The sun is out, the snow has melted away, and the grass and trees are calling. It’s warm, but not too hot. A light breeze carries the scent of wildflowers. It’s springtime, and after being cooped up inside all winter, students love nothing more than having fun outdoors.
Outdoor play is a fun, essential part of growing up, and it comes with a lot of benefits, ranging from boosted vitamin D levels to more exercise and a greater sense of happiness. With a little imagination, the possibilities for outdoor play are almost limitless. Here are a few of our favorite outdoor spring activities for your kids to enjoy with family or friends, whether they are in kindergarten or beyond.
1. Go to the Local Playground
Filled with fun equipment like swings, slides, and merry-go-rounds, the local playground is the perfect space for kids to have fun and burn off their energy. Playing with friends on the playground equipment could take all afternoon, but if your kids want more to do, the playground is a perfect place for activities like hide-and-seek, tag, watching wildlife, and taking short walks down nature trails.
2. Have a Picnic
Having a picnic is a quintessential springtime classic — munching on your favorite foods while watching the clouds pass overhead never gets old. Luckily, picnics are very versatile and easy to plan activities. You can have a picnic anywhere — your backyard, the playground, or a local city park. You can picnic as a family or with friends. And while there are some foods that are typically found at picnics, like sandwiches, watermelon, chips, and potato salad, you can pack whatever you want as long as you can transport it in a cooler. Picnics are an easy way to bring excitement to a meal.
3. Fly a Kite
Flying a kite might look difficult, but it’s simple to start and fun to play with. All you need is a kite and some wind! For beginners, start with a Diamond kite. Once students master the Diamond kite, they can move on to other types of kites and learn to make the kites do tricks in the air.
Before flying, always consider the environment. The best time to fly a kite is when wind speeds are about 10-20 miles per hour. Leaves and grass should be visibly moving, but winds should not be too gusty. Make sure your child flies the kite in an open area away from roads, trees, or power lines. Finally, never fly a kite in a thunderstorm — kites can attract lightning.
4. Go for a Bike Ride or Learn How to Ride a Bike
Of all early childhood spring activities, riding a bike will stick with children the longest. If your child already knows how to ride a bike, this is another great activity for the local park or the neighborhood. For children who don’t know how to ride a bike, a spring afternoon is the best time to learn! There are many ways to teach a child how to ride a bike, but always remember the following tips:
- Ensure your kids wear bicycle helmets.
- Check that the bike is the correct size.
- Make sure to keep the experience fun.
- Be patient.
5. Play Tag
Anyone can enjoy tag, though it is especially ideal for large groups of energetic kids. Even the classic form of tag will provide lots of exercise and lots of laughs — but beyond classic tag, there are many other options:
- Freeze tag: Tagged players must freeze in place, but they can get back into the game by getting tagged by unfrozen players.
- Blob tag:Tagged players hold hands with the person who tagged them and become taggers themselves, eventually forming a large blob of taggers.
- Flashlight tag: Played in the dark, this version mashes tag and hide-and-seek. The tagger must shine a light on players to tag them.
- And more: With a little creativity, you can invent endless variations to the game of tag.
6. Climb a Tree
Climbing a tree brings an element of adventure to outdoor fun. Tree climbing can be a great way for children to improve strength, focus, motor skills, flexibility, problem-solving, and confidence. To make sure your kids stay safe as they climb trees, make sure the tree doesn’t have any rotting branches, poison ivy, nearby power lines, or other potential dangers. Next, remind children of the “rule of three” — always have three limbs contacting the tree at all times. Finally, act as a spotter until the child is confident in climbing trees.
7. Have a Bug Scavenger Hunt
Having a scavenger hunt is a great way for kids to have fun while learning about the world around them. Scavenger hunts can revolve around any interest — rocks, plants, or anything else — but a popular focus is bugs. Armed with a magnifying glass and pictures of local bugs, kids get to become explorers in their own backyard as they search for specific types of bugs.
8. Go Backyard Camping
Backyard camping is an awesome activity for nighttime. Camping in the backyard turns a typical night into an exciting new way to experience the outdoors. Best of all, it’s easy to do! Simply set up a tent in your backyard, grab some sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets, and you’re all set. To add even more fun, have a campfire with s’mores and hotdogs, add some evening activities like flashlight tag, or watch an outdoor movie.
9. Plant Flowers
Gardening is a great way to bond as a family or to help children learn responsibility if they want to start their own garden. Aside from teaching kids about the environment, biology, and work, gardening can have the added bonus of getting your child to eat vegetables because kids are more likely to eat something if they grew it. To start a successful garden, make sure to plant at the correct time of year, choose a plot with enough sun, keep up with weeding, and remember to water the plants.
10. Play With Sidewalk Chalk
Lastly, drawing with sidewalk chalk is an easy and fun way to exercise creativity while being outside. Kids can draw whatever their imaginations dream up with as much attention to detail as they wish. If you don’t want to buy sidewalk chalk, or if your kids enjoy crafts or science experiments, you can spend time making homemade sidewalk chalk! If you want to remember their sidewalk art, be sure to take a picture because the chalk will wash away the next time it rains.
Stay Involved and Get Active With Commonwealth Charter Academy
There are many outdoor springtime activities for kids, from playing games to walking through nature to learning new things about the world. These activities are a great way to grow closer with friends or as a family. With the flexible scheduling offered by Commonwealth Charter Academy, you can stay involved and active with your kids all throughout the spring and beyond! Contact us today to learn more about our personalized education opportunities.