The Gift of Time
If necessity is the Mother of Invention, boredom might just be the Mother of Discovery!
By Bronwyn Walsh
While a few days of relaxation may be welcome as many of us find ourselves in a spontaneous vacation, soon the combination of spring weather and free time calls for something more. As the nice weather becomes more consistent, here are ten outdoor spring activities that you and your family can enjoy anywhere from your backyard to the woods.
- Bird Watching
As the weather warms, the birds begin to return from their winter migration. Whether it’s from your front porch, or in your favorite spot in the forest, bird watching is a simple way to learn more about the wildlife near you. If you want to test your knowledge, simply sit for about ten minutes and try to identify as many different birds as you can, and try to learn more about those you’ve never heard of before! Do you know your birds?
- Hikes with the dog
Taking the dog for a walk provides the perfect opportunity to get a short breath of fresh air if you’ve been working from home, and ensures that your doggo gets to take full advantage of the lovely weather.
There’s never a wrong time to decide to become a gardener, however spring is probably the best time. It is also an engaging activity for children of all ages! While your little ones might enjoy rooting through the dirt and pulling out some of the weeds, your older kids will love planning and creating their own plot of land or even a single plant pot which they can grow and foster all by themselves!
An activity that children universally enjoy is art, however bringing it outside takes it to the next level. Aside from avoiding the mess at your kitchen table, making the experience into an adventure is guaranteed to produce some very enthusiastic painters! Painting everything from rocks to sticks (quickly transformed into magic wands) is the perfect activity to get out that creative energy.
- Wildlife Tracking
Everywhere we look we are surrounded by our regional flora and fauna, however it can take practice to notice it. One of our favorite activities is our excursions into the yard and woods to find the tracks of a passing deer, or the fur from a wild rabbit in the snow or mud. With the aid of a wildlife field guide or even google, anyone can learn to notice the signs of the animals we live side by side with.
- Backyard Picnics
Anyone can transform something as simple as lunchtime into a day long activity, full of adventure and excitement, so long as a picnic is promised at noon. If you are feeling ambitious, you can even cook lunch over a backyard campfire!
- Plant Identification
We walk by dozens of species of plants every day, yet how many of them can you identify? With google or a field guide as a buddy, anyone can quickly learn both the names of the plants they’ve never noticed, and their purposes, opening the doors to many a craft, activity, or science experiment. Find a name for the plants you see!
- Flower Pressing
With the flowers just starting to bloom, we all wish there was a way to preserve them. Fortunately, there’s a way to do just that with simple materials found at home with this tutorial by Diy Projects.
- Scavenger Hunt
If your children are bouncing off the walls with energy, or yearning for some friendly competition, an outdoor scavenger hunt is a great activity. After you’ve created simple collection containers (anything as simple as a decorated paper bag will work), simply provide a list of treasures to be found outside and set a timer!
*Note: to make the challenge a bit more difficult, feel free to be as obscure, ridiculous, or creative with your list as you want -- you may even come up with enough cool things to begin your own nature museum!
- Birdhouse Building
Maybe you want to be able to see the birds from your kitchen window, or maybe you just need to find a productive activity for some creative kids. Either way, a birdhouse is a simple but effective starting point. Here is an easy Pine Cone Bird Feeder by Natural Beach Living to get you started!
As you set out on your expeditions be sure to bring along your binoculars, field guides, picnic blankets, and Nantucket Spider’s Tick Repellent for a safe, happy, and constructive time!