Outside, the grass has started growing, flowers have started blooming, and my family has started having fun. After a cold winter, we always enjoy getting out and feeling the sunshine on our faces, don’t you?
Spring is the perfect time for enjoying the great outdoors as a family, and there are endless ways to do it. Here are just a few suggestions to get your whole family in on the fun.
Whether you have a large backyard or a small patio, your family can garden together. Kids watch with wonder when seeds start to sprout, and they learn so much about God’s world and his ways by taking part in planting and watering and watching things grow. It’s a wonderful way to teach science that kids are actually interested in, as well as a sneaky little way to convince your kids to try new foods. They love the idea of eating something they just picked from the plant!
If you have a larger area to work with, you might give each member of your family a place to plant and let them choose the things they’d like to grow. If you live in an apartment, give each one a pot in which to plant. Be sure to stress that those plants are their responsibility and must be watered as needed, and your garden will become more than a fun family project – it will be quite a learning experience!
One of the more difficult things about planning family fun can be finding activities that appeal to kids of different ages. The solution is often very simple. Pick up a ball and play with it!
Most kids love kickball, but if yours are too small to play, there are always easier games like “hot potato” or “monkey in the middle.” Better yet, get creative and let your family make up a game all their own!
We have a large front yard so it’s a perfect place for playing, but if you are short on space, take a ball on your next visit to the park. Chances are you’ll find lots of kids who want to play.
Pack a Picnic
Sometimes the simplest changes in our routines make things so much more fun. Planning a family picnic is an easy way to take something like lunch and make it more than a meal, to make it memorable. Maybe there’s a lake nearby or a park where your kids love to play. If so, just pack a lunch and let everyone enjoy the fresh air and the food. Sandwiches taste so much better when you eat them outside, right?
Don’t think picnics are just for lunch either. In our front yard, there’s a very large magnolia tree with a small white table underneath its branches. One of our plans is to string some solar lights and have dinner under the tree’s leaves this spring. Talk about making magical memories at mealtime!
Stop and Stare…at the Stars!
When you finish your picnic dinner, lie down on your blanket and look up. After all, if we’re talking about things to do in the evenings when the weather warms up, stargazing has to top the list. As a family, learn to find the constellations and read up on the myths and legends from which some of them come. Tell stories and stop and ponder the beauty of the universe and the vastness of the one who created it.
Be sure to check for any upcoming meteor showers, which are so much fun to watch. Check out this meteor shower calendar for more information about showers that will be visible in your area.
Take a Hike!
Okay, you don’t necessarily have to go hiking to enjoy warmer weather as a family, but going for a walk together is a wonderful way to get fresh air and exercise. You might take a weekly nature walk, encouraging kids to notice the changes happening all around them. We enjoy visiting historic places in our state, which often feature nature trails, and walking while we learn.
To keep little legs from getting too tired, be sure to have stopping points that will interest them. For instance, when we walk on the trails around our home, our kids love to stop at the pond and skip rocks. It rests their legs and entertains them!
Keep It Creative
The ideas above are just a few. The possibilities are endless! Keep your kids’ interests in mind and your options open. Do you have a dinosaur lover? Go out and find fossils! Is your teenager obsessed with Instagram? Do a photo scavenger hunt. Your plans don’t have to be elaborate to be great. The point is spending time together and enjoying it!
Now it’s your turn! What are some of your family’s favorite warm weather activities? How do you enjoy spring together each year?