Now that the warm weather is officially here to stay, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the longer days with our families! Weekends can easily feel jam-packed with activities or errands, but it’s always a good idea to slow down and take moments where you can get them. Lots of these ideas are doable in the evenings before dinner or bedtime, too!
1. Go to a berry patch. I practically watch my calendar and local berry patch websites to see when their berries are ripe for the picking. It’s been one of my favorite activities to do with my daughter since she was one year old; as the years tick by, she picks berries at least as much as she eats them, now, and it’s a great way to involve your kids in the process of putting food on the table. Not to mention plenty of berries for fresh popsicles, jam, and other treats!
2. Take an evening walk. Save the after-dinner dishes for later and head out for a family stroll after you’re done eating. It’s a great time to get some pre-bed sillies out, and provides an opportunity to talk about the day.
3. Plant some seeds. Another lesson in teaching children where healthy food comes from, putting some easy-to-grow seeds in the ground would be a great way to get your kids involved in mealtime. Green beans, tomatoes, and sunflowers are some easy and fast-growing garden-dwellers. Your kids will enjoy seeing the first flowers form on their plants, and the satisfaction of growing part of your meal will be priceless!
4. Peek at bird’s nests. Or, as a prerequisite, put some birdhouses in or on trees in your yard! Each spring it will be a fun activity for you and your kids to check on any nest-making or egg-hatching progress.
5. Turn over some logs. Recently my four-year-old discovered what a roly-poly was, and now she’s on the lookout for friendly bugs everywhere we go. Take a walk and turn over some rocks and logs– learning about new insects is a great way to interact with nature together.
6. Go to the Flea Market. Our city has a great outdoor flea market every weekend, and we love to go walk around and see what we can find. There are always lots of other families, children, and dogs to look at, and we often come away with some neat trinket, too!
7. Eat dinner outside. I don’t know about your family, but mine sometimes benefits greatly from a change of scenery, especially during one of the toughest times of day. Take your dinner out onto the deck tonight, or, if you don’t have one, to the park picnic tables! It’ll bring up some fun conversation, and the fresh air will relax everyone before bedtime.
8. Head to the Farmer’s Market. The hustle and bustle of farm-fresh food stands and shoppers can be an invigorating Saturday-morning activity! Yet another way to talk to your children about where our food comes from is available at the Farmer’s Market. You’re often able to taste certain fruits and vegetables before you buy them, and having your kids help you pick out the ripest fruit is a great lesson. They can even help you come up with some fun ways to cook what you bring home!
9. Stop by the feed store. In my parents’ small town, there is a local feed store for area farmers. There are always open-air runs of baby chicks and turkeys, too! The kids get a great kick out of being able to interact with these tiny animals, and (added bonus), you get to avoid the long lines at the petting zoo!
10. Play in the driveway. Chalk, bikes, jump rope, bubbles, water play… the possibilities are endless!
What are some of your favorite springtime activities? Feel free to leave a comment below!
Rachel is a wife and mother living in Raleigh, North Carolina. She’s a fan of good coffee, wearer of gray t-shirts, and is constantly starting books she will never finish. Her family is her joy, and she loves to engage with other moms and dads on matters of parenting. Her blog posts have also been featured on the Today Show Parenting Blog and Scary Mommy.