With the weather getting warmer, Teachers on Call shares ideas for socially distanced outdoor activities this spring.
With spring officially here, and warming days ahead, it’s a great time to start getting outside and shaking off winter’s sedentary habits. A good way to start, especially since we are still being conscientious about social distancing, is to start preparing within your yard for an exciting spring and plenty of summer fun!
Bonus: whenever little helpers get too chilly, it’s easy to go back indoors for a warming cup of hot cocoa before heading back outside again!
Build and Hang a Bird Feeder or Two
Whether you choose to buy a kit or opt for a more DIY bird feeding solution, bird feeders are a great way to liven up a backyard and make a safer haven for some hungry wildlife. Plus, you can sneak in a little education by identifying the birds (and other fauna like squirrels) that show up! So be sure to hang it within view of a window or a glass door.
Pick Up Sticks and Trash
Now that the snow’s melted, it’s time to clear away the winter debris – and you might have discovered that the municipal parks has been out trimming the trees close to the sidewalks, too. Taking care of garbage that’s been buried under snow and green debris are both great environmentally conscious things that children can easily help with (and better for lawnmowers, too).
And hey, with Earth Day coming up next month, it’s never too soon to be talking about that. Save the fallen sticks for the firepit or for craft projects or dispose of conscientiously in the green bin!
Play Some Games That Get You Moving
Hide and seek, hiking, jump rope, scavenger hunts, and hopscotch are all great choices for cool but sunny days! It’s a great time to stretch your legs around the house and the neighbourhood, before things start getting hot.
Be sure to go through the toy boxes and pull out some toys that are great for playing outdoors, too!
Start Cold Frame Gardening
If you’re thinking about gardening this year, it’s already past time to start planning, even if it’s still too cold outside to start doing much without protection for the plants. That’s where cold frames can come in, and there’s all sorts of great lessons that can be taught to kids about the science of building and using a cold frame, from basic construction and measuring, to the creation of a microclimate that extends growing seasons by protecting plants from frost and excessive wet.
Cold frames are almost as easy to build from some repurposed materials like an old window as it is to start from a kit. A cold frame is a great place to start all kinds of seeds destined for outdoors as well as growing some cold-hardy plants (and cool-tolerant ones too, like lettuce and spinach, as the season warms a bit).
As long as the weather isn’t too cold outside, it’s a great time to play in puddles and mud. Kids love to get dirty, and hey, why not? It’s great exercise and creative fun. Besides, they can hardly argue with having to have bath time afterwards, right?
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