7 Fun Ways to Celebrate Spring Equinox with Kids
Spring equinox, also called vernal equinox, marks the moment when the sun shine directly on the equator and we experience an approximately equal amount of daylight to darkness. Here in the Northern Hemisphere the spring equinox happens on March 20th and it marks the first official day of spring. After three months of frigid winter weather, the first day of spring is welcomed with open arms and definitely worth celebrating. Below are seven fun ways to celebrate the start of spring with kids.
1. Go on a Spring Walk.
Finally after months of snow, rain and cold the icy grip of winter is losing its hold. Signs of spring are beginning to show and it’s a beautiful muddy mess outside. Spring is wonderful time to get outside and explore with children. Every day there’s something new, some new change, to see: bulbs are sprouting, worms are waking up and the dirt is wet and muddy. Pull on your wellies (rain boots) and go for a walk around your neighbourhood, park or along a nature trail. Here are some fun things to do while you and your child are outside:
- Look for signs of spring together.
- Find spring flowers and pick a few (as long as they aren’t endangered, in a park garden or in someone yard).
- Make a flower and willow crown.
- Dig in the dirt and collect worms.
- Jump in puddles and get wet.
- Go on a spring scavenger hunt.
2. Read a Picture Book about Spring.
Find a sunny spot outside and bring along book about Spring. Here’s a list of our favourite Spring themed books:
- A Seed Is Sleepy by Dianna Hutts Aston and Sylvia Long
- Abracadabra, It’s Spring! (Seasonal Magic) by Anne Sibley O’Brien
- And Then It’s Spring by Julie Fogliano
- In Like a Lion, Out Like a Lamb by Marion Dane Bauer
- Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey
- Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
- Plant the Tiny Seed by Christie Matheson
- Planting a Rainbow by Lois Ehlert
- Poppleton in Spring by Cynthia Rylant
- Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit: A Book of Changing Seasons by Il Sung Na
- The Curious Garden by Peter Brown
- The Gardener by Sarah Stewart
- The Reason for a Flower: A Book About Flowers, Pollen, and Seeds (Explore!) by Ruth Heller
- The Complete Book of the Flower Fairies by Cicely Mary Barker
- The Sun Egg by Elsa Beskow
3. Plant Seeds.
Spring is the season of new beginnings. Seeds and bulbs are sprouting up from the cool damp earth adding bits of colour to our day. Planting seeds is a wondering way to herald the start of spring, so whether you live in an apartment or on a large piece of land, grab some seeds and get planting.
- If it’s cold and snowy outside start growing seeds indoors. Good seeds to start indoors in March are mint, chives, rosemary, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes and marigolds. If you live in apartment and have a balcony choose compact plants that can be transplanted outside into pots when the weather warms (ie. Tiny Tim tomatoes).
- Use recycled containers like metal tins, toilet paper tubes, small cardboard boxes, plastic containers and newspaper (using a Paper Pot Maker) to plant seeds into.
- When it’s warm enough for the soil to be worked, plant early spring seeds outside in pots or a garden (peas, radishes, spinach).
- Grow microgreens.
- Grow spring bulbs indoors.
- Make and sow seed bombs.
- Read some tips on gardening with kids read:
4. Decorate Eggs.
Eggs are a symbol of new life and fertility. The tradition of painting and decorating eggs goes back a very long ways and today it still is one of the most popular activities for celebrating Spring and Easter. There are many different ways to decorate eggs, check out the list below for ideas:
- Dye eggs using onion skins, natural ingredient, natural dyes from a kit, food dyes or Kool-Aid.
- Use beeswax crayons to create wax resist designs before dying eggs.
- Paint eggs using watercolours or tissue paper.
- Decorate eggs using eco-friendly glitter made from plants, leaves or mica.*
- Use old silk ties to create beautiful patterns on eggs.**
- Decorate beeswax eggs candles.
- Paint wooden eggs with acrylic paint, dye or wood etcher.
- Make egg grass heads or wool felted eggs.
*Eco-note: Avoid using plastic glitter to decorate eggs. While this type of glitter makes eggs look lovely, tiny bits of plastic find their way into our lakes and oceans, polluting our waters and endangering marine life.
**Safety note: Some dyes in silk ties are toxic, wear a mask and set up in a well ventilated space when doing this project.
5. Set Up a Mud Kitchen.
Spring is wet and muddy and kids love playing in mud. Capitalize on the mud and set up a mud kitchen for your child to play with. Mud kitchens don’t need to be fancy, all kids need is mud, a few pots and pans and their imagination.
- Mud kitchen ideas.
- For more ideas read: Mud Kitchen in a Day: How to Quickly Get Your Kids Outside, Playing in the Dirt, & Enjoying Creative Play by Jason Runkel Sperling.
6. Bring Spring Inside.
Spring is a fickle, some days are deliciously warm and other days are wet and cold. Bring signs of spring inside to enjoy when that spring sleet starts coming down.
- Bring flowers, pussy willows and branches with spring blooms inside.
- Teach your child how to arrange flowers.
- Dust those cobweb, clean the windows and de-clutter your home together. Let all those rays of spring sunshine warm your home.
7. Enjoy a Spring Picnic Outside.
Pack up a lunch and head to the park, public garden or trail for a lovely picnic together.
- Pack a salad in a jar.
- Fill up with warm soup in a thermos and sandwiches.
- Bring cut up fruit, veggies and cheese.
- Bring little cheesecakes in a jar with strawberries for dessert.
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