Fresh Ideas for Spring

By Caitlin Bootsma

For many of us, it has been a long winter and we're ready to start something new. Thank goodness for the changing of the seasons! In many places in the country, Spring brings with it a chance to get outside and to immerse ourselves in a season of growth and new life.

One of the best ways to celebrate Spring is to get everyone outside as soon as the weather allows! Go on a walk, take a hike, and maybe plan a picnic or dinner outside. Consider teaching kids a new outdoor activity like biking, roller skating or gymnastics.

Break out all of those old favorite outside games. Hopscotch, hide and seek, Marco Polo, tag, catch, Ghost in the Graveyard,1  What time is it Mr. Wolf?2, and Mother May I3  may be familiar to you but new to your kids!

We all know that Spring is a time of growth and new life. If you're up for a challenge, try planting a small vegetable or flower garden. Or, just let the kids pick a potted herb to care for (and then cook with it!). You can start small with one potted plant. It's also the perfect time to observe birds hatching, to catch bugs, and keep a look out for wild animals.

Are your kids at an age where they are ready to learn a new skill? Spring lends itself to so many tasks—from mowing the lawn, to repainting the house, to watering the plants outside. These life skills are such an important part of growing up!

Become a tourist in your own city/town. There is so much to see that you may never have visited before. Scout out new neighborhoods to walk in, memorials to see, or nature trails to explore.

Finally, the abundance of life in the Spring can be a beautiful reminder of God's love and abundance. What a beautiful time to recall the words in Hosea, "Let us know, let us strive to know the LORD; as certain as the dawn is his coming. He will come to us like the rain, like spring rain that waters the earth (Hosea 6:3).

1  Ghost in the Graveyard is typically played at night with 3 or more players who try to find a "ghost" (one of the players) who is hiding. The player who finds the ghost is safe and then the ghost proceeds to chase the other players as they race back to a safe base. Whoever is tagged is the ghost for the next round.
2 What Time is It Mr. Wolf has "Mr. Wolf" (one player) standing facing a field or yard across from a row of players. He/she should turn their back to them. In turn, each player asks "What Time is It Mr. Wolf" and are given an answer between 1 and 12, which tells them how many steps they can advance. At a time of Mr. Wolf's choosing, he/she answers the question by saying "Midnight!" and turns around and chases the other players; whoever he/she catches is the next Mr. Wolf.
3  Mother May I is set up with one player "Mother" facing a row of players across a yard or a field. The object of the game is to see which player reaches Mother first. Each player, in turn, asks Mother, "Mother May I..." and then fills in an action that would get them closer to Mother (e.g. "Mother May I take 4 giant steps" or "Mother May I take two bunny hops"). Mother can say "Yes" or "No, but you can..." and fill in a different or altered action (e.g. "No, you may not take 4 giant steps, but you may take 2). Whoever reaches Mother first is the next Mother.

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