There’s something special about the coming of spring.
Here’s a Top 10 list of simple ways your family can enjoy the season of rebirth.
1. Take a walk.
The simplest way to experience spring is to simply get outside. Pick a route with lots of green space and stroll slowly. Let the kids stop as often as they want to admire the emerging beauties of nature.
2. Pick wildflowers.
If you live in a house with a lawn, whatever chooses to sprout is yours for the picking. (Check “nature preservation” laws before plucking from more public property.) Join your children in delighting at the natural beauty of plants we adults usually dismiss as “weeds.” Fill a vase with your “pickings” and display it on your dinner table.
3. Make a nature collection.
A step up from the attractive but temporary vase of picked flowers is saving flowers by pressing them. You can also press leaves and stems, and mix in samples of bark, pebbles, shells, and feathers. Be aware, though, that bird-protection and endangered-species laws prohibit collection of certain natural items. If you want to be sure of staying within the law—or just don’t like the idea of disturbing anything—try making rubbings, sketches, or photographs.
4. Hunt for bird nests.
Keep an eye out for birds carrying twigs or grubs; that often means they have a nest nearby. Watch from a distance to pinpoint where they go in and out of the trees; then walk around that area, scanning branches for “constructions” of natural materials. Don’t stick around too long or get too close; you don’t want to scare birds away from their parenting responsibilities.
5. Make your yard nature-friendly.
Of course, you don’t have to “stalk” birds to locate their nests; you can put a nesting box in your own yard and, with any luck, watch birds raising their young right outside your window. Other ways to attract wildlife to your yard include running water and native-plant gardens.
6. Start a garden.
You can cultivate decorative flowers and vines, or grow vegetables to serve in homemade soups and salads. Look up what grows best in your area and when it should be planted.
7. Have an outdoor meal.
This can be a full-fledged picnic in the country, or as simple as eating breakfast on your porch or lunch on a restaurant patio. Savor every bite while you savor the crispness of the air, the aroma of fresh blossoms, and the activity of birds and animals.
8. Fly a kite.
If you don’t own a kite, make one—or see if your local sporting-goods store or community center has any for rent. The best days for kite flying are sunny and crispy-cool, as well as windy.
9. Play outdoor games.
Tag, Red Rover, Follow the Leader, and Hopscotch are classics that can easily be modified for an intergenerational group of players. Or invent games of your own!
10. Read spring-themed stories.
Visit the library and pick out an armload of “spring” picture books. To get the most from the seasonal spirit, read them outdoors!