Spring is the season that we anticipate with excitement and a renewed energy. Leave the cold, dark days of winter behind and welcome spring with these lighthearted ideas.
I love living in New England for dozens of reasons, but one of my favorites is the changing seasons. Not only do I get to experience all kinds of weather, but my senses take in unique sounds, distinct aromas, delicious seasonal tastes, and an explosion of colors from Mother Nature's palette.
Spring is a special season that delivers hope and promise to all who endured a long, frosty winter. If you're looking for some funtastic ways to kick off the vibrant season of spring, check out these ideas.
Spring equals kite flying
Kite flying and spring go hand in hand. And kites are on sale everywhere, from discount stores to online shopping sites. Once you've made your selection, as long as you have a bit of wind, you're ready to fly.
Kite experts from Kittyhawk.com offer these helpful tips to make your flying experience as fun and easy as possible.
- Choose a perfect day. You need enough wind, but not too much. If the wind speeds are reaching 20 miles per hour or you expect rain or storms, it's best to stay home.
- Find an open space. You should be away from houses, trees, and power lines.
- Launch the kite. Stand with your back to the wind. Hold on to the bridle (where the string attaches to the front of the kite) and lift it into the air, letting the wind take it.
- Get a partner's help. If the wind is light, have a helper take the kite downwind and hold it up while you hold the string. When you give the command, the helper lifts the kite into the air and you reel in the string hand-over-hand to help the kite gain altitude.
Check out this video, How to Fly a Kite, which demonstrates how easy it is to get started.
If your family's kite gets caught in a power line, don't attempt to retrieve it yourself—that's dangerous! Call the power company instead.
Plan a family garden
Spring is a time of renewal and growth. The days are longer and brighter, making outdoor family outings easier and more enjoyable. This also makes it an excellent time to plan a garden with your family.
The benefits of gardening are many. A garden is an unexpected way to get more physical activity. It also provides a sense of purpose because each family member will be involved with planning, preparing, planting, caring for the garden. Best of all, you get to enjoy the healthy fruits of your labors. And the vegetables, too!
If you have limited outdoor space, container gardening is a popular way to try out gardening.
There are many ways to plan a family garden, even if you only have a patio available. Start by involving your family with a garden planning party. Gather seed catalogs or select a few gardening websites to help you choose what you'd like to plant. Research which vegetable, fruit, herb, and flowers will grow best in your neck of the woods. A helpful tool is knowing your region's plant hardiness zone. If you've never gardened before, reach out to your neighbors who have green thumbs or visit your local nursery to get guidance on how to get started.
If you have limited outdoor space, container gardening is a popular way to try out gardening. That's how my family fell in love with this hobby—we planted tomatoes and cucumbers in pots on our deck. It was such a success that we had enough to make homemade pasta sauce and pickles!
If container gardening is for you, The Spruce has a list of the ten best vegetables to grow in containers.
Another super-easy way to start a garden with younger kids is to plant an herb garden. Food Gardening Network has a list of three whimsical ideas to create an herb garden for kids.
Be careful with planting herbs in garden beds—some of them are rambunctious! Herbs in the mint family, for instance, can spread quickly and overwhelm other plants. Unless you want your herbs to run wild, keep them in containers or raised beds.
Or check out this video with 10 beginner gardening tips for help with all the basics, regardless of your garden size or type.
Embrace the great outdoors
With longer, warmer days on tap, spring into (pun intended!) this fresh new season by soaking in the great outdoors. Research shows that playing outdoors is associated with higher levels of physical activity in kids. Being in sunlight (with proper sun protection, of course) also boosts mood and helps with concentration.
Research shows that playing outdoors is associated with higher levels of physical activity in kids.
So, take your kids outdoors! Younger kids may enjoy visiting a local farm. (There may even be some new baby animals making their debut.) Break out the bikes after a long winter and take in the scenery in your community. Hit the playground or park and forget about everything on your to-do list for the afternoon. Invite more outdoor playtime into your life this spring!
A favorite tradition of my family is a friendly competition to be the first to hear the spring peepers. (Last year, I won!) This interesting critter is a tiny chorus frog known for its chirping call that marks the beginning of spring. They live in wetlands and marshy woods near ponds and swamps. The moment we hear them, we know spring has arrived. (If you've never heard them, take a listen to this overzealous chorus on this spring peeper video.) Check out these interesting facts about spring peepers from the Farmer's Almanac and be sure to share them with your kids. Then, take your family out for an evening frog-finding walk!
Bring spring indoors
Just as it's essential to spend more time enjoying Mother Nature's gifts outdoors, it's also cathartic and refreshing to bring a bit of spring indoors as well. My favorite part of spring is the extra daylight we gain. The longer days are bright and cheery. The additional sunlight gets my creative juices flowing, and I naturally want to lighten the atmosphere inside our home.
I change out the heavier textures and darker colors that surrounded us throughout the winter months for lighter, airy fabrics. Spring is perfect for freshening up furniture with a bright shade of paint, decluttering rooms for a crisp, tranquil feel, and for opening windows to invite the sweet smell of spring air inside.
Vibrant yellow daffodils can liven up your entryway, and an old-fashioned spring cleaning will leave you feeling inspired and energized.
A fun way to bring spring indoors is to make a nature table in your home. When you take a hike or a stroll outside, have your kids collect treasures like feathers, unique rocks, wildflowers, and other items that strike their fancy. Display them on a small table in your home as a reminder of all the natural beauty surrounding us.
Spring has sprung, making it a great time to shift gears away from heavy comfort foods to lighter fare. Get a head start on barbecue season and start grilling chicken, fresh fish, colorful veggies, and even fruit.
Now is a great time to try eating seasonal foods. Local farmers' markets will soon be bursting with fresh produce. Take your family shopping at the market and encourage them to help plan a springtime menu that features fresh local fruits and veggies. Older kids can even help with the cooking!
Try something new
Let's get real—it's been a long winter, and everyone's bored. It's time to try something new! You can choose so many options to get out of a winter rut and launch into a fresh mindset this spring. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Rejuvenate family time. Swap out popcorn and a movie on the couch for a backyard dinner and marshmallow roasting over the firepit.
- Go geocaching. Use your GPS to go on a scavenger hunt! Participants navigate to a specific set of GPS coordinates and then attempt to find the geocache—a container hidden at that location. Visit Geocaching.com to sign up for free and play!
- Interest your family in a new hobby or game. My family started bowling recently, and we love it!
- Surprise your neighbors. Deliver a basket of fresh produce or something handmade. It's a great way to get to know the people in your neighborhood.
- Challenge your family to unplug from electronics for an entire day. Read, tell stories, and be mindful of nature and the changing seasons, instead.
- Visit a nearby town or city that you've never been to before. Explore the neat shops, landmarks, and parks.
Speaking of which, as long as you're in the mood to explore someplace new, spring is the ideal time to take a road trip!
After being cooped up for the winter, many people are ready to jump in the car and head out on a fun adventure. Road trips are a great way to take in some beautiful and interesting new sights without the hassle of a massive travel itinerary.
I love surprising my kids with an impromptu road trip. I pack a picnic lunch or a cooler full of snacks and goodies and take them on a mystery ride. Having them guess where we're going is as much fun as arriving at our destination.
Here's a video of the Top 10 Post-Pandemic American Road Trips (2021) to inspire you!
Be sure to check out tip #5 in 8 Essential Tips to Make Your Summer Road Trip a Blast for a terrific way to keep the peace amongst siblings while traveling by car.
What are the ways your family gets excited about spring? Share your ideas on the Mighty Mommy Facebook page!