We’re lucky parents; the moment spring arrives, our kids are ready and raring to get outside and enjoy the warm sun and the nice weather. Now, they’re not particularly the kind of homebodies who spend months on end sitting inside in the winter either, so we’re not surprised, but we’re absolutely grateful that we don’t have to do much convincing and cajoling to get them active and exposed to a little healthy vitamin D when the snow finally melts. Even so, we like to make sure we have a long list of exciting things to do each year so that our family really makes the most of the time we have outside in the spring. After all, that’s when the weather is just about as close to perfect as it ever gets; warm and sunny but not so hot that we want to hide back inside again after just an hour!
Just in case you could use a few suggestions for great springtime family outings too, here are 15 super fun ideas that we’ve tried in the past and fully plan on repeating again this year because we enjoyed them so much.
1. Go strawberry picking at a local farm
Besides being a great way to entertain your kids for an entire afternoon, taking the family strawberry picking is an awesome idea because it helps support a local farmer, thereby stimulating the local agricultural industry! More immediately, however, your kids will learn a little bit about where their favourite fruits come from and even squeeze a delicious and nutritional snack in over the course of the afternoon. Taking home a couple buckets worth is usually pretty affordable, too! Meal Planning Magic agrees wholeheartedly.
2. Make a spring bucket list
Are you actually working a lot this spring so you’re looking for a few smaller, quick things that you can use as goals to get your kids out of the house, even if they’re still quite close to home or even just in the backyard? Then why not set a gaols list for the whole summer and keep it up like a continuous game until the weather gets cold again, or until you leave on your annual summer vacation later in the year? We love the way Wondermom Wannabe created a spring bucket list that you can actually print out and tick things off of, but you could totally make an afternoon out of writing and decorate your own family’s unique version too, just to make sure everyone really gets to do something they want to this spring.
3. Take a simple walk
We know, we know- it sounds pretty ridiculous to suggest taking a walk like it’s some groundbreaking idea when really it seems like common sense but, if we’re being honest, sometimes we actually do need a reminder that it can take something as easy as just going on a walk around the neighbourhood with our family to really appreciate the season and all the good things it brings. GedHTree suggests some places to take an even bigger walk too, if you feel like packing some water bottles and maybe a snack and staying out for a couple hours!
4. Go for a picnic (the smart way)
Sure, we’ve all gone for picnics in our lifetimes, but have you ever gone on a really good, really classic style picnic, like the kind your kids read about in their story books? Well, it’s not the hardest thing in the world to do, but there’s still a right way to make it happen that will keep things easy and fun for everyone! Check out these six awesome tips for a perfect picnic afternoon, courtesy of Eat At Home Cooks.
5. Go on a backyard scavenger hunt
Did you quite like the spring bucket list idea we showed you earlier but you know that your kids have short attention spans and you feel like the list idea might only preoccupy them for one afternoon, rather than a whole season full of goal reaching? In that case, we’d suggest taking a look at this cute backyard scavenger hunt version instead! You’re still getting them outside and you’re still setting them on track for reaching fun little goals, but it’s more like a game and they’ll feel accomplished a little bit quicker. Check out this list suggestion from So Easy Being Green that includes things just about anyone could find pretty easily in their backyard (or local park, if you live in a city apartment building, for example).
6. Have a “bird party”
What’s a bird party, you ask? Well, we hadn’t heard of one before either when we first stumbled upon this idea, but we were certainly glad to have learned once we started reading about it, especially since our kids ended up totally adoring the idea! Bounce Back Parenting suggest having an entirely bird themed day by starting out reading a story about birds, following that up with a walk to look for birds, making birdseed treats for any friendly birds you might find (and packing a treat of your own to enjoy on the walk too), and ending the day by playing a bird themed game like “duck, duck, goose”.
7. Go flower picking (where it’s okay to do so)
Spring flowers are one of our absolute favourite parts of spring, year after year, and our kids appear to have inherited that trait from us as well. That’s why we love flower picking so much, especially if it gets us out on a nice, long walk in the morning or at the end of the day as well! of course, as Grandparents.com suggests, you should only really pick flowers in places that are appropriate, like parks and nature trails, rather than curated public displays or your neighbours’ prize garden. In fact, you don’t even really have to pick the flowers to enjoy them, but there’s no harm in bring a blossom or two home to put in a little vase on the table as long as you’re careful.
8. Plant a flower garden
Speaking of flowers, do your kids actually love spring blossoms so much that they’ve expressed interest in growing some of their own? In that case, perhaps it’s time to map out a little plot of earth in the yard and help them plant their first spring garden! Even if you don’t know much about actual gardening, resources like this page on Rhythms of Play are here to help you out just enough to plant at least a few blossoms that will last through into the summer so your kids can watch them bloom and grow.
9. Plant a vegetable garden
Was the flower garden you planted with your kids last year actually such a success that you’d like to take things one step further this year and help them learn more about gardening by planting a wider array of things? Then perhaps it’s time to tackle the challenge of planting a little vegetable garden too! Natural Learning has some extremely helpful tips for you when it comes to choosing what to plant and how to do it, as well as how to care for them once the vegetables start sprouting. Consider going in with other families on the block and starting a little community garden in your neighbourhood!
10. Go on a hike
Do you happen to live near a popular hiking sight or a nature trail that you’ve wanted to take your kids on for a while but you were worried that they were perhaps too young and they might get tired too fast? Well, they’ll never get the hang of it if you don’t start somewhere, right? Here’s a list from Paper Trail Design of several very useful tips for hiking with your kids in a way that will keep things fun rather than just laborious or exhausting.
11. Go on a hike the smart way
Perhaps your kids are a little bit older and you’ve actually been considering taking them on a real hike, but you just want to make very sure that you’re all prepared for a whole day of trekking together without having anyone get sick? Then we think you might need a guide that’s a little more intensive, like this one featured on Live Into Beauty! They’ll give you some insight that comes from actual experience hiking with their own families, including members of all ages.
12. Fly a kite
When you were little, did you ever hear the term “oh, go fly a kite” as an informal way of telling someone to go away? Well, we promise that’s not what we mean when we tell you that you should go fly a kite this spring! Just like Finding Joy, we just happen to agree that it’s a lot of fun to actually go out and fly a kite in the spring breeze whenever the opportunity arises. It’s a classic activity that, although quite old fashioned, will never get “too old”.
13. Climb trees
Sure, you might think we’re a little bit crazy for encouraging you to actually tell your kids to climb trees, but don’t you remember how much fun you had doing it yourself as a kid? Besides being a fun way to get all of their muscles working so they stay fit and active during the summer, climbing trees with your kids is a good way to actually teach them about the nature around them. Just make sure that the trees you pick are solid ones with lots of easy climbing branches and encourage them to stay close to where you can help them, just like Edventures With Kids does. Maybe you’ll even decide to climb a tree or two yourself; we’ll fully admit that we usually do!
14. Build a birdhouse
We’ve talked a lot about birds and a lot about trees, so why not use those two ideas to inspire a great summer activity that will help you spend some quality time together on a rainy spring day when running around outside is not an option? We love this tutorial from The Little Craft Mouse because it literally walks you step by step through the process of building your very own birdhouse that you can then fill with seed and hang in the tree outside your window where you can watch the birds in your yard visit it for the rest of the season.
15. Make jumbo bubbles
We’ve always loved blowing bubbles, ever since we were little kids and even now that we’re fully grown adults with kids of our own. Because we’re crafty, however, we’re always keen on keeping an eye out for fun ways to amp up the things we loved to make them even cooler and more unique for our own little ones. That’s why we almost jumped out of our seat when we came across this fantastic giant bubble tutorial from The Spruce. They show you how to make a DIY bubble mixture and a larger than usual bubble wand that will help you create the biggest floating soap bubbles your kids have ever seen!
Do you know someone whose little ones are always ready and raring to go, especially on a warm day, and you love to help out with fun ideas for things to do whenever you can? Share this post with them so they have all kinds of things to do this spring!