Spring is finally here!

I don’t know about you but if you are anything like me spring is a time of hope.  The weather starts to get warmer, the light stays a little longer and it lures people outside to enjoy what we normally cannot in the winter.  If you are wondering what you can do with your young children in the spring, here some great ideas!

Play in the rain.

We have plenty of rain in the springtime.  Put on your rain gear and play in puddles! See who can make the biggest or most stylish splash. Make mud pies—don’t be afraid to get dirty, revel in the gooey globby mess! Sing and dance in the rain! Collect rain in different containers and listen to the sounds of raindrops as they hit a metal, plastic or glass container. Float a boat made out of recycled items, paper or twigs and leaves.

Catch the wind.

Create a wind sock, kite, pinwheel, or weather vane and learn all about the wind. As you’re crafting, ask your kids questions: Can you see the wind on a windy day? How do you know it’s there? What did it sound like? What did it feel like? Get more wind ideas from Tinkergarten. https://tinkergarten.com/activities/hunt-the-wind

Go on a walk or bike ride.

Columbia and the surrounding area has some of the best trails https://www.traillink.com/city/columbia-mo-trails/ in the nation. Observe the natural world as you make your way through the woods or park.

  • Senses walk: Use all of your senses to experience spring. Smell the flowers or grass. Listen to birds chirping. Feel the smoothness or roughness of a rock.
  • Shape scavenger hunt: Look closely and you’ll find shapes all around you. Bonus points for spotting 3D shapes such as a cube, cylinder or sphere.
  • Color walk: Find items for every color in the rainbow (remember it’s ROYGBIV).
  • ABC walk: Look for items that start with each letter of the alphabet.
  • Learn about trees: Identify trees by their leaves, bark, seeds and branches.
  • Nighttime walk: Listen for nocturnal creatures such as bats and owls.
  • Make a masterpiece: Collect items on your walk to create art. Paint sticks or rocks, press flowers, make sun prints, or mix some flower potion.

Plant a garden.

Reconnect your children with the wonder of nature by showing them that a tiny seed can grow into a plant. Keep this simple by planting an herb garden or planting in containers. You can also choose plants to create a garden that attracts specific animals such as a bird or butterfly garden. 5

Watch for wildlife.

Make a bird feeder and go bird watching. Look under a rock or log for creepy crawlies. Spy a spider weaving its web. Watch squirrels playing atop trees. Search for animal tracks.

Look to the skies.

Lie down and watch clouds. Let your imaginations run wild as you spot shapes in the clouds. Let your child stay up past bedtime to count the stars, or better yet, to go stargazing.

Go on a picnic.

Spring is the perfect time for a picnic — there are no mosquitos or flies yet! Bring a blanket and some delicious sandwiches or snacks. Turn it into a BOOKNIC by bringing along books.