Spring is here!
Spring arrived this weekend in the Northern Hemisphere.
After what was a cold and snowy winter in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast US, Spring arrived and there are signs of nature awakening. The spring flowers are appearing and there are new birds in our backyards and parks. The earth smells like Spring as frozen soil thaws and wood molds release their pungent aromas.
So get out and enjoy it!
Spring is a great time to get out in nature and see what is thawing, stirring, and growing. Animals we have not seen all winter are rousing from their winter hibernation, plants that are dormant all winter are sending out new growth, and spring flowers are appearing. There are spring programs at parks and nature centers all over the US.
Here are some good activities for families:
Take a nature walk or hike. Find a nearby park, nature center, or wildlife refuge. Many have spring activities the might include guided walks, observation areas, and workshops for children.
Take a bike ride or roller blade. There are rails – to – trails routes in many areas, including urban and suburban locations where you can safely bike or roller blade away from traffic. These often offer views of natural areas from perspectives you just can’t get from a car.
Go fishing! Fishing, catch and release, is a great activity for children. In most states, children under a certain age, typically 16 or 18, but in some states a younger age, do not need fishing licenses (adults can help too). Some towns sponsor spring fishing contests for children too.Put up a bird house. If you have a yard with trees, put up a bird house or two. These can be made by those with basic wood working tools, or purchased at hardware stores or nature centers. Seeing birds move in and raise young is a great way to observe birds close up. Consider a bird bath or other source of water too.
Plant a garden. Gardens are a great way for children to learn about plants (and insects!). A garden can range from a backyard or community vegetable garden to a windowsill herb or flower garden. Seeing seeds germinate and grow into plants, flower, and set fruit, is to watch the miracle of nature close up. Gardens can provide food, spices, and flowers, or all three! Plant some seeds, or get starter plants from a garden center or store and see what fun this can be!