20 ways to enjoy springtime

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About Tsh

Tsh is the founder of this blog and lives in Bend, Oregon with her husband and 3 kids. Her latest book is Notes From a Blue Bike, and believes a passport is one of the world's greatest textbooks.

Spring weather is definitely here, and depending on where you live, it might feel like you’re on a speeding train to summer (or maybe that’s just me).

This is one of my favorite times of year (it’s a tie with fall, I think), and it flies by much too quickly. Young children love being outside, so outdoor activities are just a few of the liturgical activities our families enjoy during the spring.

In our air-conditioned, drive everywhere, year-round produce section world, it’s far too easy to ignore the rhythm of nature and life the way God orchestrates it. We are missing out.

Generations past appreciated each season for what it provided and for what it required, and we don’t want that to die with ours. So here are a few ways you can take full advantage of the spring with your family.

Simple ways to enjoy spring

1.  Eat as seasonally as you can. Appreciate the spring weather for what it provides — each climate is different, of course, but in many parts of the northern hemisphere, that means asparagus, artichokes, broccoli, lettuce, and one of my favorites, strawberries.

2.  Eat locally, so that your food is seasonal. See what you can do to get most of your food from a 100-mile radius.

3.  Join a CSA, and visit the farm as a family. This is one easy (and fun) way to ensure your food was grown nearby.

4.  Go camping. If you live in the south, the summer gets too hot to go camping without a constant layer of stickiness. If it’s still too chilly where you live, then put a date on the calendar.

5.  Fly a kite. There’s only so many days in the year this is possible.

6.  Eat your meals outside. Dining al fresco was one of our daily rituals we picked up from living overseas, and now we eat at least one meal per day outside on our porch or lawn. Sometimes we eat all three.


Photo from Amanda Soule

7.  Do what you’d normally do, but outside. I wrote about this a few days ago to enjoy a slower-paced life. Drape a blanket over the grass, and read, play, study, or talk, and you can enjoy spring, too.

8.  Cultivate a little garden. Simple Organic ran a fabulous series on Gardening 101 this past month (and I hope they continue!). You Grow Girl is also a great resource.

9.  With Earth Day approaching, research one new way your family can be kinder to the environment. And start this new habit.

10.  Get crafty. There’s something about springtime that makes me want to sew, sew, sew. For you, perhaps it’s scrapbooking, or photography, or even reading. Do what you can outside.

11.  Go hiking, or even just walking. Get your legs moving and soak in the pleasant weather. I’m reminded of American culture whenever I’ve been here longer than a month and my legs ache from lack of daily, rigorous use.

12.  Check out nature books on bugs, birds, leaves, and wildflowers. Keep them handy when your kids find discoveries in their outdoor playtime. Together, research the names of your finds.  Backyard Nature also has a good list of helpful links.


Photo by Abigail Batchelder

13.  Start spring cleaning. Take a week or two to refresh and declutter your home. And alright — use my e-book as your guide with a helpful step-by-step plan and lots of recipes for homemade cleaners. I’ll be writing about spring cleaning every day from the week of April 12-16, so if you want to set aside some cleaning time then, that might be fun. I won’t be as intense as last year, but it should still be more enjoyable if we did it all together.

14.  Redecorate in small ways to celebrate the spring season. Add some greenery inside, open the windows, and brighten up your color palette. Whenever I’m itching for a new look in the living room, I buy some cloth napkins on sale and whip up simple throw pillow covers.

15.  Feed ducks living in a local pond.

16.  Build a bird feeder, bird bath, or bird house for your backyard or balcony.

17.  Go to the zoo. It’s much nicer when the weather hasn’t gotten too hot yet.

18.  If you don’t year-round, start line drying your clothes. The spring breeze makes this timeless household task go quickly.

clothesline
Photo by Madzia Bryll

19.  Visit the farmer’s market as a family, and make this a weekly ritual.

20.  Read lots of books. Outside, of course.

What do you enjoy most about the spring? What will you do as a family to enjoy the season?

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Comments

  1. Love this! We do most of these things already, but this year I think we will try to do more active things outside, like camping and hiking. I’m not excited about this yet, but I think once I get into it, we will have a blast. :) Trying to get out of my comfort zone, so to speak. I love, love, love this time of year!
    .-= lunzy´s last blog ..National De-lurking Day! =-.

  2. a lovely post – so many good ideas all in one place. i need to get over here more often…
    .-= Kelly Langner Sauer´s last blog ..how does He love me? =-.

  3. Oh, how I love spring! It is my favorite time of the year! The smells of the flowers and the radiance of their colors accompanied by warmer weather all make me smile. I have a bird feeder out back that I love to sit and watch especially when the younger birds come up with mommy and daddy bird.
    .-= Sherry´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday April 5th – 11th =-.

  4. I’m excited to walk barefoot in the grass without freezing my feet :D I love your idea to make knew throw pillow covers, so easy, so simple, with a wonderful and new effect! :D
    .-= Rose´s last blog ..Eating cookies =-.

  5. I will add – Slow down on your work – just a little bit.

    Picking up a little lesser work is really preparing me to enjoy my spring and summer with my family and kids.

    Such fresh ideas, Tsh! your post smells like Spring :)
    .-= Maya´s last blog ..Why is storytelling important? =-.

  6. I need to make more of an effort to eat meals outside. Maybe we’ll try that later today!
    .-= Simple Homeschool ~ Jamie´s last blog ..Weekend Links =-.

  7. What a great list! I love transitions to a new season! We love staying outdoors as much as we can!!! This year, I’m going to attempt a clotheslines and I’m digging being outside in the garden, newbie that I am!!
    .-= vinajoy´s last blog ..Embracing the Empty Spaces: A Revolution of Emptiness =-.

  8. Great ideas and I love the photos too. It is still snowing in Utah and I am NOT happy about that. I want my spring sunshine already!

  9. And when you must drive somewhere turn off the A/C and roll down the window. Better yet, hop on a bike or walk.

    Love your ideas!
    .-= Tepary´s last blog ..Close to Home =-.

  10. It’s great to be able to get outside again. I think it’s very, very inspiring after being ‘holed up’ all winter. And it’s easy to keep it simple with so many wonderful springtime activities to do.

    I’d add, “put on a raincoat and stomp around in the rain and puddles,” if it happens to be raining.
    .-= Simple in France´s last blog ..Your favorite cheap, creative dates =-.

  11. Spending as much time as possible outside these days! LOVED this post.
    .-= Bryony Boxer´s last blog ..Kids Crafts: Food Dye Easter Eggs =-.

  12. avatar
    blissmamaof3 says:

    So so glad to hear you’re doing another spring cleaning series! I’ve got the ebook and will start on Monday, April 12th. The spring cleaning party from last year sounded great, I was hoping for something similar this time around. Thank you!

  13. These are great! We love camping, which will be a bit more of a challenge with a 6-months pregnant wife this spring/summer. However, we can still enjoy eating outside (I’m a grill maniac) and trips to the St. Louis Zoo are always regular events for our family.

    Hooray for Spring!
    .-= Dustin | Engaged Marriage´s last blog ..Do You Pray With Your Kids? =-.

  14. Oh What a great crisp spring list, especially getting outdoors… We are heading into Autumn and it has been quite a bit cooler and so tempting to stay indoors… So I am trying to find ways to get outdoors constantly!!!
    .-= se7en´s last blog ..The Week That Was – 2.40 =-.

  15. I just spent years inside from being ill. Now that I am feeling better, I am getting outside every chance I can. One of my favorite rituals is just taking the kids out side every day. We go on a short hike to look at the rest of our land and it makes me realized how blessed we are.
    .-= Laura @ livingourway´s last blog ..Cheaper By the Dozen =-.

  16. I enjoy doing many of these activities. :)

  17. I must admit I have to giggle a little when the world starts talking about springtime in April. Sadly – where I live in the great white Canadian north, we usually still have snow until mid May. This year it’s actually all gone already (very odd for us!!) but the wind is still bitter and hanging laundry on the line is still a good 2 months away! But I will tuck this great list away for June :-)
    .-= Jen´s last blog ..Cranky =-.

    • I was just telling Aimee (editor of Simple Bites), who lives in Canada, that already here in central Texas it’s getting too muggy to be outside from about 2-6 p.m. She found that funny, too. :)

  18. One of my favorite It’s Spring activities is taking a pajama walk at dusk with the kids…it is so fun to take a stroll while the world is in that “not quite dark glow” in pajamas together.
    .-= Lisa @ WellGrounded Life´s last blog ..Getting Healthy Foods In On The Fly =-.

  19. One of my favorite things to do with the kids during spring is to go outside, sit under a tree and read a great springy book. Fairies seem to be the latest favorite (doesn’t that just remind you of spring). Today I was looking around for great fairy books and noticed that next week, April 13th, a new Disney Tinkerbell book is coming out! I can’t wait to buy it. It is sure to leave a lasting memory imprint on my kids (springtime will remind them of fairies and butterflies and flowers)- that is what I think of when I think of springtime at least.
    .-= Becky´s last blog ..beckybooks: Just realized that there is a new Tinkerbell book coming out on April 13th! Beautiful photos… the kids and I can’t wait! =-.

  20. This is a great list. Thank you.
    One note of caution: It is not a good idea to feed ducks. They will live longer and be healthier eating only their natural foods (aquatic plants, seeds, grasses, insects) rather than handouts from well-meaning humans. When they get used to handouts, they lose their natural fear of humans and may become aggressive to get more food. There is some evidence that regular handouts can interrupt migration instincts because they believe the food source will be readily available all year long. Bread products are the equivalent to junk food for birds, and too much bread (not just from your family but many other families) can lead to malnutrition. Environmentally conscious birders refrain from offering any bread products to wild ducks and waterfowl to avoid dietary and behavior problems.

  21. Can you give us a tutorial for #14?? I would LOVE to make some new throw pillows!!! :)
    .-= Kristin McLendon´s last blog ..Love Came Down =-.

  22. What a great list! We love the zoo.

  23. It helps to live in a place with dramatic season changes. Believe me, we up here in Maine cannot not enjoy the spring as it comes! It is sensational and unmistakable. This past weekend was our first beautiful weekend and I think our family did at least half of the things on this list. Yea, spring!
    .-= Jennifer Tankersley´s last blog ..the week ahead 4/5/2010 =-.

  24. Oh how I miss being able to hang my clothes out on the line…no clotheslines allowed in my development! :( I still put up a little makeshift line of my own on the really nice days. One of my favorite things in the spring is going out in the backyard with the dog and watching her chase all the bunnies and birds. Even she gets excited by the change in weather!
    .-= Tina @ Ride On Toys´s last blog ..Childrens Ride on Toys Help Kids Reach Important Developmental Milestones =-.

  25. Nothing beats rolling in the grass.

  26. Love this list. We have been doing some of these things already too. My daughter and I had a lovely afternoon on a blanket in the grass and she told me stories. We have also started grilling and using our new smoker to smoke meats. It’s wonderful to be able to eat outside again.
    .-= Rana´s last blog ..Menu Plan Monday =-.

  27. I really love this list, and could use the reminders to make sure the kids and I enjoy this wonderful season. Would you mind if I printed this out and stuck it on our fridge?
    .-= Laura´s last blog ..Living Deliberately. =-.

  28. I have been bitten by the spring bug too, and am just about to step out for a nice long walk. I love it when you can go walking and it isn’t too hot or too cold! Thanks for the inspiration.
    .-= Taylor at Household Management 101´s last blog ..Homemade Mildew Cleaner – Get Rid Of Mold And Mildew From Your Tile And Walls =-.

  29. I am with you Tsh, spring is my favorite season too and it is always thrilling even though we don’t have much of a winter here in southern Spain.

    Love your ideas and see that we do many of them all year long as we try to live an “eternal spring” by following the weather on our world tour. We start getting ready around this point to start our 6 month European RV road trip and your tips remind me how much we love to eat every meal outside, hike more, unplug and just live in nature. We’re ready! ;)

    One of the best things about spring in Spain are the festivals. It was such a perfect Easter in our little village where everyone from the oldest to the youngest were participating in the procession. Can’t wait for the Horse Fair & flamenco songs and dances.
    .-= Soultravelers3´s last blog ..Family Travel, Homeschool, Education & Global Students =-.

  30. Thanks for these wonderful suggestions! I may go and fly my kite after reading this! :-)
    I recently went to a farm and saw the cutest calves. I could have stayed watching them for hours!

  31. One of our favorite things to do in the springtime is buy a container of ladybugs at the local nursery, and then free them in our garden. You have to let them go at dusk; then, they’ll stay all night and eat all the bad bugs. If you let them go earlier in the day, they just fly away. This year, the girls next door were “stealing our ladybugs” (my son’s words) so I had to go out there with my Stern Teacher’s Hat on, and put a stop to that immediately! : )
    .-= kirwin´s last blog ..Listening to me =-.

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