Spring is finally here and if you haven't already done so, it's time to get outdoors and dig around in the garden, take a walk around the block, or spread out the picnic blanket to share a snack with your kids. There are tons of things to do outside come spring time, from jumping in puddles to playing tag to climbing trees. If you need some inspiration, there are some great books and Web sites out there to help you. Here are a few to get you started:
Rebecca Plants: Technically, this is a gardening site, so there is lots of info on what and where to plant and how to garden with kids. But the site also has lots of great information about outdoor living in general, like their "50 Outdoor Activities For Busy Families." I was inspired to create an outdoor learning space in my own backyard by the section called "Outdoor Classrooms," designed as a step-by-step guide for parents, teachers and community volunteers. While you're there, you can also check out previous episodes (on everything from rock climbing to rain dancing) of Rebecca's Get Out of the House.
Spring season activities: This About.com site has lots of great ideas for getting kids outdoors and reconnected with nature come springtime. I especially like their tips on opening a lemonade stand and making a bird house.
Eco-journaling: Check out A Kid's Spring Ecojournal: With Nature Activities for Exploring the Season by Toni Albert. There is an eco-journal for every season, each packed with activities and information about the animals, insects, and plants that can be found outdoors during that season. And the spring eco-journal is no exception. In it, kids can learn how to build a mouse house or a mole dome, raise a wild caterpillar or a leggy tadpole, make crafts with pressed wildflowers, make a track trap, build an eco-pond, plant a moonlight garden, observe wildlife from a blind, and enjoy dozens of other spring activities that teach them to love the world of nature.