Seven outdoor activities for kids this spring

Boys pond dipping
Pond dipping is so much fun! (Photo: WTML)

The sun is shining and the days are getting warmer, so get outside and have some fun. We’ve put together a list of our favourite outdoor activities for this time of year.

1. Go on a woodland wildflower walk

Vivid bluebells, sunny yellow celandines, creamy primroses… in May the woods come alive with spring flowers, so why not head out armed with our Spring flowers ID sheet and see how many you can spot?

2. Sow some wildflower seeds

If you have a garden, you could sow some wildflowers to attract bees and butterflies this summer. You can buy packets of seeds in supermarkets and garden centres.

  • Dig over a small patch of earth in a sunny spot, removing any weeds and large stones.
  • Rake it so there are no big clumps.
  • Sprinkle over the wildflower seeds – make sure you spread them evenly.
  • Water your wildflower patch, and remember to keep it watered in dry weather.

No garden? Don’t worry – you can sow your seeds in a window box instead.

3. Listen out for birdsong and other sounds of spring

Keep your ears open when you’re out and about. How many of these can you tick off?

  • The dawn chorus – in spring, birds are singing to attract a mate or defend their territory. Their chorus is at its best in the early morning so you’ll need to be up with the lark!
  • A cuckoo – check out our cuckoo blog for facts about this fascinating bird.
  • A lawnmower. The grass is starting to grow so you’ll soon start to hear the sound of this beast.
  • The drumming of a woodpecker on a hollow branch.
  • The buzz of a bumble bee.
  • A lamb bleating.
  • A duckling chirping.

4. Take a blossom shower

Babies and tiny children will love to stand underneath a blossom-covered tree on a breezy day and watch the petals swirl through the air. Why not see how many you can catch? Keep small fingers away from the prickly hawthorn and blackthorn though!

5. Go pond dipping and explore an underwater world

Late spring’s a great time to go pond dipping. You’re likely to find tadpoles, dragonfly nymphs, snails and all manner of water insects. It’s safest to visit a pond with a dipping platform, and always take a grown-up along. Cover any cuts on your hands with sticking plasters to stop germs from the water getting in. 

You will need:

  • a net
  • a white plastic container
  • a magnifying glass.

1. Half fill the plastic container with pond water.

2. Kneel beside the pond, or lie on your tummy with just your head poking over the side.

3. Draw a figure of eight or a circle in the water with your net, keeping it close to the edge of the pond. You might need to do this a few times.

4. Turn your net inside out into the plastic container and use a magnifying glass to inspect your catches. Our amphibian ID might help you work out what they are.

5. Gently tip the creatures back into the water when you’ve finished.

6. Always wash your hands after pond dipping.

Check out our pond dipping sheet for more top tips!

Remember, always be careful when you’re playing by water.

6. Make a spring sensory box

It’s a great way to introduce babies and toddlers to the wonders of nature. You could include the following:

  • a fragrant flower, such as a primrose (not a bluebell as the sap is poisonous!)
  • a silky feather
  • a fluffy catkin
  • a piece of rough bark
  • a brightly coloured flower
  • some soft cherry blossom petals.

7. Climb your first tree of 2016

Now the weather’s getting drier, it’s time to get active in the woods. Choose a healthy tree with lots of sturdy branches close to the ground and get climbing! Just remember to only climb when there’s a grown-up nearby.

Take a look at our Activities section for lots more ideas. How about our animal track ID, spring scavenger hunt, or scents of spring perfume-making activity?

Don’t forget to tell us about your outdoor spring adventures in the comments below, or on our Facebook page. You can share your pics on Instagram and Twitter using #NatureDetectives too.

What spring adventures have you had?

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