Winter can have its own beauty, but after months of being snowed in and freezing, Spring is a welcome surprise. Even mild winters like we had in LA can be a bummer compared to the beautiful weather we get for the rest of the year.
Coupled with rising COVID cases forcing us to stay inside more, I’m sure your kids aren’t the only ones feeling a little bit of cabin fever.
Spring weather can be unpredictable at best, so we’ve put together a list of 5 outdoor activities that kids will love – in all kinds of weather.
1. Gardening – Spring fun for all ages
Gardening is the gift that keeps giving. You likely have most of your landscaping already taken care of, but consider putting aside a portion of your backyard for a small garden that your kids can help tend.
It’s a no-brainer that little ones love gardening – they will take any excuse to play in soil and get dirty, but we think that gardening is also the perfect activity for tweens and teens.
Gardening can have a meditative effect, with some people going so far as to even claim that soil has antidepressant properties. While all ages are sure to benefit from this calming activity, it can be especially beneficial for tweens and teens as they sort out their own mess of emotions. We all remember THAT age.
Another bonus to gardening is that it can teach your children how to take ownership and responsibility for growing their own things. Whether they decide to grow their favorite flower, or food that the family intends to eat, gardening can teach them a lot about how the world works.
2. Outdoor alphabet match
Some of our favorite activities are those that are “sneakily educational”. Kids have tons of fun and learn key lessons along the way, without feeling like they’re at school.
Outdoor alphabet match is one of those sneakily educational activities. This activity is best done in your driveway or on the sidewalk. All you need is some chalk, and some toy letters (like the foam ones that fit together).
Simply fill a plastic tub with water, and place the letters in the tub. Then write all the letters of the alphabet using the chalk (or better yet – enlist the help of an older sibling). Have your child fish out the correct letters from the tub and place them on the matching chalk letter.
3. Rockhounding – a family gem
Rockhounding is a family activity that’s sure to create memories for years to come. It’s just what it sounds like – hunting for geodes and cool rocks.
Don’t expect to find anything particularly valuable, but even so kids will love finding cool-looking rocks. Plus, places that have rockhounding are generally quite beautiful, so adults will love it too.
Just be sure to check that you’re allowed to rockhound in parks and other sites. A handy guide is the Bureau of Land Management’s website.
4. Put on a treasure hunt
The good ol’ treasure hunt is a great activity because you can put in as little or as much effort into it as you want. The basic idea is that you take a handful of objects and hide them around. You can do this in your own backyard, a park that you frequent, or even when you’re hiking (just remember – don’t leave anything behind).
If you want to put in a bit more effort, you can draw a rough map guiding your kids to where the “treasure” is, or a series of riddles giving them clues as to where to look, or what they might find.
For a bonus, you can make the “treasure” supplies to a future craft that your kids can do the next time there’s a rainy day.
5. When it rains… jump in puddles!
Not every day in Spring can be sunshine and daisies, but just because it’s raining it doesn’t mean your kids have to be stuck indoors.
Next time it rains, put on the kids’ wellies and rain suits and head outdoors to jump in puddles.
We’d love to say that there’s some sort of educational aspect or life lesson to this activity, but the truth is there are days that you simply have to get out of the house with the kids, and this will do the trick.
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