Celebrate Spring! 10 Fun Ideas for your Family

 

(This is the first post in my “Celebrate Spring” blog series. I’ll be sharing great ideas with you for building brain and family connections this season…stay tuned for more!)

In case you didn’t know, yesterday was the FIRST day of Spring. “In Our Family”, our ritual is to play barefoot in the grass on the vernal equinox! We invited others to be a part of this tradition yesterday with a Mommy Manders “Play-date with PURPOSE” at The Village. We gathered in the big open green field to walk, jump, march, spin, and lie down in the new green grass. We played with the parachute, tossed balls and frisbees and bean bags. We pretended we were at the beach and played in the big sand volleyball pit. We sang a picnic song and went on a nature walk in search of signs of spring. LOTS of fun!

10 Fun ideas for Celebrating Spring and making connections with your kids:

1. Dine “al fresco” Take advantage of these gorgeous days, and get the kids to help you move the meal outside. Use that cool term with your kids – they will start asking for it.

Ellie at our Celebrate Spring Picnic, 2011

2. Have a Teddy Bear Picnic! (see my post and learn the song) A lot of pre-schools like to do this in the spring with their classes, but there is no reason you can’t do it at home. We did it for MJ’s 2nd b’day party, and everyone brought a teddy bear to donate for a family shelter. It’s fun to move and sing with the bears:

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn around, teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the ground. 

Teddy bear, teddy bear, jump up high, teddy bear, teddy bear, touch the sky!

Teddy bear, teddy bear, go upstairs, teddy bear, teddy bear, brush your hair, 

Teddy bear, teddy bear, turn out the light, teddy bear, teddy bear, say good night. 

Teddy bear doctor’s office at the party

Teddy bear “bath” station at the party

3. Play “Ring Around the Rosie, and add the following spoken chant to build internal control: “Ring around you, ring around me, everybody jump up when I count to 3…1, 2, 3!”


4. Play, “1, 2, 3, Touch Another Tree!” (See my post, see my post )

5. Go for a “Listening Walk” inspired by the wonderful book, “A Listening Walk” by Paul Showers…take notes/ draw pictures of what you see and hear in a “Nature Notebook” or “Nature Journal”.
The Listening Walk By Paul Showers Illustrated by Aliki
6. Take the paints and crayons outside to do some nature-inspired art or poetry in your Nature notebook or journal. We wrote a poem together  which I can’t find, but here’s what I remember: “…flocks flying, children chuckling, grass growing, daffodils dancing..”

Drawing and sketching at the Arboretum during our “Nature Week”

MJ took this shot at the Arboretum.

7. Designate a “Nature Week” and pick a different fun outdoor spot for play each day – try some new parks, lakes, etc. We did this a couple of weeks ago, and took our “story, snack, and snuggle” to a different outdoor location each day after school instead of to our living room sofa, starting with our front yard. (Other favorite Dallas spots: The Arboretum, White Rock Lake, Trinity River Audubon Center, Lakewood Park, Caruth Park, The Lakes at the Village)

at “The Lakes” playing “school” during Nature Week

We discovered a great spot for chasing hula hoops.

8. Fill up a book bag, grab a blanket, and do some “quiet family reading” outside.

9. Plant a garden together, or just a pot with some pansies. Plant a pot for someone else while you’re at it –  a neighbor, a grandparent, a friend. Then turn on the sprinklers to wash off the dirt together!

10. Memorize this simple poem to recite as you enjoy the signs of spring all around! Ellie was already reciting it after just one afternoon of hearing me say it.

O spring, O spring,

You wonderful thing! 

O spring, O spring, O spring. 

When the birdies sing I feel like a King, 

O spring!

by Walter R. Brooks