As the ground thaws and temperatures rise, parents once again have the golden opportunity to spend more time outdoors with their toddlers. After many months staying cozy inside, and okay, maybe going a bit stir crazy, it can feel amazing to begin taking advantage of the many activities the great outdoors provides. From offering meals to the birds, to picking wildflowers for the home, we have a range of activities that will help ensure you and your tot have a fun-filled spring.
Plant a food or flower garden. Growing a garden with your children can teach them about how much of the food they eat is created, and help them develop a greater appreciation for the Earth. And it’s not a problem if you don’t have a yard, as planting an indoor herb garden is a great option. To get started, go to a local nursery or purchase the necessary items, like seeds, soil, and gardening tools, from an online supplier. To get your kids more invested in this activity, let them pick out a few of the herbs, or other edible plants you’ll be growing.
Set up a bird feeder. As watching birds flit in and out of your yard can provide endless entertainment, consider selecting a bird feeder with your toddler, and having them help you fill it with seeds. To ensure you purchase the right seeds for the birds in your area, contact a local nursery to ask about the seeds they recommend. And of course, be sure to place the feeder in a location you can easily view from inside.
If you’d like to make a DIY bird feeder with your child, get a toilet paper roll, have your toddler smear peanut butter on it, then roll it in bird seed. Next, run a string through the hole in the roll, tie each end together, and hang in a tree.
Build a fort. Make your child’s day by helping them create a fort in your backyard, a nearby park, or in the woods. You can work together to find sticks and other pieces of natural materials to create the structure, or you can bring an old sheet along to help you make the enclosure. When the fort is complete, enjoy a picnic lunch inside your creation.
Help the honeybees. As honeybees play a crucial role in our ecosystem, helping to pollinate over a hundred crops and supporting the diversity of plant life, it’s important to do what we can to support their health. A few ways you can do this with your child include growing a patch of wildflowers in your backyard, leaving out a shallow pie pan with pebbles and water so the bees can grab a drink when exploring your yard, and teaching your child not to harm bees.
Go on a scavenger hunt. Liven up outdoor play by creating a scavenger list of at least 10 natural items in your area your child could easily find. For example, you might include a green leaf, fluffy cloud, roly poly, bird, a tree with a twisting branch, a yellow flower, a squirrel, an ant hill, a hole in a tree, and a spider web. The prize for finding everything can be story time under your child’s favorite tree.
Pick flowers. Engaging in the classic spring activity of collecting wildflowers is not only a fun thing to do with your toddler, but it also provides an opportunity to beautify your home. Take a bag or basket on a walk with your child, in an area you suspect will have fresh blooms, and work together to fill your container with beautiful flowers. When you get home you can fill vases or jars with your nature-made treasures.
Do a playground crawl. Set out on an adventure with your little one by researching parks in your area you’ve never been to, and trying to hit two or three in a day. You can amp up the fun by discussing with your child which park had the best slide, monkey bars, never-before-seen playground equipment, and so on. And don’t be shy about trying out all the equipment alongside your tot!
As you journey into the fresh air, sunshine, and new life of spring we hope we’ve provided enough inspiration to fill your days with fun, adventure, and family bonding. And as you set out into this hopeful season, keep your eyes open for additional outdoor activities that will get you and the kiddo through the long, lazy days of summer.