10 Low or No Cost Outdoor Family Activities for the Spring and Summer (that AREN'T going to the Beach!)
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When the weather starts getting nice, my family loves spending as much time outside as possible. We are outside on days we work from home (I am writing this from a lounge chair on my deck!), we play outside, eat outside, and generally find every excuse possible to be outdoors. But every parent has had the experience of their child feeling bored with outdoor free play. Here are 10 ideas that are low or no cost, and perfect for keeping the entire family entertained outside throughout the warmer months!
2. Water Play
3. Messy Art Activities
4. Take a Nature Walk
If you happen to live in or around Westchester, I also strongly encourage you to check out Lasdon Park's Dinosaur walk!!! It is an amazing resource available FOR FREE!!! The trail isn't particularly long by adult standards, but it is perfect for little feet. Along the way take time to learn about the different dinosaurs, their environment, and more. The trail also offers a virtual reality experience and stations where you can scan signs to learn more!
6. Outdoor Movie Nights
7. Get Dirty!!
Mud kitchens, dirt play, sand boxes, and mud pies are all great ways to have fun getting dirty! While many parents cringe at the idea (admittedly, I am included in that), kids love it. Warm spring and summer days are perfect for getting dirty, because you can do it in a swim suit. Just spray off with a hose when done!
8. Backyard Camping
Grab a tent, a sleeping bag, and a flashlight; then head outdoors! You don’t have to sleep outside to experience the fun of camping! Get comfy, light a fire in your fire pit if you have one, and roast some marshmallows. When it is time for bed, you can always head inside, but not before taking a long gaze at the night sky! There are some great apps out there that help you discover stars, planets, and constellations.
9. Go for a Bike Ride
Even small children can partake in family bike rides with a balance bike (which is obviously a lot slower than a regular bike, but a great tool for helping kids get ready to use a big kid bike!) or wagon attachment. Biking is great exercise, and allows you to get out and explore faster than using your own feet. My community has some excellent cycling trails, or just take a ride around your neighborhood.
10. Obstacle Course
Want even more ideas? I update my Instagram stories regularly with new activities I am doing with my preschooler, or things we are doing as an entire family. You can also find great ideas from around the web on my Pinterest account!
What are some of your family’s favorite outdoor activities for the spring and summer? Comment below and let me know!
Be sure to share this with other parents looking for creative ideas to stay busy outside this spring and summer!
Fresh spring coloring pages have hit the website and are available for immediate download!
As I do every season, I am making select coloring pages available for immediate download. This new PDF has 6 different pages that are perfect to brighten the entire season. There is something for every skill level, and the printable pack is perfect for rainy days indoors. Be sure to head over to my main Spring resource page to check them out!
Plus, you'll find access to tons of other great content.
And more! Content is being added regularly, so stop back to check out what's new!
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn on qualifying purchases. My participation in this program comes at no added cost to you, and helps support my small business. You can learn more here.
I'm a huge fan of simple yet flexible crafts and activities for young children! Cotton balls, glue, and paper are three things that I find endless use for in my home, especially in combination with one another. This cotton ball craft is super easy to modify and use for a variety of ages. Here are some ways to do the activity in your home!
Cotton Ball Sheep Crafts for Kids of All Ages
Where to Start
You'll want to either trace a sheep shape, or download one of my templates (they are free and available for immediate download... no strings attached!). You can use these as coloring pages as well as for the cotton ball sheep crafts described below.
Other materials you'll need:
Toddlers are just developing fine motor abilities, and this activity is a great way to help build them! Allow your child to paint glue onto the stencil, pick up cotton balls and place them within the lines of the sheep.
Have your child color the sheep's face, then use glue to apply the cotton balls. Once done, help you child cut out the sheep.
For Elementary Age Kids
Start by decorating the sheep's face; color, paint, or use another medium to give it some color.
Then, laminate the entire paper.
Once the paper has set, heat up a hot glue gun. If your child is super cautious, you may choose to have them help with the glue, but you will probably want to be the one using the glue to help avoid burns. Apply small dots of glue onto the sheep's body, then add cotton balls (they can be pulled a bit to make a more woolen texture, or applied as is).
Have your child cut out the sheep once dry/cool.
Using the hot glue again, apply two popsicle sticks in a cross shape to the back of the sheep. Then, glue two more popsicle sticks together, one on top of the other. Apply those to the bottom back of the sheep, sticking out towards the bottom. Now you have a sheep puppet or planter decoration!
Want to dress up the sheep more? You can use food coloring or water colors to dye to cotton balls for a rainbow sheep, apply glitter using regular craft clue, add googley eyes, and more! Your imagination is the only limit!
Expand on the Activity Even More!
Want to build on this craft with other educational activities? Here are a few ideas!
Sheep Themed Kids Books
Farm Songs and Activities
Old McDonald (Had a Farm): Perfect for toddlers, Old McDonald is a great way to work on animal sounds and vocabulary! We love pairing it with farm puppets or my child's farm yard play set!
Take a trip to the local community farm/farm museum: In our area, we have tons of community farms and farm museums, and growing up, we had plenty near us as well. A quick Google search can help you identify the resources available near you. If you are in the Metro New York area, here are a few options you'll love:
And in the Boston Metro area, be sure to check out Drumlin Farm!
Educational Spring Printables
Use this activity along with these great printables to create a spring thematic unit!!
More Spring Crafts & Activities
Check out these other great crafts, which pair perfectly with the cotton ball sheep craft, books, and printables for a spring thematic unit!
Be sure to save this on Pinterest for easy access to these great ideas later!
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Easy Plastic Easter Egg Crafts
Plastic Easter eggs are great for more than just Easter egg hunts! These fun Easter egg crafts use materials you probably already have in home, and are perfect for family members of all ages.
Activities you'll find in this post:
Easter Egg Process Art
This is a great sensory and art activity for children ages toddler and up!
What you will need:
What to do
This activity is simple. Just dip the Easter eggs into paint, coat, and then place on a paper lined cookie sheet (you may want to use tape to make sure the paper stays in place). Lift the cookie sheet and move so the eggs roll from side to side.
You an also use the eggs as stamps, or roll them yourself.
Plastic Easter Egg Stamps
This activity is great for kids of all ages. Older children can help you create the stamps before using them, while younger children will love using the stamps once they are done!
What you will need:
What to do:
You can also skup steps 2-4, and just use the Easter egg halves as circle stamps to create art like the piece below!
Decorated Plastic Easter Eggs
Take it a step further! Using twine or ribbon and a hot glue gun, you can create garland out of the eggs by apply a dot of hot glue to the back, and affixing the eggs to the string. Or, if you have a cute basket, glass vase, or centerpiece bowl, place the eggs into that container as a decorative element you can use year after year!
Or, use the eggs for your Easter Egg Hunt!
Be sure to share this with someone who loves crafting, or pin it for other crafters to find!
You might also be interested in:
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Celebrating holidays with food allergies can be a challenge. Everyday foods and activities may not be safe, and hosting family can mean less control over what you child comes into contact with. Whether you are the parent of a child with food allergies, have food allergies yourself, or are looking to accommodate someone with food allergies; whether you celebrate Easter as a holy day, a secular spring event, or somewhere in between; this guide will help you celebrate Easter safely.
Basic Tips for Managing Food Allergies
Whether it is Easter, another holiday, or a regular day, there are several things that can be done to help stay safe when managing food allergies:
Decorate Easter Eggs (without real eggs!)
Eggs are a top 8 allergen, and that means many families feel dying easter eggs isn't an option. Luckily, I found these great Merry Art Dyeable Decorating Easter Eggs! I haven't used them, but the reviews look incredibly promising.
Dyeing Easter eggs not your thing? Try decorating fake ones with paint, glitter, or anything else your heart desires! You can find eggs made out of a number of materials, like thesewooden ones.
Or, create paper easter eggs using construction paper (and cardboard or cardstock if you choose), scissors, glue, glitter, and pom poms! Be sure to download my egg stencil and print it off to create the perfect Easter egg shape!
Fill Your Easter Eggs with Safer Options, and Use Plastic Eggs instead of Real Ones
Candy Free Trinkets for Easter Eggs
Candy free options are excellent not only for children with allergies, but those who are too young to eat candy (though be cautious, many small trinkets are choking hazards, so I recommend sticking to things like stickers). They are also excellent options for families who want to avoid too much sugar, have metabolic conditions, or food sensitivities.
Here are some highly rated options your family will love!
Allergy Friendlier Candy Options
Our family loves Yum Earth goodies, including their seasonal varieties! Here are some made especially for spring!
Allergy Friendly Easter Basket Ideas
Forget the chocolate bunnies! Keep kids with food allergies in you family safe with these food free Easter basket ideas! Here is a list to get you inspired about what to put in your baskets this year, plus a few highly rated products that your kids will love!
1. Stuffed Animals
Stuffed animals are always an adorable hit in Easter baskets. We usually put at least on in our child's and our niece's!
Puzzles make great activities for kids of all ages, and fit nicely into baskets. We love wooden puzzles, and Melissa and Doug brand puzzles in our home! There are tons of great and educational options to choose from out there. Here are a few!
What kid doesn't love bubbles? They are a great spring activity; a reason to get outside, enjoy the nice weather, and focus on the light spring breeze! With a toddler, we love mess free Fubbles! The design of the container prevents large spills... and if you have a child, you know exactly what I am talking about!
4. Art Supplies and/or Stickers
Art supplies and stickers are another option that we love for Easter baskets. Whatever your child's age, there are plenty of amazing options out there!
Click on the images below to view some fun options for kids of all ages, or here to find all sorts of amazing Crayola products!
Books are always a great gift, if you ask my family. We are all avid readers, and even my toddler gets excited when he gets a new book. Here are a few spring options, but if your child is older, feel free to opt for the latest chapter book in their favorite series, or another hot read for the year!
6. Other Fun, Smaller Toys
Easter baskets are an opportunity to give your child a new, fun toy to freshen up their collection. We don't always do a toy in our child's basket, but do sometimes give gifts to other children in the family (while aunts/uncles/grandparents do the same for our child). It is a way to add something special to the Easter basket they've already received!
And don't forget the basket!!!!
We prefer getting something that can be reused year after year. it is more eco friendly, and makes for a special tradition when my child gets to pull out their basket again from the prior year.
No matter what your Easter plans; whether you give Easter baskets, do an Easter egg hunt, go to church, or just have a nice brunch; when managing food allergies the most important thing is to be INCLUSIVE. Years from now child won't remember what was in their Easter basket, but they will remember whether they felt left out or apart of the fun and festivities.
Managing food allergies is difficult, but with a bit of creativity, you can celebrate holidays safely.
Be sure to share to help others make this Easter food allergy friendly!
You can find more resources for managing food allergies here.
Or, check out other great season activities for your family!
May 2020 (Prior to 5/31)
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