The first buds appear on the trees, spring flowers poke up from the ground, the birds return and the weather finally begins to warm up. As the days grow longer and the temperatures higher, it’s a great time of year to look for fun springtime activities for the whole family.
Spending more time together as a family strengthens the family bond and can even improve the academic performance of students. Time spent doing activities together builds memories for the future. Your children will look back on their growing-up years and realize they have traditions they want to pass on to their own children one day.
Even though you might naturally gravitate to the outdoors for springtime activities, this time of year can also be rainy and chilly. Below, you’ll find a mix of family-friendly ideas for both sunny and rainy days.
1. Start a Garden
Spring is a good time to till the soil and plant early summer crops, after the threat of the last frost has passed. A garden gets the entire family outside to enjoy the sunshine, but also gives you a crop to enjoy during the summer. It can provide entertainment and family bonding, as well as cut down your grocery bill.
A raised-bed garden may be easier to maintain and more fun for young children to work in. You can create a simple raised garden bed almost anywhere, or even plant smaller plants in pots and place them on a patio. You don’t need a large yard to enjoy a garden.
2. Attend Home Shows
With spring comes a variety of home shows. If you live within driving distance of a large city, then check to see when a home and garden show might arrive in your area. Admission is typically inexpensive and there are numerous demonstrations and forms of entertainment.
For example, some boat, sport and travel shows have things such as cooking demonstrations and even a squirrel that water skis on a tiny boat around a swimming pool. Things like this entertain children of all ages — including adults. In addition, you might find the perfect camper you can use year after year for family activities.
3. Volunteer as a Family
Find a cause you believe in as a family, such as helping the homeless, and spend some time volunteering to help others. There are many benefits for kids who volunteer, including learning new skills and meeting people with shared interests. They key is to find something you can all get behind.
Volunteering also allows teens to make connections and add information to college applications. Colleges often look at volunteer work when awarding scholarships or making a decision if the student is on the bubble for admission. It also offers connections for potential job opportunities. Plus, you’ll be giving back to the world as a family, and few things feel better than that.
4. Go Camping
Whether you own a small camper or you simply put up a tent, camping is a memorable activity. Late spring is the best time for camping, since nights won’t be as cold but it won’t yet be blazing hot. State parks often have limited facilities, but offer reduced campsite fees for families on a budget.
Is it raining like crazy and you’re not thrilled with the idea of setting up a tent and dealing with the water? Pop your tent in the living room for one weekend, build a fire in the fireplace — or use a flashlight and orange and yellow tissue paper — and cook s’mores in the microwave. Remember, it is about making memories, not just being outside.
5. Fundraise for Vacation Fund
Spring is a great time to clear out old clutter and have a garage sale or do some fundraising. Get everyone in the family involved and use the sale profits for your summer family vacation. The more money your kids are able to raise, the better the vacation will be. If they want a big trip, such as to Disney World, you can give them a goal of how much money to raise and then match it or put in a certain amount.
This teaches the kids to work for what they want, even if it is just to cover some of their own spending money. Fundraising also creates a situation where your children need to work together as a team to accomplish something.
6. Be Aware of Local Events
One of the best springtime activities for families is one that ties into a local theme. Find out what festivals are going on in your area, and note any special events at neighborhood parks. Each year brings new activities. Some are listed on sites such as Facebook, but you’ll also learn about them through a free local weekly newspaper or simply by asking other parents in your area.
Spring is a great time to spend time together as a family. All it takes is a bit of planning. It doesn’t matter if it’s rainy or sunny — the memories will be yours to keep.