Spring Activities for Kids
Spring may be the most welcomed season, especially for those who have experienced a long, cold winter. Along with everything starting to bloom outside, your children are probably blooming with energy and ready to have some springtime fun. Of course, it’s wonderful when parents are able to spend time playing with their kids, but that isn’t always possible or healthy. When children play independently, it’s not only good for everyone’s energy levels, but it’s an important part of self-discovery and growth—just like spring itself!
We hope you enjoy these suggestions for unique spring activities for kids as well as find encouragement to implement some independent play for them during this season too.
Playtime for kids has changed significantly over the past few decades. It’s rare now for parents to send their children out to play for hours at a time with no supervision or contact. However, some parents of today oversee or participate in their children’s playtime to the point that the child is unsure what to do if left on their own. Unfortunately, this is when many kids and parents will turn to screens and digital entertainment for “company” or to counteract boredom.
It can be difficult for some adults to allow their children to play by themselves. Some may even feel guilty insisting on independent play, mistaking alone time for lonely time. Yet independent play builds important skills in children of all ages, such as:
- Learning processes and curiosity
- Cognitive development
- Language acquisition
- Problem solving
- Imagination and creativity
- Self-regulation and resilience
Unstructured, independent playtime should be supervised by parents for safety. However, this playtime should be without parental oversight or input. The best strategy is to find a balance between short intervals of independent play for your child followed by fun and loving parental interactions. In this way, children learn how to explore their environment, discover, and love who they are through their thoughts, emotions, daydreams, and instincts. Independent play is also a strong message to your child that you trust them to be themselves.
Sunny days and gentle weather are what most families look forward to in the springtime. Here are some ideas for your child to appreciate and enjoy these special days:
It’s always fun to spend time at a playground. Be sure to encourage some age-appropriate independent play while there. This can be hard for parents who worry that their child might fall or do something risky. However, allowing your child to navigate swings, slides, and even interacting with other children is important in developing physical and social skills. If something doesn’t go well, you will be right there to provide support and comfort.
Imagine what a big canvas the outdoors can be for kids to enjoy with some sidewalk chalk and a paved area. If you are lacking concrete space, a bottle of bubble solution and wands of different sizes are another way for your child to explore outside art. In addition, children of all ages love to gather leaves, sticks, dandelions, and other items to make an outdoor collage. You can take some relaxing moments and foster your child’s imagination and artistic skills by encouraging them to arrange such a collage for birds to see when they fly over. This also allows your child to consider different perspectives and connect with nature.
Of course, in many areas, spring comes with several rainy days in addition to sunny ones. Thankfully there are some interesting and stimulating activities that your children can do to pass the time indoors when the weather is gloomy. Here are some ideas:
Reading Together Time
This is an activity for both readers and non-readers of all ages. Have your child choose a few books to “read” on their own for a set amount of time (between 10-20 minutes). They can even choose a doll or stuffed animal to share the stories with, and you can sit near them to read your book. Make sure your child understands that you will talk about your reading together when the time is up. This encourages your child to look through their books independently and develop curiosity about the process of reading. Reading to yourself along with them models the importance of this as a lifelong activity. Make sure to be very interested in their thoughts about their books when time is up, remind them that you are proud of their “reading time,” and look forward to cozy days in the future of even longer independent reading sessions together.
Unlimited Toys (Almost)
Understandably, most parents limit the number of toys that their children play with at a time to avoid a big mess, overstimulation, etc. However, sometimes playing with multiple types of toys at the same time can spark imagination and critical thinking in children. A rainy day is the perfect time to allow your child to, within reason, play with as many toys as they like in whatever way they choose. Though it may cause parents to initially cringe, this activity will keep kids busy on their own for a while as they have free reign of their playtime. When they are done, this is also an excellent opportunity for you to ask whether your child has outgrown or lost interest in any toys and then consider donating them for a good cause. You can also reinforce the satisfaction of making everything tidy again by helping your child clean up with a positive attitude.
One of the best ways to help your child gain independence and self-discovery is to encourage imaginative play and unique ways to observe their environment. At Cognisprings, we support parents looking for educational toys that inspire children to explore who they are through imagination and critical thinking. That’s why we provide books, puzzles, games, and toys that are thoughtfully designed for creativity and curiosity. In addition, Cognisprings prioritizes fun and educational activities that are screen-free, promote healthy cognitive development, and encourage personal growth through independent play. Family togetherness, such as playing games, is important to for creating lasting memories as well, which is why our products are ideal for both independent play and playtime with others.