Alternate Title: Spring in the Time of Coronavirus
Spring is finally here! Things are feeling a little crazy out there, yeah? After a long winter which already felt hibernate-y, I’ve been looking forward to spring. And now all we can think and talk about seems to be COVID-19 and also we’re busy practicing some “social distancing” around here. But at least the sun is shining this week, and we’re healthy and well-fed for now. This post was originally going to be a spring bucket list and outings, which it still is, but now we’ll be doing more solo stuff, backyard and neighborhood stuff, and outdoor outings.
One of the fun things about growing up somewhere with seasons is the anticipation and celebration. Granted, it’s pretty great to live in “paradise” with warm weather (looking at you Hawaii and California). But living in the Pacific Northwest is pretty great because just around the next corner is another season! We do advent calendars in December and often do a casual winter or summer bucket list on our kitchen chalkboard wall. I used to do a spring and fall list as well, before I had a kid. So here’s an updated, and kid-friendly spring bucket list and printable download.
Spring Bucket List Ideas – Kid and Toddler Activities
- Picking out a spring flower or a plant start at a nursery – this is also a fun outing! (Or in the time of Corona virus, skip ahead to the next one)
- Use dirt (and little gardening tools optional fun!) to replant a flower – this can be a fun activity picking out a planter too or just right in the ground.
- Caring for plants both indoor and outdoor – kids size watering cans are a great skill builder (Here’s an interesting list of “practical life” activities for kids to help with outdoors and gardening)
- Planting a garden – in late spring you can start planning out a simple container garden. Pick seeds or a plant start at a garden store and get started. Go small, go big or go somewhere in between! (Garden Betty is also a beautiful gardening resource)
- Start a daily nature walk – check out the No Such Thing as Bad Weather book for ideas! (1000 Hours Outside also has some great outdoor ideas and tracking printable if that’s your jam)
- Learn about spring animals and baby animals
- Bird watching – listen for sounds and use binoculars or make a binocular craft (here’s an adorable binocular craft from ARTBAR)
- Learn about the weather through crafts, art, and outings. (This printable from Hello Wonderful looks fun!)
- Rainbows – be on rainbow watch – paint rainbows, make playdoh rainbows etc (this rainbow idea was super cute from The Mama Notes, and also 5 minute rainbow rice?! … maybe I’ll try it with our old sensory bin rice, stay tuned…)
- Rain – go for a puddle stomp walk
- Make a pinwheel. (Here’s a cute paper craft pinwheel DIY)
- Weather report – create your own weather report. Ask your older preschoolers to make one and it’s amazing the variety that they will create! (I also love this cutesy weather report seen in the entryway of Montessori In Real Life)
- Make a rain gauge for your yard to measure
- Do a nature scavenger hunt. (TinkerLab always has a neat daily art challenge and a great process art resource)
- Rainy day crafts (Studio DIY has tons of great ideas on her Instagram and this post of creative books with crafts)
- Flowers: collect, dry or press flowers for art with them (Artful Parent has some great flower drawing and also leaf imprinting activities)
- Create a nature tray inside for nature walk finds (How We Montessori has a great post about starting a nature tray)
- Bug watching – get a magnified glass and get curious outside. (This big one is good for toddlers, and the bugviewer for preschoolers and older kids.
- Get family pictures taken – or trade with a friend
- Take the earthly-friendly Easter basket challenge!
- Get ready for Easter with some egg activities – dying them, practice hard boiled peeling for younger kids, color matching with eggs, practice egg hunts etc. Get all the mileage out of easter activities! (Also love this Easter activity round-up from The House That Lars Built)
- Host or attend an Easter egg hunt – or maybe a family-only egg hunt this year!
- Visit tulip or other flower fields
- Watch the cherry blossoms or almond or plum – have a picnic under the blossoms or keep a blossom watch. This year, try to go during non crowded times or walk in your neighborhood.
- Make paper flowers – this is a great older kids project or younger with lots of help or just let them decorate one. (So many great paper flower ideas on Oh Happy Day)
- Take a butterfly net out and look for spring things – my one year old loved taking his net to a local park fountain.
- Bust out the sidewalk chalk on a dry day – draw flowers or hopscotch
- Bike tune-up – so get those bikes ready for spring and summer rides
- Rain boots shopping – if grown out of previous size or do a boots swap with friends and neighbors.
- Teach your kids about April Fool’s Day – and also maybe what is and isn’t kosher as a joke? Hmmm…
- Host a spring or Easter brunch – hopefully by the end of spring this year?! Post-corona brunch anyone?
- Picnic in a park
- Celebrate Kentucky Derby May 2, 2020 – derby hats as a craft!, horse race, drinks! betting?! lol maybe not that last one?!
- Celebrate Flag Day
- Learn about Ramadan
- Visit the farmers market for spring veggies/fruit – each person pick 1 to prepare (For example, this cute spring veggies graphic from FreshExchange – would be fun to use printed as a scavenger hunt at the market!)
- Visit one new area park a month (look for new nature parks in your area!)
- Go visit ducks (feeding them may or may not be legit anymore!)
- Buy new spring flowers from the grocery store or farmers market
- Make a spring baked good (rhubarb scones? muffins? cookies? Similarly these look good)
- Celebrate Mother’s Day!
- Check out Spring books from the library
- Find a local story time – libraries or bookstores (or virtual one this year!)
- Make or fly a kite
- Make May Day baskets
- Plant a flower from seed – marigolds are great for this or herbs! And watch for new sprout every day.
- Arrange picked and foraged flowers – wild flowers or from your yard. This is also a good time to talk about asking about picking others flowers! (Love the little vases and rainbow colored water from Oh Joy!)
- Spring cleaning – give everyone a task
- Go through clothes and toys for seasonal or hand me downs. Also maybe waiting to take them to a consignment shop right now.
- On that note, make a list of what new spring/summer items you will need. So you can keep an eye out before it’s urgent.
- Go on a spring hike
- Make a fairy garden in the yard
- Find a farm (or the zoo) to visit that will have a few baby animals – or maybe this year for example, go for a country drive and look for farm animals, lolol.
- Earth day celebration or volunteering
- Pick up litter on a trail, hike, or beach (grabber tongs maybe a good for kids)
- Spring break – you might have been planning a big trip or a weekend trip, but we’re probably going to be in full staycation mode this year!
- Visit a local botanical gardens – on off hours!
- Visit the forest or forest parks in spring
- Do one small yard project with kids (fill in a hole, weed & spread bark, make a mud kitchen, etc)
- Water play outside – now is the time to get back outside for water play and pouring activities (Busy Toddler has some great pouring activities and toddler activities in general!)
- Plant or pick strawberries (early June!)
- Bust out the grill or just eat lunch outside
- Get the yard games out or go to second-hand shops to get new ones (croquet! anyone?)
- Plan out ideal outdoor space – and involve your kids. What’s the simplest way you could bring their dream to reality? Water play with bowls? Hanging a swing? A teepee to try before investing in a treehouse etc (Emily Henderson has a ton of amazing ideas for backyard kiddo spaces)
- Plan first camping trip or local trip of the season – fingers crossed everyone!
- Plan a fun summer adventure – again, fingers crossed everyone!
- Start planning a summer bucket list!
- Say “goodbye” to spring with learning about and celebrating the summer equinox
Spring Holidays 2020:
Spring is technically March 19 – June 19 in 2020. Sometimes people use full months as seasons – a la spring is March, April, and May. But this list follows the more technical spring season from the first day of spring (March 19) to the Summer Equinox (June 20).
- March 17 – St Patricks Day (technically still in Winter)
- March 19 – First Day of Spring
- April 1 – April Fools
- Apri 12 – Easter
- April 22 – Earth Day
- April 23 – Ramadan Begins (2020)
- May 1 – May Day
- May 2 – Kentucky Derby
- May 5 – Cinco De Mayo
- May 10 – Mothers Day
- May 25 – Memorial Day Weekend
- June 20 – Summer Solstice
- June 21 – Father’s Day (technically in Summer this year)
Portland Area Spring Bucket List Outings & Events:
Since we live in the Portland area, here’s a list of local activities. It’s fun to sprinkle in local events and activities with independent outings and home activities! Check your local tourism website for seasonal ideas. Or just search for some spring events + your city. Obviously, this year is different, but some of these activities can still be enjoyed.
- Cherry Blossoms at Waterfront Park – March (depending on weather)
- Visit the Tulip fields – Tulip Fest at Wooden Shoe Tulip Farm in Woodburn, OR – March 20 to May 3, 2020
- Whale Watching on the Oregon coast – March
- rainy waterfall hikes in the Gorge
- Holland America flower garden in Woodland, Wa – mid-April to mid-May
- final Blazers games – through mid-April
- Visit local gardens for blooms – Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, Leach Botanical, Japanese Gardens, Chinese Gardens, and also Oregon Garden in Silverton, OR
- Visit local forest parks – Audubon Society, Hoyt Arboretum, Forest Park, Washington Park
- Portland Farmers market season – yay to more produce!
- Portland Dining Month (March) – boohoo
- Cinco de Mayo Fest at Waterfront – May 1-3, 2020 (hmmm where’s the cinco)
- Crafty Wonderland Spring Market – May 2, 2020
- Rowena Crest viewpoint for flowers in Mosier, OR – May
- Sunday Parkways biking – SE Portland – May 17, 2020
- Yurt or cabin camping – May/June
- Portland Rose Festival – May 22 – June 7, 2020
- PDX Beer Week – June 12-21, 2020 (it’s Portland, there are kid-friendly breweries!)
- first three weeks of Pedalpalooza (summer doesn’t start until June 21!)
Spring Bucket List + Free Printable
Here is your free bucket list printable! I made these for my kiddo and nieces and nephew. And here’s a printable – to fill with ideas from the list above! Download here.
In short, I hope this idea list gets you started on some exciting spring plans! Remember this list is intended to be fun and give you some ideas for things to occupy your kiddos. If it’s stressful or a production – especially in light of a pandemic – just skip it!