Spring is here! Winter is gone and the days are turning warmer. It’s just the right time to start throwing open windows and doors to let the stuffy air (and the kids) out of the house!
However, with a “shelter in place order” in affect for most states, you’re also being asked to stay home with your kids. Maybe you’re homeschooling for the first time in your life, you have to work from home, and you’re trying to keep the kids busy.
This is a great opportunity to spend some fun time with your kids this Spring and if you’re just not sure what to do with them – here’s a few ideas to get you started.
Spring Cleaning with Kids
While spring cleaning doesn’t sound like fun, research has shown that there are actual health benefits to digging in and doing a deep cleaning on your home. These benefits include helping you breathe better, reducing stress, mixing up the workout routine and your whole family will get a good night’s sleep in their nice clean bedrooms.
Of course, the idea of asking your kids to help with it may fill you with a sense of dread so here’s some ideas to help make it fun for the whole family.
- Turn up the tunes! Nothing puts people in a happier mood than pumped up music! So, turn it up and dance your way to a cleaner abode!
- Clean with Karate! Remember the Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi’s “wax on/wax off” lesson? Show your little ones how to clean windows, mirrors and even the family car using this fun lesson from the 80’s!
- Play “Follow the Leader”! Give each child an apron and tuck an old rag or towel and a squirt bottle filled with a vinegar and water mixture into the pockets. The leader then walks through the house making multiple stops to clean or put away an object and the rest of the group follows. You can switch leaders every five minutes to help everyone have fun.
- Sock Match Race! Toss all the family’s clean socks onto a bed in a big pile then race to see who can match the most pairs the fastest. Once the mates are together, show your kids how to fold them. It’s important to not have the kids fold them together themselves, this gives you time to make sure that they’re mated properly before being put away. Any socks left over without mates can either be donated or put into a bin for arts and crafts projects.
- The Sorting Game! Organize your kids’ belongings because when they have clearly designated storage spaces, children are more likely to put them away when they’re done. Transparent, covered storage bins are great because they keep the dust out, they’re stackable (and save space), they’re portable – some even come with wheels! – and they allow your kids to see what’s inside without having to read labels.
When they’re little, kids get so excited about doing things with Mom and Dad.
Spring cleaning doesn’t have to be a drag – just help your kids have fun while they help you get it done. You’re on a “shelter in place order” make the most of it and stay active with your kids while also being productive.
Spring Activities with Kids
Kids grow up fast – it may seem like a cliché but it’s true – so enjoy time with them while they’re young and want to spend time with you, too. When they’re little, kids get so excited about doing things with Mom and Dad. Here are some really fun, inexpensive and easy ways to spend time with your kids this Spring.
- A Marble Launch – Cut a pool noodle in half, length-wise, then line them up next to each other, kids stand at the top with a marble and race them to the bottom (pro-tip: be sure not to do this in the grass as marbles get launched by lawn mowers).
- Lawn Art – Using some old sheets and tempura paint allow the kids to either paint the sheet which can then be hung up in the back yard to be admired or it can be used as a drop cloth and the kids can paint leaves, rocks or other items to create fun art.
- Homemade Bird Feeders – Peanut butter on a pinecone dipped in bird seed or scoop out the inside of an orange for a yummy snack then fill the orange peel with bird seed.
- Sponge Bullseye – Using sidewalk chalk, draw rings like a dart board with 50 in the middle, then the next ring is 40, then 30 until the outside ring is worth 10. The kids stand about 3 feet from the “target” and throw three wet sponges trying to hit the bullseye. The first child to reach 300 wins.
- A Bug Hunt – Walmart, Target and even some “Dollar Stores” carry small bug habitats. Spend some time with your little ones exploring the foliage in your back yard and find lady bugs, beetles and other small bugs. Some kids just love the thrill of the “hunt”.
- Rock Face Painting – Using several round rocks for eyes, triangle shaped rocks for noses then different larger shaped rocks for mouth, the kids paint the rocks then mix and match them to make different faces. You can give the kids an old digital camera to take pictures of the different faces and then let family members vote to win awards: funniest face, coolest face, looks the most like Mom, etc.
- Make Your own Hula Hoops – Using irrigation tubing, a PVC cutter, a connector (coupling), some small beans or rice and colored electrical tape, simply cut the tubing to make it about chest height for your child, put the connector in one end and put beans in the tubing then close the tube and tape it with the electrical tape. You can also use the tape to decorate the hula hoop. These should last your kids all Spring!
- Shoe Pile Scramble – Kids take off their shoes and throw them all in a pile then stand in a line about 10 feet from the pile. After mixing up the shoes, the kids race to find their shoes, put them on properly (tied, buckled, etc.) then race back to the line. The first person to cross the finish line with both shoes on properly is the winner!
- Tin Foil River Boats – Fill some ice trays with colored water covered in plastic wrap with toothpicks poked through. When they’re frozen add little paper sails to the toothpicks (nothing complicated, just take a triangle of colored paper and poke it on the toothpick) then using a roll of aluminum foil from the dollar store, unroll it full length and curl it up on the sides to make a river and place in on a slight slope. Put some water in it and let your kids sail their “boats” down the river. Once they defrost, grab some more out of the freezer.
These are just a few fun ideas but there are plenty more to be found online. Take a moment and Google “Spring Activities for Kids” or “What do I do this Spring with my kids?” and you will be amazed at what’s out there.
The Chiropractic Factor
You’ve just spent a few months with the doors and windows closed as the cold weather has made it almost impossible to spend time outside in the fresh air. Now that the weather is better allow your body and your house to breathe; open doors, open windows, get active, move your body, take deep breaths and enjoy this amazing weather. Your immune system is strengthened by deep breathing of crisp fresh air and being active. This is the best time of year to do both. Ask your Family Wellness Chiropractor for more recommendations on how to make the most of Spring and build your immune system while staying at home with your kids.
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