Spring is a timed of renewed energy, increasing daylight hours, warmer temperatures accompanied by the return of birds and greenery! Celebrate all things spring with your family!  How many of the following activities will your family try this spring?

BUILD AND TEST PUDDLE RAFTS

Spring isn’t spring without some puddles to play in! Watch our PUDDLE RAFTS YouTube video for ideas on how to build 3 kinds of puddle rafts, or get inspired to test your own ideas. Kids can experiment with different materials buoyancy – wood, bottle caps, plastic, cardboard, etc. Decorate your rafts with feathers or leaves or home made flags.


BUILD A BIRD HOUSE

Many birds who return to Alberta for the spring nesting season appreciate bird houses! Tree swallows, purple martins, bluebirds, wrens – even some species of ducks will make use of a man-made birdhouse. Visit Ellis Bird Farm to download bird house plans or purchase a bird house kit. Remember that the size of the entrance hole will invite certain birds to enter the nest box.

Tree Swallows appreciate nest boxes. Photo by Pete Nuij.

Take an Evening Stroll

Spring means longer daylight hours and warmer weather! Enjoy Alberta’s spectacular sunsets & spring evenings by taking the family out for an evening stroll. Remember to dress properly and make sure you’ve got rubber boots!

Parks Council

BUILD A HOME MADE RAIN GAUGE

A home made rain gauge can help kids make a connection to the outdoors every day. Building their own rain gauge creates a way for kids to be involved in the process from start to finish, too. Keep a calendar where kids can record the rainfall over the spring, summer and fall. With a few materials most families can find around the house and the instructions at Environment Canada, you’ll have some budding weather enthusiasts in no time.


5. FLY A KITE!

Take advantage of spring breezes with a kite. Kids can learn about weather and physics while honing their hand-eye coordination! Just find a big field or park where there are no overhead power lines so everyone can be safe while enjoying this old fashioned outdoor hobby. Check out My Best Kite and build some basic kites at home!

START YOUR OWN NATURE JOURNAL

Nature Journals are a great way to form a deeper, more personal connection to our natural world and can help relieve anxiety and stress while developing our senses. You can use a lined or plain notebook or download our free My Nature Journal. Print off the booklet or just the pages that inspire you. Download our free “My Nature Journal” and get started today!

Crystal Driedger’s Bird Nature Journal Entry

START SOME SEEDS INDOORS

Some of our favourite garden flowers and vegetables need to be started indoors to mature in our short growing season. Marigolds, pansies, tomatoes, peppers, herbs – try them all or just try one.
With just a packet of seeds, some potting soil and some small containers, families can witness the miracle of germination and plant growth! Start your plant indoors and move outside into a larger pot or garden bed when frost danger is over. Plants have varying starting times and needs for light & humidity. Follow directions on the seed packet for best results!


GO BIRDING!

There is no better time than spring to take up the hobby of birding! Migrating birds return from their southern and coastal habitats from early March to mid May and we are wake to a morning chorus of robins, sparrows, warblers, black-birds and more! Get a Bird Identification book or app, consider buying a pair of binoculars, head out to your nearest trail or wetlands, park or backyard. Get inspired by participating in Global Big Day on May 8/2021.


9. MAKE HOME MADE WIND CHIMES

Spring can be windy! Why not build a whimsical wind chime to capture the energy of wind and turn it to sound?
You will need a top made from a sturdy material – wood or metal. Your top can be a round disc, a ring or even a long piece of driftwood. Attach a hook or rink to the top piece from which you can hang your chime. Choose the material you wish to dangle below. These materials are what makes noise and can be anything from beads or sea shells to hollow pipes to keys to old cutlery to varying lengths of bamboo to tree cookies. Let your imagination dictate how your finished product looks!

10. MAKE HOME MADE EGG DYES!

Instead of using food colouring to paint your Easter Eggs, why not try experimenting with natural dyes, using items most people have in the pantry or fridge? If you want to be even more traditional, try plants and fungi you can harvest from the forest or garden to make unusual dyes from nature!  Get the details on our Natural Easter Egg Dyes blog.

 

A mix of natural dyes and food colouring combined to make these hand painted eggs by Kathy Schwengler.