Has your family had enough of being indoors yet? While Old Man Winter won’t depart anytime soon, it’s not too early to start thinking about spring. After a year of quarantine, it may be therapeutic.
If your squad of little ones can’t wait to get out there and play, start getting ready now. Here are ten spring activities for kids to get them outside.
1. Playing Catch
Catch helps develop eye-hand coordination, and all you need is a ball. Once your kids get older and throw harder, a mitt helps. Once they get to the stage where their speedball can cause injury, their catcher will need a pad and helmets.
However, for most backyard fun, all you need is something you can throw. Smaller toddlers might handle larger varieties with greater ease as long as they aren’t too big for their arms. Of course, there’s nothing like tossing the pigskin around — and not just during football season.
2. Tag Variations
You don’t need any equipment at all to play tag. Plus, you can find scores of variations of this game with a quick Google search.
Keep the fun going longer by playing a bandaid variation where you get three tags before reporting to the “hospital.” Once everyone gets vaccinated and can join hands once more, a linked version will reacquaint your kids with the magic of touch.
3. A Kinder Dodgeball
When you think of dodgeball, your mind might gravitate toward gym-class indignities suffered from taking a red rubber ball full speed to your noggin’. Who can blame you for giving pause?
It helps if all players are roughly the same size. Also, encourage youth to throw the ball at other players’ bodies, not their heads. Finally, you might consider a gentler device — like a soft Nerf instead of a volleyball.
What if you don’t have quite enough volleyball players — you spend more time chasing after it than playing? Consider a roofball variation if you have a sloped porch or one-story home.
Instead of volleying over a net, you hit the ball back and forth, getting it to drop off the roof to the opposing team. When one team lets it hit the ground, the other gets the point. If the opposing team hits the ball out of bounds, the same happens.
5. Building Forts
Outdoor fun doesn’t have to involve competition. Why not encourage the spirit of cooperation by getting your kids to build a fort?
If you want to make this a teachable moment, get in there and help them construct a DIY playset that will become the envy of your neighborhood. While you erect their dream fort, you can teach your kids how to swing a hammer.
6. Investigating Creek Creatures
Does a river or creek run through your property or a nearby park? If so, let your kids roll up their pants’ legs on a warm day and wade while investigating creatures along the shore.
You can teach them how to flip over rocks gently to seek out crayfish without letting them scuttle away. Your toddler’s friends will ooh and aah when they show off the mud puppy they caught. Please always act humanely and return these creatures to their homes when you finish marveling at them.
7. Identifying Various Flora
Another non-competitive outdoor activity is plant identification. You might be one of many who walk right by wild amaranth without knowing you just passed a valuable food source.
The right plant identification app can transform your child into your foraging teacher. While you don’t want your kids to ingest anything, it’s fascinating to learn how you can find food in the wild. You might discover your backyard contains more of a “garden” than you realized.
8. Playing a Sport
Did your kids feel dejected because their school canceled fall and winter sports? While some districts might delay the spring season, your children should be able to participate again by summer at the latest.
Start investigating your options now. Contact their school to find out what spring sports they intend to run, and call your regional parks and recreation department to inquire about intramural leagues.
9. Going Hiking
While many kids relish the thrill of competition, not every child does. Hiking is a fabulous way for more introverted souls to get exercise and fresh air without having to ride a bus filled with chants of “V-I-C-T-O-R-Y.”
If the weather isn’t too frightful, get started on this activity even in winter. Plants emit substances called phytoncides that increase the number of natural killer cells in your body when you breathe them. Getting out in nature could help you survive the cold season without getting sick.
Finally, there’s nothing wrong with the time-honored tradition of dragging blankets and sleeping bags to the back porch for an evening under the stars. If you have a sunroom, you don’t even have to bundle up against the nighttime elements.
It helps if your child has a pair of binoculars or a telescope. However, you don’t need anything but internet access to print off a constellation map and identify what’s overhead.
Get Out There With These 10 Spring Activities for Kids
If your littles have a touch of cabin fever, they are far from alone. Get them back outside with these ten spring activities for kids.