While many families will be heading to the snow-capped slopes or sunny beaches next week, you can still have fun in your own backyard and enjoy spending time with your kids by using a little creativity and seeing the magic within. nature with children’s eyes.
You also don’t need expensive camping or fancy gear to do this, but use things you probably already have such as a backpack, nature journal, crayons, magnifying glass, flashlight, compass, binoculars, and of course your imagination. and positive attitude!
- Go on a nature treasure hunt: in the green belt, the shores of Lake Travis, the nearest state park, or even in your own backyard. Encourage your children to look for animal footprints, listen for birdsong, and collect rocks, sticks, fossils, feathers, leaves, and seeds. Then you can spend time together organizing, categorizing and creating small natural habitats, creating nature collages, drawing and writing in nature journals.
- Make Tree Friends: have your child spend some time observing the trees in your backyard and seeing them as their friends. Then ask them to choose a tree to be their best friend and encourage them to spend time under it each day: watering it, telling stories, singing to it, or just sitting, reading or writing under its shade. Your child can name that special tree, draw it, paint it, photograph it, and create a special Trees book about it.
- Growing a garden: spring is the time of the awakening of nature and the renewal of all life! Kids love to get dirty and there’s no better way to get dirty than gardening! Take a quick trip to Natural Gardener for guidance and inspiration from their knowledgeable gardeners. There are so many possibilities for spring gardening: you can plant a vegetable garden, herb garden, butterfly garden, bulbs, flowering shrubs, roses, trees and thus create opportunities for garden observation and journaling throughout the season.
- Camping in your own backyard: pitch your tent and have fun storytelling, singing and stargazing together, playing flashlight shadow, flashlight tag or flashlight scavenger hunt.
- Create Backyard Art: take the easel, paint, and brushes outside or tape a sheet of butcher paper to the fence, and invite your child to paint what they see: a tree, a flower, a bird, or a squirrel. Paint with bird or squirrel feeders or pour cement into stepping stone molds and decorate with crystals and glass gems. Children also have great fun painting simple cobblestones and if you apply a glossy clear coat over their rock art you can decorate your flower garden bed.
The possibilities for having fun with your kids in your own backyard this spring break are endless! Enjoy!