Busy Bees: Spring into action with your kids (5 ideas)
For many people, spring is a reminder of new life, nature, growth and energy. I always feel more energized in the spring time. We know from research that the sunshine is a natural anti-depressant. The more we keep active, the better.
Spending time outside isn’t a luxury; it’s a need. Grown-ups, as well as children, need time outside to play, laugh, run and jump. Spending time in nature has actually shown to improve intelligence, also.
My kids love going to the park where they can slide, run around on the grass, roll down the grassy hills and dig in the sand area.
Below are five additional ideas for you and your children to enjoy:
Purchase a children’s table and chairs, or a bench, so your kids can eat lunch outside. I love the Little Tikes picnic bench – we have one at our home and my kids love to sit outside, in the sunshine, to eat lunch. If they make a mess it’s easy to clean up (that’s what the dog is for, right?). This exercise encourages your kids to enjoy fresh air and sunshine (vitamin D!).
Have you used these yet? My kids love water beads. They come in small packages and you can order them Online or buy them at local garden stores. The small beads are placed in water. The beads soak up the water and expand. They can then be used in flower pots but they also make a great sensory activity for children: run the fingers through, under, around and up. Squish! The beads can be messy if broken so it’s best to play with them outside. When searching Online, type in “eco friendly water beads” and numerous options will appear. This sensory activity is all about free play!
We always save our coffee tubs, when empty, so my kids can use them for collecting treasures or making crafts. Grab your tubs and go for a treasure walk! What will you find? Pine cones or leaves? Sticks that look like letters? Will you see or hear birds? Can you spot a caterpillar? This activity builds on language skills, science skills and much more.
It’s all Relative
After you have gone for a bucket treasures walk (above), encourage your kids to use their nature items to create gifts. What would grandma or grandpa like? Do they want to make something for a sibling or aunt/uncle? Can they turn a pine cone into an ornament or spell a word from the letter sticks they found? Can they use leaves to make a leaf rubbing or a special “Get Well Soon” card for someone who is sick? This activity builds on social emotional skills and creativity.
Spot the Signs
When outside on walks, point to signs and talk to your kids about the meanings. What is the shape of each sign and what do the images or words indicate? What happens if you ignore a sign? Why do we need signs? Our brains relate to images quickly and when we see a picture we know to look, examine the image, and decode the meaning of the message. This is a simple yet effective strategy for teaching our children critical thinking skills.
Get moving, Busy Bees!