45 Spring Activities for Kids That the Pandemic Hasn’t Ruined

Number 11: Raise your own butterflies.

by Emily Kelleher
Originally Published: 
5-year-old in yellow coat jumping in a puddle as a spring activity

The arrival of spring marks one year of life in a pandemic, the end of a long, hard winter, and the return of warmer weather. The ground is thawing, the sun is staying up past 5 p.m., and there’s slightly more reason to leave the house, if only for short, masked periods of time. It may not be the spring that we hoped for, with a fully vaccinated population and the return to crowded playgrounds, family gatherings, and uninterrupted school years, but there’s still reason to celebrate with some spring activities. The best way to do so? By getting outside, spending time in nature, and taking advantage of all the fun and inspiring spring activities for kids, toddlers, and preschoolers. This time of year, when there’s neither the chill of winter nor the oppressive heat of summer, won’t last for long. Here are 45 ways to relish it with your kids.

  1. Go birdwatching.
  2. Or just make birdwatching “binoculars” out of two toilet paper rolls, glued together, plus some string.
  3. Play Poohsticks. If you have a small bridge over a creek in your area, have everyone choose a stick and drop it in the water at the same time. Run to the other side and watch whose stick wins the race.
  4. Make mud pies.
  5. Build your own DIY outdoor mud kitchen.
  6. Press flowers.
  7. Display your pressed flowers and leaves in frames…
  8. …or use them to decorate papier-mâché lanterns,
  9. …or use them to decorate ornaments for a mobile.
  10. Make dirt cups out of chocolate pudding, cookie crumbs, and gummy worms.
  11. Raise your own butterflies.
  12. Plant strawberries.
  13. Make nature faces. Collect leaves, twigs, petals, and whatever else looks good outside. Draw a head on a piece of paper, and use the leaves and things to design a face.
  14. Do a nature puzzle. Collect pebbles of all sizes. Draw a shape on a piece of paper, and have toddlers try and fit the pebbles inside the shape. For a more advanced game, trace each stone and have kids find the matching pair of stone to shape.
  15. Make a sun catcher out of melted beads, cellophane, glue, or a mason jar.
  16. Make a sprout house by arranging sponges in the shape of a house and planting seeds in them.
  17. Measure the wind with a DIY wind Anemometer.
  18. Visit a local arboretum or botanical garden.
  19. Fly a kite.
  20. Make a nature loom. Arrange four sticks in a square and ie string around the corners to secure them. Loop additional string around the top and bottom of the square so that it’s filled in. Collect flowers, leaves, and anything else of interest outside, and weave them through the strings. This can also be done on a stump.
  21. Play red light, green light, 123.
  22. Build an outdoor obstacle course.
  23. Make a DIY butterfly feeder.
  24. Make paper flowers.
  25. Go for a hike and try to identify different kinds of animal poop.
  26. Teach your kid to ride a bike.
  27. Make a model boat and float it in a local pond or bucket of water.
  28. Make a pebble plaque to decorate your garden. Mix up a batch of salt dough, decorate it with pebbles or a handprint, and then bake it for two hours at 275.
  29. Build a birdbath.
  30. Plant bulbs (can be done inside) and watch them grow and bloom.
  31. Make a bird feeder out of Legos, an orange, or an old mug.
  32. Build a birdhouse.
  33. Feed ducks at a local pond.
  34. Collect rocks and spend some time painting them into rock pets. You can also turn them into fridge magnets with a magnet and some glue.
  35. Go to town with some chalk. Play hopscotch, outline your kid’s body in a silly position, create roads to drive along with a scooter or play car, draw your own twister board, or draw a few rocks or home bases and play don’t touch the lava.
  36. Have a car wash day. The opportunity to play with a hose and make a mess with soap is weirdly appealing to kids.
  37. Break out a jump rope and challenge everyone to learn some jump rope rhyme routines.
  38. Attempt to play four square.
  39. Practice fine motor skills with leaf threading. Create a “needle and thread” by tying some string to a small but sturdy stick. Collect leaves, and practice threading the string through the leaves, creating a garland of sorts.
  40. Roll down a hill. (Trust us — it’s underrated.)
  41. Go hunting for rainbows after rain. Whether it’s a rainy walk or drive, keep your eyes trained on the sky.
  42. Have a water balloon fight.
  43. Build a fairy garden.
  44. Scavenge for honeysuckles and suck out the sweet center.
  45. Make pet rocks by collecting and painting some select pebbles. Bonus points if you take them for a walk.

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