As I watch the snow drift once again lazily to the ground, stir crazy only BEGINS to describe what is going on inside my home. Sledding has lost much of its allure, putting on all the multiple layers ALL of its allure, and the only thought that keeps us sane is the vision of running free through a meadow of wildflowers with our hair streaming perfectly (photo shopped, of course) behind us. Welcome to late winter in New England.
Now that the clocks have recently made their spring forward, albeit with snow still on the ground, we can finally look ahead with relief and excitement to spending more time outdoors this spring.
I am certainly not alone in saying that spring has always been my favorite time of year. The promise of rebirth holds so much anticipation, and for children, the opportunity to stretch their limbs outside after a long winter is priceless. Here are two of my favorite springtime activities:
1) Springtime Scavenger Hunt! One of my favorite early spring activities is going on a scavenger hunt to search for signs of spring. We look for crocus buds peaking their heads out of the ground, buds and leaves forming on trees and bushes, blades of grass popping up, robins with their signature red chest, and bugs who have just woken up and are beginning to scurry about.
2) Play “Catch”! The other simplest, yet number one favorite spring activity for ALL my children, REGARDLESS OF AGE …drum roll please is…PLAYING CATCH!!! This is the best activity to bring outdoors when the weather begins to improve. Being a competitive family, we play catch as a game, but a game where we are all on the same team (which is wonderful because we are truly rooting for our teammates to make good throws and catches!) The goal of our catch game is simple: Form a circle and determine the order, and then catch the ball as many times as possible WITHOUT dropping it and/or it touching the ground.
Any number of people and ages can play, and it is really incredibly fun to see how high we can get in total catches (and great for counting skills of younger children). And the best part of catch is that there is always a starting point for next time. Meaning, if we get to 20 catches and then drop the ball, then the goal for next time is to beat 20 catches (and so on).
When my oldest son was younger, we used to play catch every single night, and actually stop (even though we hadn’t dropped the ball) after about an hour from total exhaustion, only to pick back up the next night at the number we left off. We ultimately got to about 6,000 catches without ever dropping the ball! The game can also be tailored for older kids with more stringent criteria, such as one-handed catches, or more difficult throws such as left-handed for right-handed kids and vice-versa. All my children, from ages 5 to 19 and all their friends love playing competitive catch!
What are your favorite springtime activities with your kids? Share in the comments below, or join the conversation on Facebook!