After a lovely weekend of long sunny, mild days I have been thinking about outdoor family activities. Obviously, the moment I started writing about them, the wind picked up and it started to hail, but I refuse to be put off! In my mind, spring has finally arrived and we’ll all feel much better for feeling the breeze in our hair, the sun on our faces…and probably the rain on our backs.
I have put together some ideas for having fun with the kids outside and you’ll find them at www.mimitoys.ie under the “Play Articles” tab. Below I set out a few of my favourites – with a nod to Myles for his prowess at welly throwing.
Get the kids to build their own nest outside. You will have lots of materials in your garden you can use, like lengths of dry grass, twigs and lichen. Make your nests in the garden and place them on the ground or in a tree if you have one. Is it sturdy enough to hold some small stones (your ‘eggs’) and would your nest be able to survive a windy day (give your tree a shake!)?
Spring nature trail
Take a walk to your local beauty spot and look out for signs of spring on the ground, in the trees and in the water. Things to look out for include; frogspawn in streams and ponds; butterflies; caterpillars; catkins opening for spring…perhaps you can make a collage of all the wildlife you’ve seen when you get home?
All you need is some open space and a welly boot. You’ll need to mark a throwing line and then record each competitor’s throw by marking the spot where their boot landed - perhaps use twigs to do this. The aim of the game is simply to throw the boot the furthest.
Spring is breeding time for many birds so it’s a good time to get outside and observe our feathered friends as they get geared up for the new season. You’ll hear lots more birdsong now the days are warmer and some birds will be showing off their plumage and engaging in elaborate courting rituals to attract a mate!
So, go on - dodge the hailstones, lean into the wind and ignore the rain. Summer’s coming!