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12 Fun Ways Kids Can Play Outside This Spring

The sun is getting warmer, birds are singing, and my children are shedding their winter gear all over our backyard. Spring is in the air! After the long sleep of winter, nature is filled with a flutter of activity and new energy. The daylight is longer, the snow is quickly melting, soon trees will begin to bloom, insects will start buzzing and critters will be busy building nests. The kids are full of energy too! Thankfully, spring offers many simple, easy, and fun outdoor activities for children to get their wiggles out. On that note, here are 12 free and easy activities you can do outside with your kids this spring.

1. Search for signs of spring
Take a stroll around your neighbourhood or nearby park and search for signs of spring with your child, encouraging them to use all their senses to find spring. What can you see? What do you smell? How does spring feel?

What your child is learning: mindfulness, as well as an introduction to nature science. 

2. Jump in a puddle
Next time your child spots a puddle encourage them to jump in it! Puddle-jumping helps children build strength and coordination in their legs, and it’s just so much fun. Don’t worry about the mess: clothes and children can always be washed and dried.

Skill your child is developing: jumping.

3. Make a mud pie
Spring is wonderfully mud-delicious! Playing in the mud encourages children to used their creativity and problem-solving skills and all the scooping, digging, pouring, lifting, and moving of mud helps children develop their hand dexterity—so important through life. Mud can be made into pies, castles and art—you’ll be surprised what your kids might come up with.

What your child is learning: creativity, problem-solving, hand dexterity, and sensory processing. 

4. Dig for earthworms
Digging into dirt and finding wiggly worms is exciting and educational. Children like digging for worms and finds it strange that they have no arms, legs or eyes.

What your child is learning: digging, sensory processing, and an introduction to nature science.

5. Practice spring-themed yoga poses
Show your child how to pretend to be a tall tree, hop like a frog, curl up like a sleepy seed, or a flutter like a butterfly. These are a few simple spring-themed yoga poses that you can practice together outside in a park or your yard.

What your child is learning: body awareness.

6. Watch the clouds float by
Place a blanket on the ground and invite your child to watch the clouds in the sky. Lay quietly or be curious about what you see. Are the clouds moving fast or slow? What shapes do you see?

What your child is learning: mindfulness.

7. Toss a ball
Now that the snow is gone, take out a ball. Find an open field to kick, toss, or throw the ball with your child. Your child might want to start up an impromptu game of soccer with the family, or make up a game of their own.

Skills your child is developing: kicking, throwing, and creativity. 

8. Make rain art
Drip, drop, drip. Bring some paper, paintbrushes, and paint outside in the rain. Show your child how to use rain to clean brushes and to spread paint.

What your child is learning: creativity and fine motor skills.

9. Make a nature “potion”
Gather, mix, and stir. Nature potions are strange concoctions made of nature materials. They are endowed with magical properties. Help your child make their magical potions by giving them some pots and showing them which nature materials are safe to use.

What your child is learning: creativity and nature science.

10. Play in the wind
Spring weather can be windy! Play in the wind with a kite, flag, or streamers. Ask your child to experiment with throwing things in the wind like a leaf, pine cone, or feather. What do they notice?

Skills your child is developing: running and throwing.

11. Search for animal tracks
When animals walk over soft earth and mud they leave prints behind. Bring your child on an animal track hunt and see how many different tracks they can find.

What your child is learning: nature science. 

12. Play hide and seek
If your child has exhausted all the great hiding spots inside your home, then it’s time to bring hide and seek outside!

What your child is learning: problem-solving, counting, and running. 

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