So the weather is getting nicer, the days are getting longer and the temperature seems to be thawing ever so slightly, just like everyone’s moods and it’s time to get out and about in to the sunshine and enjoy the fresh air again. You can consider great trips like a London theatre break, but kids will be looking for fun activities to do that will get them outdoors and parents are looking for activities to keep their kids entertained that ease the burden on budgets that were stretched to the limit at Christmas. Here are my top 10 spring activities for kids.
1. A Spring Flower Hunt
This is a great way to get kids to learn something and requires nothing more than a reference book, a picnic blanket and a sun hat. Spring is the time where everything bursts into flower and there are loads of spring flowers (and weeds with flowers) that appear like colourful carpets everywhere. Pick a spot, snuggle down with a book of flowers and get the kids to see how many they can find. Once you have found them in the book, you can use it to explain what kind of flower it is and what role it has to play. Kids love fascinating stories, and this one will keep them going for hours.
2. Plant Summer Vegetables in the Garden
Even if you live in a small area and don’t have much garden space, or even if you don’t have a garden at all this is one you can do. You need a small sunny patch outside for pots, or a spot in a garden bed and some enthusiastic little planters. Plant beans and rocket as they give almost instant gratification by growing really quickly.
3. A Sheet Tent outside
This idea never ages. Haul out old blankets, pillows, sheets and tablecloths and help the kids build a tent to play in. They can make multiple rooms and play house in it all day. Serve them watermelon, sandwiches and juice and get them to invite their dolls and dump trucks too. They will really want to sleep in it at night, so make sure it is in a place where you will have space to snuggle in with them when it gets dark. Make space for the dog too, there is no way the family pet wants to be left out.
4. Finger Painting
Kids really love this; parents – not so much, as the paint is a messy business. Grab some paper, finger paints and newspaper and plonk them outside on the lawn. They can happily make a mess and you won’t have handprints all over your walls.
5. A Trip to the Theatre
This is a really grown up thing to do and kids will be delighted and slightly in awe, especially if they have never been before. As the evenings get warmer, you could take them to an early matinee show and they will think that they are something special when they get to go out late with the other big people. An open-air theatre is an even better idea.
6. Build an Ant Farm
There are not many people who are mad about encouraging ants to come near their home; as long as they are there and we can’t see them, we are just about happy. But children on the other hand, will be delighted with the chance to build their very own ant farm. You can buy the equipment form the shop, but really all you need it some sand, some sugar water, a few bits of crushed bread and you are on your way to building an insect community.
7. Picnic in the Park
Everybody loves a picnic and with nice weather, it’s great to be able to lie in the grass underneath a tree munching on sarnies, fruit, and delicious treats while reading a book or just having a snooze after a ball game or two.
8. Sidewalk Chalk Art
Possibly one of the best outdoor inventions for kids ever and just like the scene in Mary Poppins, it’s the chance to do some of their favourite things – use their imagination, draw, make a mess and be outside. You can buy fat sticks of chalk from just about any store these days and you can just wash off the sidewalk when they are done.
9. Build Nature Men
Get kids to pick up anything from acorns, to leaves to twigs, stones and seeds. Use non-toxic craft glue to put them all together to make people or creatures. Buy googly eyes from the craft shop for some extra fun.
10. Sandpit Fun
It’s easy to create a sand pit in a corner of the garden. All you need is something to make a border and some sand from the DIY store/builders merchant. All the kids need is a bucket and spade or a few old kitchen items like pots, spoons and cups, and you won’t need to entertain them again until they are 10.