Springtime is almost here, and that means we can finally peel our noses off our windows as we longingly stared at the cold, snow covered outdoors. However, it’s not as easy to engage every child into going out to a picnic, or a hike. Sometimes, we need to “sweeten the pot” with some additional activities that will cater to a child’s specific taste. Let’s see how kids can have fun.
1. Fun scavenger hunt
Kids absolutely adore scavenger hunts. They love the search, the competitiveness of it, and the sheer delight when they make the discovery. This spring, you can organize a scavenger hunt in your own backyard, with items you own, or go to a nearby park. For the latter, decide on a set number of things that need to be spotted, and equip the kids with cameras they can use to document their “catch”. These can be certain types of leaves, or rocks, playground equipment, animals, senes, and so on…
2. River bank visit
If you live relatively close to a body of water: a river, lake or the sea, dedicate a day to visiting the shore. Once there, you can collect shells or peculiar rocks. You can later wash, paint these rocks and place in a jar as a decoration. It makes for a bonus fun project at home. Make sure you bring rubber boots, as the kids will undoubtedly want to splash around. You can set that as another game where along with them, you will look for frogs, fish, or crabs. This is a great opportunity to teach them about the life outside their own yard.
For those who don’t have access to “wildlife”, your own backyard will do the trick. Not only does springtime allow you and your kids to escape the house, it’s also the perfect time to start gardening. No age is too young to begin learning about fruits and vegetables, and how to care for plants.
This is a unique opportunity to also ingrain in their young minds the importance of healthy eating. Gardening turns into a hobby that also provides calm to energetic kids. It improves motor skills and teaches them patience, and how to care for life that depends on them. It’s also a good transitional step before getting a pet.
Outdoor crafts can include a number of projects. Here’s a few of them:
- Make and paint pots for plants – Pinterest has thousands of fun ideas
- Craft a squirrel feeder or a bird house to welcome them back from winter holidays
- Design and make an insect watering hole (great for teaching kids not to fear bugs)
- Make a watering fountain for bees, which is fun AND eco-friendly for our endangered buzzing friends
- Take on a house renovation project, like redecorating the front yard, repainting the woodwork, or setting up a fence (children actually love feeling like they’re making a difference, which is why they’ll find it fun)
Just make sure you are always supervising your kids, and not leaving them with tools they could hurt themselves with.
5. Road trip
If you plan to visit a far away location during spring, consider turning the trip there into a primarily fun road trip for your kids. Make sure to find out which stops along the way would be exciting and adventurous for them. Pick the best driving music, and invest some time in finding out which car games could be the funniest, or most interesting for your kids’ age. Don’t forget to arm yourself with patience and trip-friendly snacks, and to be extra safe, make sure that your car seats are still of good quality, and safe, like the ones seen at Maxi Cosi, for example.
Hiking never fails. It’s one activity, however, that a great number of kids will find tedious and boring, as they’re still too young to simply walk in silence. So, it’s your job to make it fun. As mentioned before, you can turn it into a scavenger hunt, or have them hold the map and be your navigator. If you have binoculars, have them look around for interesting birds or animals you could encounter.
Ultimately, you can snap photos of nature, and the family. Just play soothing music along the way, and treat the forest as your playground (respectfully, of course) while you explore. Just make sure to bring enough sandwiches, a change of clothes, chocolate for a boost of energy and enough water to not worry about hydration.
Don’t forget that outdoor activities need to feel like an adventure, and fun, not punishment. Your children should be eager to run around and explore, not whine and cry all the while you’re there. It is a parent’s task to make activities that are good for them tempting, rewarding, and leave them eager for the next field trip. Whichever of these ideas you choose, adapt them to your child, their age, and their specific needs. Only then will you get the full, memorable experience.