I am most definitely suffering from spring fever! Here in New Jersey, the months of February and March can vary in temperature and weather patterns significantly. For example, we had eight inches of snow last weekend and today it may hit 70 degrees! It’s crazy but it’s also inconvenient! The nice weather is simply a tease when it’s followed up by snow or ice. The kid’s allergies are running rampant with the severe weather changes. We are all itching to get outside and just when we think it’s safe, the temperatures drop again. But regardless of the fickle weather patterns, I am already planning ahead for spring and wanted to share some of my favorite spring activities with all of you!
One of our favorite things to do in spring is to take family bike rides. We are blessed to live in a cul-de-sac, which offers safety and plenty of open, flat space to ride. My husband has a bike with the small baby seat attached for our youngest daughter and my oldest was over the moon last summer when she finally got the knack of riding and ditched her training wheels. I also have an attachment on my bike that allows me to “tow” a small seat for my youngest daughter when my husband isn’t with us.
If we aren’t riding on our street, we take our bikes to the park. There, we can follow smooth paved paths all around the perimeter of the playing fields and playground equipment. The girls love to take breaks and climb on the jungle gym, fly down the slide, and play on the swings. Which gives mommy’s legs a little break too! Bike riding is a great form of exercise but also teaches coordination and self-confidence.
My daughter’s love nothing more than for mommy to create fun clues that take them all around the outside of the house, ending with a small treat. I love scavenger hunts because they are great for problem solving, reading, imagination, and exercise!
I usually come up with anywhere from 5 to 10 clues, depending on my creativity level for that day! Each clue leads to another, but the girls have to work together to answer the questions. For example, I might write a clue about where daddy keeps the lawn mower or our favorite spot to sit after dinner and the girls work together to think of the shed or the front porch. The excitement on their faces is priceless as they discover the answer and dash toward the next location. I usually end the hunt with a small piece of candy, coloring book, or ice cream treat. They even try to craft their own scavenger hunts for me to uncover, which is great for their own creativity and my older daughter’s writing skills.
I’m no green thumb, but I try! Last year I started a small herb garden on our deck and grew some baby tomatoes. This spring we’re going to try to grow cucumbers and peppers. My daughters both love flowers. Because gardening doesn’t come naturally to me, I need to do some research on which flowers grow best during which times of year. We also have a large deer population in our area and they like to eat everything!
I’m thinking some pansies for our window boxes and lilacs on our walkway. The great thing about lilacs is that they come in a variety of shapes and sizes and are extremely fragrant. I love gardening with my girls because it offers quality time together and time spent outdoors in the fresh air. Not only that, but they’re able to see the result of their hard work. When you plant something correctly, take the time to water it and keep it clear of weeds, it will grow into something beautiful. What a great way to reinforce the benefits of hard work, dedication, and patience.
Another favorite activity of mine is hiking. I love nothing more than lacing up my hiking boots, finding a sturdy walking stick along the way, mapping out a coarse, and reaching the summit of a hill to turn around and see how far you’ve come. Though my youngest daughter can’t exactly hike the types of paths I enjoy, she comes along for the journey, often riding on my husband’s back. My oldest does a pretty good job keeping up, but about 2 miles in her legs are hurting her and the novelty has worn off.
I’ve learned to get creative with ways to keep the girls engaged during our hikes. Finding walking sticks is always one of their favorite things to do. Who can find the fattest, tallest, and most sturdy stick. I bought them each a lightweight pair of binoculars that they wear around their neck. These are great for spotting wildlife and scoping out our route. We also bring along a map, which they read and refer to every 10 steps we take! My husband brings his compass and teaches the girls how to use it (that’s one skill I never did master). By involving them in the journey, their attention is focused on helping rather than complaining. And we all enjoy the scenic view at the conclusion of the hike.
I love picnics! Not only because I love food and the adorable picnic basket I have, but because it can be done anywhere. We love to bring a picnic to our local park, on our hikes, and even right in our own backyard. There’s something special and magical about laying a blanket outside and sharing good food with your family and friends. I love to make small finger sandwiches, fruit salad, lemonade in a pitcher, and muffins for dessert. The girls get a kick out of eating outdoors, with their hands and their plates on their laps.
The best part about picnics is that they can be done indoors as well and are just as fun. On a rainy or snowy day, we turn our living room into our picnic space. We lay down our favorite blanket and fill our basket just as if we were leaving the house. The girls love helping me prepare and pack the food, so not only is the picnic experience a great chance for quality time, but preparing for it is too!
Can’t Wait for Spring!
Is anyone else itching for beautiful, warm spring weather? What are some of your favorite spring activities and crafts?