This long weekend, try some new ideas to help your child learn through family play and even get closer to nature! It’s a great way to make memories together!
1. Try geo-caching
Download a free app on your iPhone or Android like ‘Geocaching Intro’ by Groundspeak Inc. and try it out! Not only can you search for existing geo-caches, you can also hide one with certain apps. This is a great tool to help kids learn direction and teach them new ways to explore.
2. Warmer weather and more time as a family means that you can get creative
How about bringing your paint, paper and other art supplies to the park? We love to get painting outdoors with our Baby Picassos- it keeps the mess outside!
3. Set up a tent in the backyard and practice camping
You don’t even have to sleepover night in the tent to get used to the fun that camping can be. Do some arts and crafts or even read together to “camp” outdoors. Don’t forget the s’mores!
Related: 10 tips for camping with kids
4. Hit the store together and treat the family to a new fun outdoor toy, like these 5 ideas. You can also take your own ball and bat and hit the park for a family game of soccer or baseball. Long weekends are a great time to teach the kids about the basics for playing sports.
Check your local city community website for fireworks in your neighbourhood, or host your own display with neighbours!
Don’t forget these great tips to stay safe while you’re enjoying the fireworks show.
6. Three words: Sip And Stroll
Are you a new mom and dad with a stroller? Grab a coffee and take the stroller for a long weekend version of our momstown Sip and Stroll. You can take baby to a new part of town, go for a drive to a new area or just walk the neighbourhood looking for places to take your child as they grow up!
7. Scavenger hunt, anyone?
Create a list of spring and summer items with your child and go outside on a scavenger hunt together to try to find them! This is a great time to talk to your child about the seasons.
8. Go on a rock hunt and collect 26 cool rocks!
Bring them home to practice writing your upper and lower case letters (check our cool alphabet crafts)! Write the uppe rcase alphabet on one side of all the rocks and the lower case on the other! See if you preschooler can find the letters in their name or see if older kids can make words together!
9. Want to get away for the long weekend? Take a family road trip, but be sure to read these great tips for roadtrips with your toddler and preschooler, before you leave.
Make homemade bubbles and try them out! POP, POP, POP! We love to sing songs while we play with bubbles. Try these great song ideas!
11. Flower power
Whether your garden’s growing or not, you can make your own, like these footprint flowers!
12. Animal attraction
Visit a local farm, petting zoo or attraction in your community (check if they’re open on the holiday). It’s fun to explore our own communities! Be sure to check your local momstown chapter for the events that they are hosting this long weekend!
Long weekends are a great chance to get the garden ready. Kids love to help with planting. Here are some tips to help your child be a successful gardener!
Related: Top crops to plant with kids
Make some instruments with your child and create a marching band around the neighbourhood!
15. Delegate meal planning
Get the kids to help plan the meals for the long weekend. We love these homemade burger recipes or even make brownie and fruit pizzas!
16. Explore with your senses!
Have some sensory fun by putting items from your nature walk in a bin and playing outside! Here are some of our favourite sensory ideas and tips for you and your baby or toddler. We also love to fill up a large bucket and splash about outdoors.
17. Wash the car together
Kids will love to play around with the soap and water, but it’s also a great time to talk about helping around the house. You can also have fun doing other chores- it’s all in how you do it! Blast some silly music or time who can clean up faster so that mom and dad get the long weekend chores done with some help from the kids! Whether it’s cleaning the house, doing a toy purge to donate, or making this adorable “parking garage” for all those cars, long weekends are a great time to clean up and get organized.
18. Sidewalk art and games
Hit the dollar store to buy some chalk and try these fun ways to play chalk games.
19. Photo fun
Ask your child to be the long weekend photographer. You can give older kids special “assignments” or get the young ones to just snap away. They will love looking back on the memories.
20. Go bird watching
Make some binoculars from toilet rolls and find some trails to follow. You will be surprised to see some beautiful coloured birds just arriving for spring! You can even prepare for your walk by hiding photos of birds and asking kids to find them! Listen to the different sounds and try to make your own bird calls! Want the birds to come to your backyard? Try making this recycled water bottle bird feeder.
What are your long weekend plans? Have any more ideas to share?
momstown originally published this in 2014