I love Spring. It feels such an optimistic season, a time for growth; in the garden and outdoors of course, but personally too, as the evenings grow longer and there is more time to play, learn, and ponder.
With that in mind, here are some ideas of things to make and do over the next few months:
Get planting. We are getting a raised bed put into our little city garden very soon, and are planning on planting some tomatoes, carrots, radishes, beetroot, peas, and courgettes to start with, as well as some herbs. If we can get organised, we’ve been talking about making a runner-bean teepee for Frida to play in. The little packets of seeds in the kitchen are making me feel very excited! Many vegetables and herbs can be grown in pots on balconies, or even indoors if you don’t have access to outdoor space.
We will also be growing a mix of flowers, starting these in pots indoors and then planting them out. Sunflowers are a wonderful flower to grow with young children. We’ve also recently planted a cherry tree and an apple tree, and have bought a couple of plants and bulbs to plant out too.
Turn your garden into a wildlife sanctuary. Our garden has horrible soil which turns the whole place into a quagmire whenever it rains, and it was clearly not used or loved by the previous owners of our house. We can’t afford to landscape it and start again, so instead I’m looking at easy ways to make it more wildlife – and child! – friendly. Some ideas include:
- Making a mini-pond (we are going to do this soon – I’ll let you know how we get on)
- Building or buying a bug hotel and/or bee B&B
- Adding a bird feeder and a nesting box
- Digging a damp ditch (I’m also considering doing this; our garden is never going to be a looker, so why not!)
- Planting pollinator friendly flowers
- Leaving an area of grass to grow long and wild
- Create shelters for hedgehogs, frogs and toads
The RSPB website has loads of ideas for projects to suit any size outdoor space, including balconies.
Visit a pond. See what wildlife you can spot! Ponds are such a rich habitat for so many different species. We have a wonderful nearby(ish) wildlife pond we visit, which is full of news, frogs, toads, beetles, dragonflies, and more. Pack a magnifying glass, a notebook, and a picnic, and make the most of a sunny day.
Spring clean. Put away winter jumpers, open windows, declutter cupboards, dust, wash windows, clear a weekend to do all those little odd jobs that have been annoying you all winter, and give the walls a fresh lick of paint. Bring cut flowers and bulbs into the home to add some natural beauty. If you don’t do so already, then consider toy and book rotation.
Go puddle jumping. Spring showers bring ample opportunities for puddle jumping, mud squelching, walnut-shell boat sailing, and stirring up magic potions with sticks. Put on your wellies and get involved.
Bake. I’m always a fan of baking with children, and Easter provides an excuse to bake breads, cakes, and buns galore.
Make your own raw chocolate. I can’t imagine many children would turn down an opportunity to make their own chocolate! The shops are full of Easter eggs already, and I’m currently avoiding sugar, so the opportunity to make a healthier chocolate is quite appealing! I’m looking forward to us making our own chocolate treats to share with friends and family. There are lots of simple recipes online.
Visit Bluebell woods. The Bluebell season usually peaks around late April – early May, so pack a picnic – and your camera – and make the most of one of the most photogenic natural events of the year as the weather starts to warm up.
Make and give May Day posies. May Day has been celebrated since ancient times, and what better way to celebrate it than by sharing flowers with those dear to us? It’s a beautiful way to gently model generosity with young children too, and a great opportunity for some flower cutting and arranging too.
Visit your local farm. Look out for lambs, kids, chicks, ducklings, and goslings, as well as spring flowers. In London we are spoilt for choice with many wonderful city farms to choose from. I get to drink coffee and go outside, Frida gets to look at animals. Win win.
Go on nature walks. At this time of year there is so much to see – blossom buds, bulbs, birds returning from their winter migration, beautiful spring flowers. Even if you live in a city like us there is a lot to look out for. I’ve put together a little bag especially for Frida to take out with her on our walks to make it feel extra special, and I’ve just bought the Exploring Nature with Children curriculum which looks amazing. We probably won’t follow it strictly, especially as Frida is a bit young for some of the extension activities, but I can see it being an incredible resource going forwards as we plan on homeschooling.
Read spring books. You can see what’s on our spring bookshelves in this post.
What are you most looking forward to doing this spring?
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