Have you been counting down the minutes to better weather? Months of below-freezing temps and nasty winter weather have me and my family desperate for outdoor play time.
When spring weather finally hits, all I want to do is be outdoors with no iPads in tow and taking advantage of the warmer temperatures all day long. Even though we love the playground, it sometimes takes a little something extra to get the whole family excited for an outdoor adventure.
If you’re like me and looking for new ways to encourage your kids to play outside this spring after a winter spent indoors, we’ve found five foolproof ways to get them out the door. Don’t forget to remind them to get wet, dirty, and messy—sometimes that makes all the fun!
Is there anything more fun than going on an outdoor hunt? It’s a great way to get outside, learn about new things in nature—trees, bugs, animals!—and even get a little exercise. Melissa & Doug’s Scavenger Hunt Play Set takes the guesswork out of this activity and makes it really easy to set up a quick hunt, outside or inside. The ‘Let’s Explore’ kit makes it a real game with cards, a timer, and even a bag for each player to collect items. A blast for kids to explore!
Have a little one who loves art? My little artist loves to take his drawings to the sidewalks and driveway with some outdoor chalk. He actually first learned to write his name using outdoor chalk, so as soon as the temperature goes above freezing, we’re outside creating and coloring. Make it even more enticing for the littles with a fun-shaped coloring pack like Melissa & Doug’s Ice Cream & Cake Chalk Set—who doesn’t love ice cream and cake?!
3. Plant Your Food
Take advantage of the season and introduce kids to gardening. Your little ones will get a kick out of planting herbs, vegetables, and fruits they can watch grow and later eat. Gardening is also an amazing way to teach kids about the environment, our impact on it, and how taking care of plants and flowers is so important to our ecosystem. Give the littles their own kid-sized tools and they can get in on the action right next to you.
4. Play in the Rain
Embrace the mess and let your little ones call the shots by going out to play in the rain. Invest in a good pair of rain boots and a waterproof jacket and give the kids free rein to jump through puddles, splash, fill buckets of rain water, and even play with a little mud (mud pies for the win!). Getting that free play time is crucial for young kids, and this way makes rain fun, not scary.
5. Try Backyard Camping
Getting kids to embrace the outdoors doesn’t necessarily have to involve packing up the car and going on a big camping trip in the woods. Introduce them to the concept of backyard camping with a simple night in tents outside. It’s just as fun as hitting a camping site, particularly for younger kids, and takes way less planning and organizing—but still has all the benefits of a screen-free excursion. Don’t forget to pack the tabletop s’mores roaster for an experience they won’t soon forget!
This post was in partnership with Melissa & Doug® but all of the opinions within are those of The Everymom editorial board. We only recommend products we genuinely love.