Even if the kids around you are not ready to spring forward into the time change this weekend, we bet they’re looking forward to diving into Spring Break.
Don’t have a trip planned or just need something extra to occupy their time after a spring camp? It can be difficult to come up with fresh activities, especially after you may feel like you’ve exhausted all ideas this past year. To bring some springtime spirit into – and around – your home, the Bug Bite Thing came up with five fun ideas that are the perfect ways for families to get this season to blossom.
5 Ways to Engage Your Kids Close to Home this Spring Break
Paint kindness rocks.
We could all use a little extra kindness in our lives, and creating “kindness rocks” offers a creative path for kids to think big but start small. To begin, take a walk outside to gather small, smooth stones and pebbles to add to your collection. (Don’t forget to bring your Bug Bite Thing along for the ride, as mosquitoes tend to reappear around March.) If your nearby environment doesn’t offer the right kind of rocks, check out your local craft store or garden shop for a bag of river rocks.
With some brushes and paint, plus a sealant, if available, it’s time to get to work! Have them paint spring scenes and animals, decorate them with their favorite characters, or add kind words and motivational phrases to their art.
Once designed, it’s time to release them into the community. Leave these special stones in public spaces like parks, playgrounds, beaches, community gardens and outdoor shopping centers to brighten others’ days as they come across your child’s colorful creations. While hiding the rocks, encourage them to search for their own treasures, such as spotting a new flower or noticing wildlife experiencing something exciting. To take it up a notch, there are specific Facebook groups dedicated to “The Kindness Rock Project,” where members post photos of their rocks to inspire others to seek them out.
In most locales, springtime is the ideal time to begin gardening, whether in your yard or in the house. Even if the temperatures are still too cold in your area, your kids can begin to build their garden with seedlings indoors. We recommend choosing plants that germinate quickly and require little maintenance, especially for little ones who may not have the patience for crops that rise more slowly.
Sunflowers and marigolds are bright and fun to watch grow. For edible plants, cherry tomatoes, snap peas, purple bush beans, lettuces and radishes make for easy starters that are easy to harvest, and the variety of shapes and colors doesn’t hurt. Each plant will require different care, so use Spring Break to research and shop together to start the seedlings best matched for your home and your children’s wishes.
Get new “pet” bugs.
At Bug Bite Thing, you might think we shun insects, but it’s just the opposite! Even though we found a way to ditch the itching and swelling from their bites and stings, we admire nature and how everything works together. If your kids are as into learning about bugs as we are, spark their curiosity even more with some new low-maintenance “pets” this spring break.
Getting a bug hut and watching caterpillars transform into butterflies is especially popular, but the ladybug metamorphosis might be our favorite to watch. Ant farms, praying mantis habitats and compost worm buckets are also cool for those who do not need the “beauty” of bugs and just like to see how they work. Whichever route you decide, seek out reputable sources like Insect Lore to get your new pets and habitats, plus plan ahead so you have time to watch them grow or release them into the wild during Spring Break!
Visit a farm.
If bugs aren’t enough to keep your kids engaged, see if there is a local farm or wild animal rescue center you can visit in your community or take a day trip to see the critters. In South Florida, we are lucky to have access to several farms that offer petting zoo-style visits, plus a turtle museum and animal shelters that allow kids to get up close and personal to local species, but take this time to discover what is special in your area. Many farms around the country offer tours and chats with the owners, so take advantage of their offerings for some extra education with a side of cuteness.
Make a bird feeder.
You know springtime is here when the birds begin singing (early!) each morning, so you may as well run with it. Kids of all ages will enjoy creating bird feeders, as long as you find a design that works for your family’s creative style.
On the simple end, collect old toilet paper rolls, roll them in sunflower seed butter or peanut butter and birdseed, then pop them on tree branches. Voila! Instant food for the birds. If you’re looking for something a bit more involved and imaginative, check out our “spring things” Pinterest board for a ton of additional bird feeder ideas sure to please your feathered friends.
Craving more activities? Check out our staycation ideas if vacationing from home this March is more your style, or build a fairy garden to keep the pixie spirit alive!
Which spring activities are you going to try? Share your creations with us by tagging @bugbitething in your photos on Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and Twitter.