“Children are active learners, and spring is the perfect time for them to get out and get moving. Encourage your kids to play outside and play with them. It helps keep the whole family active and engaged,” says elementary school teacher Cheryl Hodgkinson.
If you’re racking your brain for spring activities, I have good news: You can stop. I’ve come up with a list of 20 family fun spring activities that cost next to nothing. Enjoy!
Spring is the season of growth. Pack up the kids and hit the great outdoors to see what’s growing and blooming where you live. Make a checklist of things to look for, like a budding tree, a specific flower, or an animal in its natural habitat. Don’t live near a nature trail or wooded area? No worries; check out all the flowers, birds and bugs in your neighborhood.
Plant Something Green
Gardening is not only fun, it’s an educational experience that helps teach young children responsibility. Let the kids choose what to plant, and check out The Old Farmer’s Almanac for tips on how to plant and care for vegetables, fruits and flowers. Hint: Consider the weather and growing conditions in your area when choosing what to plant and where. Also, it’s best to choose fast-growing seeds like pumpkins and sunflowers so the kids don’t get bored with the process early on.
Visit the Local Library
In the words of Dr. Seuss, “The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” Go to your local library and let the kids check out a new book to read. Some libraries even have comfortable seating areas where you can plop down and sink into your book. Be sure to grab a good read for yourself too.
Pack a Picnic Lunch for the Park (or Living Room or Backyard)
Help your kids organize and pack a picnic lunch. Be sure to include a variety of healthy items like fruits, vegetables and string cheese, and don’t forget the H20! Make sure you pack an ice pack to help keep food cool in the heat.
This is a fun activity that won’t drain the wallet. Unlike pricey movie theaters, outdoor movies take place in parks and are usually low-cost or free. Grab a blanket and some popcorn, and enjoy an outdoor movie experience.
Go Umbrella Shopping
April showers bring May flowers! Don’t get caught unprepared in a spring downpour. With hundreds of colors and designs available, umbrella shopping is a fun spring activity for little ones.
Check Out the Animals at the Zoo
This one is a real win-win for kids and parents. Nothing is cuter than a baby, so take your kiddos to check out all the new animal babies at the zoo! The kids are sure to be awestruck by elephants, lions and tigers. Many zoos have special activities running year-round, so be sure to check out your zoo’s online events section before you head out.
Become a Sidewalk Chalk Artist
Get a box of sidewalk chalk and let them go wild! Superheroes, flowers, family members … the possibilities for outdoor art are endless! And the clean-up is quick and easy; just wait for a good spring shower or spray it off with a water hose.
Head to a park, lake or pond and take some bread along so you and your children can feed the ducks. Be sure to look for “No Feed” signs, and don’t get too close!
Go for Ice Cream
Who doesn’t like going for ice cream? Take a walk to your local ice cream shop and grab a scoop of your favorite flavor! No ice cream shop nearby? Make an ice cream bar at home and sit outside and enjoy it.
Dance in the Rain
Singing in the rain, just singing in the rain! Cut loose with the kids and sing and dance in the rain. If there’s puddles, jump in them – just be cautious. No singing or dancing if there is lightning.
Build a Bug House
Building a bug house is fun and easy. All you need are a few household items like a coffee can or a pop bottle. For more information on building an eco-friendly bug house, check out these step-by-step instructions. Be sure to name the bug house something cool to like “The Bug Motel” or “Bug Bungalow.”
Have a Water Balloon Toss
Having a water balloon toss is the coolest thing you can do with the kids this spring. Grab some cheap balloons at your local dollar store or supermarket, fill them up and let the fun begin!
Build a Backyard Fort
Blankets, lawn chairs, sticks, towels … the list goes on and on. Grab whatever is handy and let the building begin! Don’t have a backyard? The living room or front yard will do.
Having a lemonade stand helps teach children about money and responsibility. Let them treat themselves with the money they earn, or save it for something special.
Play Outside Games
Outdoor games like Four Square, scavenger hunts, Hot Potato and Mother May I provide a great way to burn off extra energy and have fun as a family. Why not make a scavenger hunt of things associated with the spring season? The winner gets a prize!
Chase the Rainbow
April showers not only bring May flowers – they bring rainbows! Keep a lookout after a storm and see what colors appear. If you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of a double rainbow. For more information, be sure to check out these fun rainbow facts for kids.
It’s hard to resist the chocolate, graham cracker and marshmallow mess that’s best known as the s’more. It’s a family favorite to enjoy anytime and anywhere – over a campfire or made in the microwave.
Kids love blowing bubbles! With the wide array of bubble wands and solutions available, blowing bubbles is fascinating and fun. It’s easy, entertaining and cheap! You can blow bubbles with any dish soap and water mix. Rumor has it that Dawn or Joy soap works best.
Count the Stars
Warm spring weather makes a perfect setting for stargazing! Grab a blanket and pillow and head outside to look up at the night sky. If you have a pair of binoculars, grab those too. For more fun, bring a space-themed snack along, like Star Crunch or Moon Pies!
“My elementary kids are always telling me how much they enjoy time with their families – they can’t get enough of it. I love hearing their stories. No matter if you’re feeding ducks or going on a nature hike, kids love taking part. See what outdoor spring activities they like best, and go from there,” says Mrs. Hodgkinson.
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