your shoes and dig your toes into the grass. Make it a calming moment by teaching your child deep breathing techniques as well.
Go on a picnic or have a garden tea party.
Children love to eat, so take it outside! Pack a picnic basket or plan a garden tea party – complete with iced tea and cupcakes! Sandwiches, juice boxes, crackers and fruit are simple and quick food items you can throw in a bag and take with you.