The first signs of spring are just around the corner and your family is no doubt itching to enjoy the warmer weather. But, out of an abundance of caution, you’re probably keeping your family’s activities at home or in the yard. Ready to put away those natural cleaning products and wrap up spring cleaning? Great-- now’s the perfect time to get your children out of the house to explore the beauty of a backyard in the spring. Luckily, there are lots of ways to do that, even if you have a toddler. In fact, most of the ideas we came up with here are a good time for the whole family, but toddlers especially will love them.
Plan a Backyard Picnic, Obvi
Yes, a picnic might be an obvious choice for a fun spring activity for children, but let’s face it—everyone loves a good picnic! It’s like a mini-family adventure, packing up the perfect foods, finding the right blanket, and soaking up the springtime sun. The best thing about picnics is they aren’t impacted by COVID: you can easily have a backyard picnic and your toddler will be absolutely thrilled. And a bonus, you don’t have to walk two miles to use a restroom!
Fly a Kite
While you’re in the backyard enjoying that picnic, why not fly a kite, too? They have kites for the little ones and if it’s a nice, breezy day, that’s perfect kite flyin’ weather, my friend.
Toddlers get a huge kick out of blowing bubbles. And chasing them, of course. You can get a couple of small bottles of bubbles and keep things simple, or you can get fancy and buy one of those gigantic bubble makers. Either way, your toddler will be enthralled chasing the floating rainbows and feeling them bust in his face. The great thing about bubble makers is they can keep up with your toddler and blow bubbles for hours on end. You decide how much your peace and sanity is worth.
This is one of the best spring activities for toddlers that doesn’t require you to leave the house. You can draw on the sidewalk right outside your front door or draw on your driveway. This is a fun activity everyone can enjoy, including the tots. Draw outlines of your bodies, draw rainbows and spring flowers, draw clouds and other fun shapes. It’s fun, it’s outdoors, and you get to flex a bit of creative muscle while you do it. If your driveway space is limited, you can also use chalk on a concrete patio or balcony-- it’ll come right off with a little water.
Backyard Roast Party
You can roast hotdogs and after everyone eats, bust out the marshmallows, chocolate, and graham crackers to make s’mores. There’s no toddler alive, ever, who doesn’t love an ooey-gooey, chocolate s’more. Most toddlers dig hot dogs too. If you’re vegetarian, there are always great vegetarian hot dog options you can substitute with.
Rock Me Baby, Like a Wagon Wheel
Pretty much all toddlers everywhere enjoy a wagon ride. Why not take a family hike around the neighborhood and drag the baby around in the wagon behind you? Older kids will get a kick out of pulling the baby around too, just make sure they don’t pull it too fast and accidentally tip the thing over. If you’re worried about keeping adequate social distance on your walk, try to aim for less busy times (11AM-1PM is a great time for a walk-- just be sure to apply sunscreen).
It’s a Car Wash!
Okay, yes this is more for you than your tot, but hang with us! Toddlers love to “help” parents wash their cars. Not only does it give them a chance to play in water, but it’s fun sudsing up the sponge and squeezing soap and water everywhere. Plus, toddlers feel “big” when they get to help mom or dad with grownup chores. If you’re making an effort to be more eco friendly, be mindful about the amount of water you use!
Another fun activity for the spring is to set up the sprinklers in the backyard and have a little sprinkler party. There are lots of fun “kid sprinklers” you can find online, that spew water out of multiple openings. It’s like taking your kids to play in one of those water launch pads in local parks, except it’s right there in your own backyard (read: it’s much cleaner).
Plant a Mini-Garden
For many parents, gardening seems like an added burden on top of caring for their children, but it doesn’t have to be! Use containers you find in your home (old tupperware or food containers work great) to plant a mini-garden your toddler will love. Let your toddler pick the seeds and water the soil each day, and watch their smiles grow as the mini-garden blooms. Best of all, this can be done in a windowsill, on a balcony, or in the backyard-- just be sure to plant plenty of seeds so nobody is disappointed if a couple are duds.
Arts and Crafts
Pull out the pipe cleaners and some glue and plan an afternoon of arts and crafts. There are lots of ideas floating around the internet that are perfect for little hands and make for a fun family afternoon in. Arts and crafts projects allow each child to use their imagination to create something they are proud of. They are great for those days where springtime showers are dominating and being outside just isn’t possible. An added bonus: while your kids are crafting away, you can work on checking off your spring cleaning list!
There are lots of things for parents to do together with the kids once spring arrives and warm weather begins to make an appearance. Take advantage of the sunny days and get outdoors as much as possible with these spring activities for toddlers!