A new season is a great excuse to try or create something new; make the most out of the warmer weeks ahead by trying some of these family spring projects together right now. —Jennifer Cox
start a garden. There is something so satisfying about growing your own edibles (and you may just help turn picky eaters into more adventurous ones). Whether it’s a simple bean seed in some wet paper towels growing in a Mason jar, or lots of veggie, fruit and herb seedlings, the whole family will love tracking the progress of their plants and reaping what they sow at the end of summer. Tip: sunflowers grow easily, and the bees love them. You can get a free packet of sunflower seeds by going to the Cheerios website. Bonus points: you can make homemade plant markers, garden fairy houses, or painted rocks to decorate your gardens.
take up a new sport. There’s always something new you could try when it comes to sports and other leisure activities. Many sports stores will even rent out sporting equipment so you can try the sport before you buy the gear. If you’re avid city bike-riders, go mountain biking or put on your pads and try some tricks at a local skate park. Go rollerskating or rollerblading, try racquetball or tennis together, throw a frisbee or boomerang—there’s so much you can try!
park crawl. So, we may not be able to do traditional adult pub crawls, but you can take the same concept and apply it to some park visits. Make it fun: how many parks or playgrounds can your family go to in one day? Or maybe you want to make a map with local parks on it and then check them off as you go. Bonus points: create a nature scavenger hunt to do while you’re playing. Include things like “pinecone,” “flower,” “worm,” etc.
make a bird feeder. The birds are hungrier than ever in springtime, and a bird feeder can be a lovely way to bring more nature into your backyard. There are lots of ways you can make a bird feeder. The easiest way is to cover a pinecone in peanut butter, roll it in birdseed and hang it on a tree branch. You can string Cheerios onto a pipe cleaner and bend into loop to hook on trees or use a clean empty milk carton as a makeshift birdhouse/feeder.
fly a kite. Some spring days are extra windy, which can make ordinary outdoor play not so enjoyable. So, have a great kite on hand for those gusty days where you’re looking for something fun to do. Bonus points: buy something that is medium price range. While they may sell kites at places like dollar stores, these are often quite flimsy and difficult to fly. Your best bet is looking for a material kite like nylon instead of plastic.
examine nature and photograph it. Little critters are popping up everywhere in the springtime, and it’s a great time to get up close and personal. Look for snails, ladybugs, the first fuzzy bumblebees, butterflies and more. Challenge the kids to photograph them too to capture your adventurous spring days. Bonus points: make a photo collage of your photos to display all year long.
rain play. Spring can be a pretty rainy season but don’t hide from the showers—play in them! Kids will love taking a walk under an umbrella and splashing around in rain boots and puddles. Dig out a river or small trench and then build a dam. Do wet chalk drawings. Dance. Sing. Bonus points: create a mud kitchen outside with old pots, bowls and spoons. Plan for bath time immediately after.
campfire fun. Did you know you can make your own little outdoor campfire by putting coals into a foil-lined terracotta plant pot? It’s true! Then you can roast marshmallows for s’mores, get cosy outside with blankets, listen to music, read stories, or gaze at the stars. Bonus points: make campfire cones: Stuff ice cream cones with fruits, chocolate chips, marshmallows, and more, then wrap it in foil and roast on the fire.