Sorry for the pun, but as we march into Spring and the clocks move forward in the UK this weekend, it’s time to start thinking about all the light evenings and longer days ahead! It should be a time to get outside and enjoy the garden or other green spaces and a fantastic time to get active!
I am thinking that I need to start running again (we’ll see how that goes! Lol!) but regardless, I will definitely be getting outside more. Last year, we spent loads of time outside, but purely because the pandemic meant we could socialise outside but not in! We always cook and eat outside during the summer, but I think spring in the garden is a treat!
I also realised today as I gazed out at the sunshine that as we head into spring, some of our readers in the Southern hemisphere are heading into Autumn, an equally beautiful season. Wherever you are in the world, enjoy the season and I hope that some of the tips in this post will be useful for developing creativity in your children!
5 ideas for keeping kids creatively busy this season:
1. Use the outdoors to make up new games. Head to the park or woods and think of a game you could play. Use games you know to get started and then adapt them (no, not to cheat lol, but to make them more fun!). Getting creative means thinking outside the box – what better excuse to create your own version of a game you know.
2. Draw a tree. This is a great seasonal activity to do. Observing and drawing how a tree looks at a certain time of year brings an understanding of how the world changes as we go through the year. It is the perfect mindful activity after a busy day – take time just to sit or lie down and draw or paint what you see. Make a note in your diary and head back to the same tree in summer, autumn and winter, then create an Andy Warhol inspired display of the paintings – not only will you see the changes of the tree, but also the changes in your child’s artistic development!
3. Use the garden to play learning games. Use flashcards, either number or word, to hide around the garden and give your child a calculation or spell the letters to a word and get them to race around trying to find the answer! It’s a great way to build memory skills as well as working out the answer. You can mix it up by swapping the cards – give the answer and they find the calculation; say the word and find the letters to spell it.
4. Collect and press flowers for later in the season. Pressed flowers make beautiful cards for special people and the whole process of pressing them takes time but is completely worth it! This is maybe not an activity for impatient children, but, then again, could show them that waiting can be a good thing! You don’t need any special equipment either, so forget blotting paper and wooden presses (unless you have them already!), just grab some books and plenty of kitchen paper. I have been pressing flowers between book pages successfully for years and find it so simple. Lay the flowers carefully on a sheet of kitchen paper, laying them out how you would like them to be pressed, either on their side or facing front. Experiment because sometimes they wriggle as the top paper comes down and they might not look how you expected them in a few weeks’ time - press plenty! Lay another sheet of kitchen towel on top of the flowers and then close the book slowly and carefully… If you have the space, leave the book flat down with a pile of heavy books on top (with more flowers in them too!) for a couple of weeks, then check them carefully. If they are ready, use them to make pictures, cards, or even try using them to decorate cakes, cookies or brownies!
5. Have a picnic! Think I’ve said this before, but I love a picnic! Especially a homemade one. Use the time before to bake and make what you take with you. Get everyone involved in some way. Gather blankets or sheets, napkins and cushions. Make bunting with paper or fabric. Have a theme – maybe a colour, or something along the lines of a teddy bears picnic, or even a specific food, like pizza (yes, I have made chocolate pizza before! It was amazing!). Picnics are just a great create fest – you could honestly spend a day just preparing it!
So, I’ve covered active, mindful and busy creative activities for you to try this spring. I’m sure that they will spark other ideas but let us know how you get on with these! We love to see how you get creative 😃 Share your experiences with us here or on Facebook or join our community group “Grow a Creative Child” – a space to talk and share your creative learning journey 🌱
Most of all, enjoy the lighter days and see you again next week