Soak Up the Sun - 5 Kid-Friendly Ways to Bring in Spring
After being cooped up all winter, we're all itching to enjoy as much of this beautiful weather as we can. These 5 kid-friendly spring activities are easy, fun ways for the whole family to welcome in the season and make some memories along the way!
Fair warning - some of these projects are a little messy, but in a fun way! Be sure to designate and prep a workspace and put everybody in clothes you won't care about messing up! You might even prefer to work outside if you can, which is perfect for these spring activities!
1. Decorate Pots for Flowers
Clay pots are available at a ton of places this time of year - craft stores, home improvement stores, gardening centers, nurseries, farmers' markets, even just Walmart and Target usually have them! There are so many cute things you can decorate them with. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Acrylic paint
- Paint pens
- Googly eyes
- Glitter/glitter glue
Once you've decorated your pots, it's time to plant something! You can fill them with floral foam + rocks/moss + a fake plant if you don't have the greenest thumb, or you can plant low maintenance succulents in soil. You could also pick up seed packets from a hardware store or nursery and try to cultivate your own little indoor garden from scratch!
2. Make Bird Feeders
DIY bird feeders are a fun way to interact with nature in the spring! Obviously you've got a hands-on arts-and-crafts project up front, but you and your kiddos can keep an eye on your bird feeders and see what kinds of birds you attract throughout the season!
The classic DIY bird feeder is the old pinecone covered in peanut butter and bird seed. Of course, if you or your kids have a peanut allergy, you can use sunbutter instead.
Tie a string (fishing line works great!) around the top of a pinecone. Be sure to do this first because it's way harder to tie a string on after the pinecone is covered in peanut butter - ask me how I know. Once it's ready to hang, use a knife to spread peanut butter or sunbutter on the outside of the pinecone, then roll the pinecone in a plate of loose birdseed to coat. Let your kids do any or all of this - whatever they're (and you're) up for!
Hang the finished bird feeders from a tree branch or a porch post or some other out-of-the-way but still visible spot. It may take a day or two for the birds to find their new treat, but they will!
If you don't have pinecones handy, you can do the exact same project with empty toilet paper rolls or paper towel rolls instead. Just run the string through the tube and tie the ends together so the tube sits horizontally when it's suspended.
You can also skip the whole making-your-own part and just hang up traditional bird feeders in your yard, or even use a suction cup bird feeder on a window if you don't have a place to hang one. Keep an eye on the birds that visit and see how many you can identify!
3. Picnic at the Park
When the weather starts to warm up, literally all I want to do is be outside. If you've got a park or playground area nearby, picnics can be a great way to mix up the day and burn off a little energy! Take along a kite to fly or bubbles to blow, pack your and your kiddo's favorite foods, and just spend a little time outside in the fresh air. Read a book, take some photos, or lay on a blanket and pick out shapes in the clouds.
If you don't have a park or playground nearby, do the exact same thing in your backyard or even your front yard! It may seem a little silly at first, but that feeling will pass. The whole point is to do something a little different, make some memories, and just take in the new season!
4. Go Camping
You don't have to load up the car and trek to the woods to take your littles camping - you can do it from the comfort of your own backyard! This can be a lot of fun, especially if you live somewhere you can really get a good view of the stars at night. If it's something you think you'll do a lot, you can totally invest in a tent, or you can just opt for sleeping bags, air mattresses (watch for big sticks!) or even long pool floats.
If you're not so into the whole "sleeping outside on the ground" thing, then break out the classic blanket fort! If you've got a child who gets really into make-believe, this is a perfect way to let their imaginations run wild. Make it a castle, or a rocket ship, or a treehouse, or a pirate ship. Then if you can, sleep with the windows open, and maybe even hang up some Christmas lights inside so it feels like you're sleeping under the stars.
5. Paint Rocks
So not tooooo terribly long ago, painted rocks were a really big thing. You may have heard about it. Here there was a pretty popular local Facebook group for people who painted rocks and then hid them around town, and other people would find them and post about them and keep them or rehide them. It was a lot of fun! The rocks were usually "hidden" in pretty findable places - outside a post office, near the front doors of the library, in pretty high-traffic areas at the park, etc. They'd be painted with all sorts of positive messages and smiley faces and other fun designs. It was a whole kindness-and-positivity-treasure-hunt... with rocks!
You don't have to go through the whole hunting rocks part if you don't want to, especially if it's not a big deal in your area, but the actual painting rocks can still be a lot of fun! Kind of like decorating your own flower pots, it's a great way to let kids express their creativity. Create your own little rock garden in your backyard or on your balcony!
Flat, smooth rocks and acrylic paint tend to work the best, but you can definitely experiment with other things!